Are you looking to trying to make a move for a CXO role? Or trying to switch companies at such roles? And need a CXO resume that suits your designation and ambition?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. In my experience at the core team of Mentorrd, I have consulted several senior professionals to make such high profile moves. Having climbed the ladder myself from an Executive Engineer to President and CXO roles, I understand the change in approach that these roles need.
Building an effective resume for a CXO (Chief Executive Officer) profile requires a focused approach and keen attention to detail.
What differentiates a CXO resume
Three major things that differentiate CXO resumes from other resumes are :
Results on Showcase
The more senior you grow in your corporate career, the more important it is to have some tangible numbers to showcase. Think deeply about the biggest ‘needle-movers’ that you have worked upon. This is what you would want to showcase in your profile.
At these levels, your results may mean more than anything else and so highlight your top results and most successful decisions at the top of your profile.
Leadership & Problem Solving
You need to get the work done from people – and believe it or not – it is one of the toughest ( but highly rewarding) corporate skills to acquire. There are leaders who believe that fear is the only way to achieve this feat. Some more people oriented leaders believe that a connection with people works best. The more rational minds tend to convince people before making them work. From what I have experienced – no approach is the best, and you need to tailor your approach to your personal strengths and the business requirement.
That is exactly why choosing your next job becomes a very important part in your career at this point in time. Spend more time to sort that out before you jump in the job market.
Scope and Ownership in CXO resume
At a CXO level, you are supposed to not just get the work done from your team, but also from other departments and CXOs. For example, if you are applying for a Chief Business Officer (CBO) role, you are still expected to know a lot about different functions like Tech, Product, Accounts, Vendor management, and HR. Most likely, you would be making major decisions every week that will impact many functions. So you need to acquire a cross functional skill set and knowledge base.
If you are trying to move to such roles, make sure that you are gaining this learning by investing your energies in different projects.
7 points to keep in mind while making a CXO resume
Here are seven points to consider when creating a standout resume for a CXO profile:
1. Include a Powerful Professional Summary in your CXO resume
An impactful professional summary can change the job search game for you. Make sure to list your previous job titles, company names, and any major accomplishments. This will give employers an idea of your background and make it easier for them to evaluate your suitability for the role.
2. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
At CXO levels, people get hired (and fired) for their decisions. The toughest part of such roles is to take a decision and then hoping that it would work. I don’t think there would be any top leader without a failed decision.
But the most successful are those who take more successful decisions than others. And this is a skill that builds over time by learning through failures.
Highlight in your resume your top decisions that changed the pace for business.
3. Highlight Your Leadership Skills in a CXO resume
As the highest-ranking executive at a company, CXOs are responsible for guiding their organisation to success. Showcase your leadership skills by highlighting any initiatives you’ve led or strategies you’ve implemented that have had a positive impact.
4. Demonstrate Your Technical Expertise
CXOs are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the technology used in their industry. If you have any specific technical skills, make sure to include them on your resume.
As President Sales in my last stint – the first job that I decided to undertake was to solve for tech stack in the company. The blurry data was the most important thing to solve for me – and fortunately it did make a difference. But I had to lead the whole project myself and for that, learning about new technologies to suit your business requirements was essential.
5. Share your Education – the stronger the better
Although CXOs are hired for their experience, many top employers also want to ensure that they have the necessary educational background. List any relevant degrees, certifications, or other professional development activities in which you’ve participated.
Many recruiters prefer a top MBA as almost an unwritten rule. So if you are planning to get to such roles in future, either build a strong result oriented experience, or get a well regarded MBA. Ideally – do both !
6. Talk about Results and Achievements
CXOs are expected to have achieved a certain level of success in their roles. List any awards or recognition you’ve received, any major news that you have created, as well as any innovative solutions you’ve implemented.
7. Tailor Your Resume to company goals
When applying for a CXO role, make sure to tailor your resume to the company you’re applying for. Use language that aligns with the company’s values and goals, and focus on the areas in which your experience and qualifications can be of benefit.
At such levels though, my advice would be to tailor with honesty. You are likely to get through the interview if you are a strong, result oriented, confident individual. But you won’t survive the role for a long time if you are not fully convinced yourself.
Discuss with a mentor if you are still confused
If you need help deciding on your career path, you can discuss such moves with your mentors. If you do not have many mentors, it is actually a good idea to engage with a top career consultant and discuss this. This will maintain confidentiality and will be more effective from a success standpoint.
At Mentorrd, we have helped many professionals at mid career and senior roles get into top profiles. Drop us a note if you need such help yourself.
Creating an effective resume for a CXO profile requires a lot of time and effort, but the end result will be worth the effort. By following these seven points, you’ll be able to craft a compelling resume that will help you stand out from the competition. Good luck!