If you’re considering a career as a CEO, you need to be highly skilled and well qualified; after all, this is the front line we are talking about!

You’ll need experience at all levels of business management and a good head for finances, resources and efficiencies. This is a great career aspiration but be aware that it is not something you can walk into without previous knowledge and experience.

In terms of job prospects, CEO is not the obvious choice. Most businesses have one – but in general recruitment is from within the existing business structure, so a CEO position is something to work up to, rather than something to walk into – unless of course you have successfully done it before in a related field.

As a successful CEO, you need to own the vision of the company – not just understand it but make it your own and embed it into the culture of your business.

You will be ultimately responsible for making sure the business achieves its objectives and for making sure that it is adequately resourced and motivated to do so.

You will also have direct line management for your managerial team, so being highly skilled in interpersonal relationships, coaching, mentoring, performance management and engagement is an essential requirement.

You will also need to be good at making decisions, both in collaboration with your team and independently.

Do not underestimate the scope of this role – one minute you could be making decisions about product management and the next about legal concerns.

The good news is all businesses need to have someone at the helm, so if you are determined to make it happen, then there are always opportunities.


Pay for chief executive offers varies greatly depending on the size of the company, the responsibilities, the location, and level of experience. There are CEOs of small companies who barely make $50,000 per year, for example, and then there are CEOs of large, multinational companies who make millions of dollars a year.

Below is the median pay for Chief Executive Officer is in the United States. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, compensation for American CEOs was just over $102,000 per year in 2017.

Conversely, sites like pay scale.com, hey CEO salary at median of $171,600 per year.

The range is probably varied because pay scale.com’s figures come from questionnaires sent directly to CEOs, whereas the Bureau of Labor Statistics median average is from government data directly.

One thing to note is that CEO pay is heavily tied to bonus compensation and profit sharing.

This is a variation from most professional occupations where remuneration is almost entirely salary based, whereas CEOs have a healthy mix of salary, bonus, and profit sharing incentives

Business Intelligence Officer Salary Statistics

2017 Median Pay$102,690 per year
$49.37 per hour
Typical Entry-level EducationBachelor's Degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 5 years or more
On-the-job TrainingNone
Number of jobs, 2016 2,467,500
Job Outlook, 2014-2024+6%
Employment Change, 2014-2024+147,000
Sources: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics & Payscale.com

Industry Forecast

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a moderate industry growth left Chief Executive Officers at around 6% annually from now through the year 2024. This is in line with growth among all industries, which make sense if you think about it, given that every new company needs a CEO.

Given that each company only needs one CEO, it is hard to find a Industry growth rate above what the cumulative growth rate simply because companies are not hiring multiple CEOs, so growth rate can  not outpace the total growth rate of businesses in general.

In trying to predict future growth rate of the CEO position we have to look at both local and global economies and use indicators like stock market growth and/or GDP growth to anticipate business growth in general, and then, in turn, we can anticipate a growth in new CEO positions.

Types of Chief Executive Officers

The Chief Executive Officer is simply someone who is in charge of an organization or business as a whole and takes a lot of responsibility for making executive decisions.

In a way, Chief Executive Officers are kind of a hybrid role, because they not only need to manage, but also to integrate business; be able to analyze, and utilize the different interpersonal skills to assure that a company runs smoothly.

As a metaphor,  you can think of a CEO as a captain of a ship. People think the captain simply give orders and steer the ship. While this is true, good captains also know how to perform all of the individual routine tasks that are required for ship to be in good working order.

This means a good CEO has have a firm grasp on the company’s hiring practices, the incentive packages, the marketing and brand presence, and the vision for the company’s future.

Because the role of CEO it Is such a versatile one there are many unique types of CEOs. Some start as simple product managers, while others start as chief operations officers or chief technology officers.

CEOs can also be transitioned from more oversight position such as Executive Director, Director of Development, or simply a board member.

The titles very greatly, but what they all have in common is an executive level management responsibility, meaning someone who does not just micromanage but makes knowledgeable choices on daily operations with a solid vision for company and a profitable plan, which they help translate to company body as a whole to help achieve its objectives.

Example Resume Download

Below is an example of a professionally written Chief Executive Officer resume. You can use this resume as your own inspiration when creating your own, or to get idea of what a “typical” CEO would include on a resume.

