Chief Operations Officer Resume: Examples, Template, and Resume Tips
As a Chief Operations Officer (COO), it is your job to steer the company through stormy waters and ensure that you get to your destination.
Sometimes referred to as the Vice President of Operations, the COO is second in command to the CEO. The role of the COO is to provide management, leadership, and vision to ensure everything in the organization – administration, operational controls, reporting procedures, human capital, and so on – runs effectively and efficiently.
As a COO, it is your role to oversee the daily administration and operation activities within the company.
While the CEO focuses on coming up broad, long term goals and objectives for the organization, it is your role to design strategic plans, and then lead managers and junior executives in implementing them to ensure that these goals are met.
This means setting short term performance and growth objectives that are aligned with the broader, long term goals, managing the day to day operations of the organization, providing leadership to employees, putting in place policies to create the right vision and culture for the company, monitoring and evaluating performance, and so on.
As the COO, it is also your responsibility to make sure that the company’s business plan is followed to the letter.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for Chief Operations Officers and other top executives will grow at a rate of 6% in the ten year period between 2018 and 2028, which is equal to the average growth rate for other jobs.
This growth is based on the number of new companies that are expected to be created within this period, since these companies will need top level executives to run them.
The average growth rate, the high remuneration, and prestige that comes with top level executive positions means that there will be a lot of competition for Chief Operations Officer positions. If you want to land your dream job in the midst of all this competition, you have to actively take steps to give yourself every advantage you can.
Due to the nature of their jobs, COOs are masters of strategy. However, there is one key strategy that a lot of operations executives struggle with: selling themselves on paper.
Before you walk into an interview room and impress the interviewers with your knowledge of the industry, good personality and charm, even before the first phone interview, you need to impress the board using your Chief Operations Officer resume. This is what determines whether you will get the interview or not.
This is especially important today, when resume writing has turned into a highly complex technical and marketing exercise. Before you get invited to that job interview, your resume needs to pass through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and then showcase your personal brand in the best possible light. So, how do you create such a resume?
That is exactly what we are going to cover in this guide. I’ll show you some examples of great Chief Operations Officer Resume, and then teach you everything you need to know in order to produce a similar resume.
If you want to simplify the process of creating your Chief Operations Officer resume, you can use our resume builder, which automates the process of building your resume and gives you access to dozens of professionally designed resume templates that will make your resume stand out.
CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER RESUME EXAMPLES
Before we get into how to create a brilliant Chief Operations Officer Resume, let’s start by looking at some great examples of COO resumes.
This way, you’ll have a good idea of what we are trying to achieve as we go through the process of creating your resume.
Highly Experienced Chief Operations Officer Resume Sample
Chief Operations Officer Resume Without Lots Of Experience
WHAT ARE EMPLOYERS LOOKING FOR IN A CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER RESUME?
To get a position as a Chief Operations Officer, you need extensive knowledge and experience of various business procedures, policies and practices within your industry.
You also need a good understanding of major business functions such as sales and marketing, finance, HR, and IT.
While it is possible to get the position of COO with a bachelor’s degree, you stand a higher chance of getting hired if you have a Master’s degree.
The position of Chief Operations Officer will require you to make a lot of big decisions, and therefore your resume needs to show that this is something you are comfortable with.
As the second in command within the company, your resume also needs to demonstrate your ability to lead.
You will also need to work closely with the other C-suite executives and the board of directors, and therefore you need to show your ability to collaborate with others.
Finally, your Chief Operations Officer resume needs to show that you are well versed with all aspects of running a business. In other words, you need to be a jack of all trades and a master of all.
WHICH FORMAT WORKS BEST FOR A CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER RESUME?
Part of your role as a Chief Operations Officer is to make sure that everything within the company runs smoothly and in an orderly manner.
The same applies to your resume. You need to choose a format that presents your information in an orderly manner and makes it easy for the board to find all the information they are looking for in your resume.
Since you are applying for the position of a Chief Operations Officer, you already have quite some experience under your belt, and therefore, the best resume format to use it the reverse chronological resume format, which orders the information in your resume in the order in which it was attained, starting from the most recent to the earliest.
This format makes it easier for the board to go through your extensive experience and qualifications.
