Webster defines an executive as "a person whose function is to administer or manage affairs of a corporation, division, department, group of companies, etc." This can be the president, director, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief information officer, controller, executive director, vice president, general manager, treasurer, principal, owner, and the list goes on.
Generally, a person in such a position has strategically worked his/her way to the top echelons of management over a period of at least ten years. Executives tend to have many relevant past positions, credentials, achievements, published articles, speaking engagements, community service activities, and other important qualifications.
In order to reflect this experience, an executive resume is almost always more than one page. In fact, an executive resume can be as long as it needs to be in order to convince the reader that the candidate has what it takes to manage an organization effectively.
Just because an executive resume is long, however, doesn't mean it should be wordy. The same good writing described in the 12 Step Resume Process is even more important in an executive resume. Because the number of applicants for an executive position is generally not as large as for lower-level positions, every word of an executive's resume will be read many times before a decision is made. Make sure every word you write serves a purpose!
As a general rule, executive resumes should be conservative in style. Senior-level management is considered a very sober position with considerable responsibility, so there is no room for frivolity. That doesn't mean, however, that the design of an executive resume must be boring. The effective use of type style, white space, and discrete graphic lines can make your resume stand out from the crowd.
Sample Executive Resumes:
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