Do you still have questions about resume composition? Review our guide on crafting a professional resume here!
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How To Write Your Own

Writing a CEO resume can be a tricky task given all the responsibilities, in general, and long work histories that need to be included.

Oftentimes, CEOs will outsource the task of writing their resume to a professional resume writing company who will interview them, then collate data and craft a unique professional resume, as CEO candidates are usually very busy individuals.

The resume of a seasoned CEO will probably be 2 to 3 pages, as this is a very senior level position. The actual form varies quite a bit  from standard resumes as you will not want to simply use their reverse chronological format.

Not sure on the main differences between a Career Objective or Summary of Qualifications ? Let our experts do the explaining!

Executive level resumes are usually combination type resumes, meaning they combine both reverse chronological formats and functional formats.

You will want to start your resume off with a professional profile, followed by a list of particularly notable achievements such as taking a company public, or opening multiple branch locations around the world.

These are diverse examples of achievements worthy of a “selected achievements”, or “highlight section” at the top of the executive resume.

The rest of the resume will be similar, observing reverse chronological format in which individual company management experiences are listed with the most recent being first and the most dated being last.

You will not want to use regular bullet points listing daily responsibilities as this is not fitting of an executive position. Instead, you want to review the company, the revenue and growth that occurred under your management, and critical changes that were a positive impact on the company.

The fonts should be conservative, the spacing shall be standardized, and really the formatting in general should look quite boring, as it is the content that really matters for this type of resume and not how stylish it looks. If you want, you can include a link to your website at the top and the name/address section at the very bottom as a closer.

Today, many popular CEOs with brand images to manage have their own websites, which linked to their achievements, and act also as digital resumes.

Sample Bullet Points

If you are including bullet points listing skills, that is if you are a relatively young CEO, or a CEO with under five years of experience, you could include experience bullet points like the ones provided below.

Obviously, these are just samples, you will want to customize to reflect your unique personal experience.

Sample CEO Bullet Points

Direct or coordinate an organization's financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
Appoint department heads or managers and assign or delegate responsibilities to them.
Analyze operations to evaluate performance of a company or its staff in meeting objectives or to determine areas of potential cost reduction, program improvement, or policy change.
Direct, plan, or implement policies, objectives, or activities of organizations or businesses to ensure continuing operations, to maximize returns on investments, or to increase productivity.
Prepare budgets for approval, including those for funding or implementation of programs.
Confer with board members, organization officials, or staff members to discuss issues, coordinate activities, or resolve problems.
Implement corrective action plans to solve organizational or departmental problems.
Direct human resources activities, including the approval of human resource plans or activities, the selection of directors or other high-level staff, or establishment or organization of major departments.
Establish departmental responsibilities and coordinate functions among departments and sites.
Preside over or serve on boards of directors, management committees, or other governing boards.
Negotiate or approve contracts or agreements with suppliers, distributors, federal or state agencies, or other organizational entities.
Coordinate the development or implementation of budgetary control systems, recordkeeping systems, or other administrative control processes.
Review reports submitted by staff members to recommend approval or to suggest changes.
Deliver speeches, write articles, or present information at meetings or conventions to promote services, exchange ideas, or accomplish objectives.
Interpret and explain policies, rules, regulations, or laws to organizations, government or corporate officials, or individuals.
Prepare or present reports concerning activities, expenses, budgets, government statutes or rulings, or other items affecting businesses or program services.
Review and analyze legislation, laws, or public policy and recommend changes to promote or support interests of the general population or special groups.
Administer programs for selection of sites, construction of buildings, or provision of equipment or supplies.
Direct or conduct studies or research on issues affecting areas of responsibility.
Direct or coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.
Make presentations to legislative or other government committees regarding policies, programs, or budgets.
Refer major policy matters to elected representatives for final decisions.
Direct or coordinate activities of businesses involved with buying or selling investment products or financial services.
Conduct or direct investigations or hearings to resolve complaints or violations of laws or testify at such hearings.
Direct non-merchandising departments, such as advertising, purchasing, credit, or accounting.
Prepare bylaws approved by elected officials and ensure that bylaws are enforced.
Serve as liaisons between organizations, shareholders, and outside organizations.
Attend and participate in meetings of municipal councils or council committees.
Represent organizations or promote their objectives at official functions or delegate representatives to do so.
Organize or approve promotional campaigns.
Nominate citizens to boards or commissions.

