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If you’re an influential executive director, you’ll need a resume that demonstrates your superior ability to lead and motivate and displays your holistic approach to directing an organization's operations. Ready to take charge and showcase your leadership prowess? Check out our resume example and step-by-step guide to help you maximize your chances of getting noticed.
Executive directors apply their outstanding strategic leadership and business management skills to ensure organizations reach their short- and long-term goals and objectives. These talented leaders and senior-level decision-makers can work across diverse industries and settings, including non-profit and for profit companies.
Your executive director resume should showcase your experience in strategically leading and developing operations, exercising robust financial control, and providing visionary leadership to the team. Keeping the resume direct, succinct, and impactful is vital. Our executive director resume ticks all these boxes and is easily adaptable to help you create a top-notch resume for your next position.
Your professional summary is placed at the top of your resume and is the initial pitch of your skills, experience, and contributions. Our executive profile is impactful, showcasing the added value you can deliver in a snapshot sentence, followed by a more detailed paragraph of core skills and experience.
The areas of speciality section follows and is placed prominently so the hiring manager will immediately see it during the initial scan of your resume. Limiting this section to nine key areas is important. Detailing too many areas of expertise can lead to information overload and negatively impact readability.
The jewel in the crown on our resume example is the professional experience section. Every hiring manager wants to know what you have done and achieved as an executive director. Our resume example balances paragraphs with bullet points, providing recruiters with vital information about your core responsibilities in each role, then highlighting your achievements with the all-important metrics.
Here are some top tips for creating an executive director resume that will significantly improve your chances of landing an interview with the Board:
Highlight your strong strategic planning, business management, leadership, and project management skills across your resume. Examine the job description for keyword inspiration too. You can use these keywords across the resume, but make sure you incorporate keywords relevant to each job opportunity in the areas of specialty section. This will help your resume perform well when parsed by an applicant tracking system (ATS).
In the professional experience section, start with your most recent experience first and work back to earlier roles, covering up to 15-20 years of your work history. Focus on using action verbs at the start of each sentence, such as direct, steered, and streamlined, to create more impact when describing your responsibilities. Focus on more recent and relevant work experience and align it as much as possible with the job posting and company operations.
Specific achievements should be highlighted under each role in a bulleted list. As an executive director you probably have a lot of accomplishments, so make sure you include these under the relevant role in bullet points. Quantify these achievements by adding metrics to show your impact.
The education section should outline any college degrees and post-graduate studies in reverse chronological order. Don’t forget to include any relevant certifications or affiliations relevant to your career in subsequent sections.
Highlighting your areas of speciality are critical on an executive director resume, here are are some skills to include:
Operations and team leadership
Strategic business planning
Budgeting and cost control
Dynamic professional blending exceptional vision, passion, and tactical leadership to advance strategic operational and financial goals.
Inspiring, goal-driven leader with solid success in managing operations and building key partnerships to advance business objectives. Expert in strategic planning to support promotional initiatives that expand engagement with target audiences. Demonstrated ability in aligning development teams and stakeholders around shared goals due to diversified experience in marketing, budget administration, and community relations.
Employment history example
Executive Director at ABC Foundation, New York 2019 - Present
Manage daily foundation operations with an average $6M in assets. Direct six employees, while structuring and guiding organizational priorities. Hire, train, and coach staff and ensure organizational processes comply with local, state, and federal regulations. Lead teams in the acquisition, maintenance, and display of artwork, as well as customer assistance. Develop partnerships with curators and collectors for the authentication of artwork in collaboration with auction houses. Oversee physical inventory and the extensive digital archive. Employ and oversee top conservators to maintain optimal condition of all pieces. Track industry developments and competitor offerings, along with possible market infringements.
Oversee a $3M annual operating budget to preserve and enhance the financial health of the organization.
Increased foundation Instagram followers from 15K to 100K in just two years, while creating compelling content for social media platforms.
Planned and launched robust marketing strategy and promotional activities that increased in-kind donations by 25%.
Streamlined the process for reviewing and awarding grant requests to community art organizations, independent artists, and students.
Executive Director at Skilled Nursing Solutions, Flagstaff 2010 - 2019
Oversaw all aspects of operations and financial performance with the largest rural healthcare provider of skilled nursing services in Arizona. Steered quality and performance improvement (QAPI) process to promote a resident-centered, consumer-driven service model in compliance with regulatory requirements. Partnered with senior leadership team to ensure operational alignment with organizational needs. Collaborated with managerial staff on system, policy, and procedure improvements. Trained team on admissions process and insurance/payor mix across Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial plans.
Led approximately 2K employees across 17 facilities with $108M in annual revenue.
Surpassed the $300K annual sales goal for two consecutive years by focusing on the payor mix, which grew market share 30% and raised occupancy from 65% to 95%.
Devised and implemented a new admissions process that streamlined daily workflow for admissions teams.
Directed the facility leadership team in developing new processes and systems in accordance with best practices to ensure compliance with regulatory changes.
Improved patient care and cross-functional collaboration by implementing new communication systems for all staff.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Arizona State University, Tempe
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
Operations & Team Leadership
Strategic Business Planning
Budget Development & Administration
Grant Request Reviews
Marketing & Fundraising
Social Media Engagement
Helen is an experienced content writer, with expertise in corporate law, business, sales, marketing and education. Prior to this, she worked in recruitment and human resources, so she has a strong sense of what recruiters are looking for in terms of a potential employee. Helen loves exploring new places, writing blogs of her travel across Europe and enjoying trips to the US, Thailand and the Middle East. She is an avid reader of fiction, poetry, self-help books and factual content and also enjoys creative writing in her spare time, including poetry and children’s fiction.