Professional Summary/Key Qualifications Summary

As mentioned briefly above, you will not want to use something like a career objective for an executive position, as this is more for entry-level and mid-level candidates.

You will want to use something like a professional summary, which lists the most notable achievements of your experience in a paragraph format.

You are not constricted to only 2 to 3 sentences here; you can go 4 to 5 sentences, depending on your level of experience. This is where you list your key achievements, such as increasing revenue in dollar terms. It is acceptable to use first person, although try to do it sparingly as possible.

You can include bullet points in your professional summary section. They should be your key qualifications as CEO, and can include things like organic business growth, strategic planning skills, staff development initiatives, operations management,  and business efficiency increases.

Again, try to list achievements in dollar terms or in percentage terms whenever possible as they jump off the page to the reader.

Ultimately, the CEO resume is a very complex thing, because it does not follow some of the hard and steadfast rules that apply to entry and mid-level resumes.

For this reason, you want to do a lot of searching for other CEO resumes in your industry, including the sample product above, so that you can get an idea of not just the formatting but the types of achievements that people are listing on their resumes.

Keep in mind that you want to be broad, as well,  including some of the more intangible skills that boards of directors are looking for in trying to name the new CEO to a company.

Did you know there are three main types of resume formats? Learn which style is most effective for you with our complete resume formatting overview!

Remember, if this board of directors is reading your resume, there is probably already a reason why they are considering you for the position, so the resume here is not quite as “make or break it” as it is for more entry level positions.

Ultimately, you want to do a lot of due diligence research for the company that considering you for CEO. You want to write your resume in a way that meets the needs specific to the company in question.

For example, if you have a lot of experience in a completely different industry from years ago, you will not want to highlight those as much and you will want to write them in a way to show that the skills can be transferred to the industry that you are currently being considered for.

Your resume should actually be customized for each job position you are applying to; this includes CEO positions.

You cannot use the same resume for multiple companies when applying. If you are being considered for a CEO position, you are expected to have a unique resume written, highlighting your specific skills for each company.

Obviously, this becomes a bit more complicated and thus is the reason many executives choose to outsource the resume writing to specialized companies.

Additional Skills & Certifications

You do not actually need an additional skill section on the resume, especially when you are including a professional summary or skills qualification section at the very beginning of the resume.

Adding another additional skill sessions the end would be redundant and a waste of space.

You can, however, include certification section and achievement section if you did not already do so at the top of your resume. Including management certifications, industry awards, and other management recognition awards on your resume is a great way to add authority and a great way to end the story of your professional career on your resume.

Useful Skills to Include

Again, as mentioned, you do not want to have an additional skill section if you have a professional skill session at the top of your resume, but here are some bullet points that you can use at the top of your resume when you are qualifying yourself.

Useful CEO Skills

SkillSkill Description
Judgment and Decision MakingConsidering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
SpeakingTalking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical ThinkingUsing logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem SolvingIdentifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Social PerceptivenessBeing aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
CoordinationAdjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Management of Personnel ResourcesMotivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Reading ComprehensionUnderstanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active ListeningGiving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
MonitoringMonitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
PersuasionPersuading others to change their minds or behavior.
NegotiationBringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Systems AnalysisDetermining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Systems EvaluationIdentifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Management of Financial ResourcesDetermining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
WritingCommunicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active LearningUnderstanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Time ManagementManaging one's own time and the time of others.
Management of Material ResourcesObtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
MathematicsUsing mathematics to solve problems.
Learning StrategiesSelecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
InstructingTeaching others how to do something.
Service OrientationActively looking for ways to help people.
Operations AnalysisAnalyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
ScienceUsing scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Operation MonitoringWatching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Technology DesignGenerating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Operation and ControlControlling operations of equipment or systems.
Quality Control AnalysisConducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
ProgrammingWriting computer programs for various purposes.
Equipment SelectionDetermining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
InstallationInstalling equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment MaintenancePerforming routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
TroubleshootingDetermining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
RepairingRepairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Additional Resources