Other things to keep in mind about the format of your Chief Operations Officer resume include:
- All the sections in your resume should be identified with large and bold headings.
- You should always start with the personal information section.
- Use fonts that look professional on a resume, such as Cambria, Garamond, Helvetica, or Georgia.
- Incorporate lots of white space in your resume design to keep things orderly and easy to read. If this is difficult for you, you can always use one of the professional resume templates in our resume builder.
- While resumes should generally be kept to one page, candidates applying for COO positions usually have extensive experience, and therefore, your resume can go to two or three pages. Ideally, every 10 years of experience should take one page on your resume.
- Save and submit your resume in PDF format, unless the employer has specifically asked you to use another file format.
WRITING THE PERSONAL INFORMATION SECTION OF YOUR CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER RESUME
This section should be the first thing on your resume. This section is fairly easy to write. Here, you should include your official name, your professional title, your physical address (optional), your phone number and your email address.
If you have an optimized LinkedIn profile or a personal professional website, you should include a link to it in this section as well. This will help the employer get a better idea of who you are as a professional and as a person.
Below is an example of a well written personal information section of a Chief Operations Officer resume.
QUICKLY SELL YOURSELF USING A PROFESSIONAL RESUME SUMMARY
Unlike resumes for other jobs, where you have the option of using a resume summary or objective, depending on your level of experience, you should always go with the resume summary when writing a Chief Operations Officer resume. This is because everyone applying for this position already has some experience. You cannot go straight out of college into a COO position. You have to gather some experience first.
The resume summary should give a quick overview of who you are as a professional and why the board should hire you. This means mentioning your years of experience, the greatest achievements in your career, and your best attributes.
The aim of the resume summary is to quickly show that you are the best person for the job.
Here is what a well written resume summary looks like:
PROVE YOU ARE THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB BY SHOWCASING YOUR EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE
If there is one thing that matters most when it comes to COO jobs, it has to be your professional experience. COOs need to have a good understanding of various aspects of business, which you can only gain through experience.
Therefore, without experience, you can forget about getting a job as a COO.
Even when you have experience, how you present it in your resume has a significant impact on your likelihood of getting invited to the job interview and eventually getting the job.
You don’t just want the employer to know that you are experienced. Instead, you want them to know that you have relevant experience, that you excelled at all the positions you held, and that you are capable of making an impact in every position you hold.
For an outstanding professional experience section in your Chief Operations Officer resume, keep the following in mind:
- List your job experience from the most recent going backwards.
- If you have over 10 years of experience in a COO position, only include professional experience related to this role. If it’s your first time applying for a COO position, or if you have held a COO position for less than 10 years, you should also include the positions you held before moving to the C-suite level.
- For each entry, mention the organization you worked for, the job title you held, and the years you held the position.
- For each entry, mention about 5 or 6 key responsibilities you were tasked with. You should also mention what you achieved in each position.
- Where possible, use numbers and figures to quantify your achievements.
- Use power action verbs, such as ‘established’, ‘delivered’, ‘developed’, ‘achieved’, or ‘produced’ to give your experience section more weight.
A well-written professional experience section should look like this:
SHOW YOU HAVE THE RIGHT EDUCATION FOR THE POSITION
Just like experience, education is also important if you want to get a position as a COO. Being a top level executive position, you stand a better chance if you have a master’s degree. However, you can still get the job if you only have a bachelor’s degree, provided you have the right experience.
When showcasing your education in your Chief Operations Officer resume, you should start with your highest degree, then the next highest degree, and so on.
There is no point in including your high school education in your resume. For each entry in the education section of your resume, mention the degree you attained, the college name, and the duration you attended this college.
Your education section should look something like this:
SAY WHAT YOU DO BEST BY HIGHLIGHTING YOUR KEY SKILLS
While your experience section showcases what you are good at, it might not be very evident, and therefore, it is advisable to include a key skills section in your Chief Operations Officer resume highlighting your core skills.
These skills will help set you apart from the competition, and also show what you are bringing to the job.
Some of the skills you might want to include in your Chief Operations Officer resume include:
- Leadership skills
- Results orientation
- Strategy skills
- Communication skills
- Delegation skills
- Critical thinking
- Judgment and decision-making
- Social perceptiveness
- Problem solving skills
- Budget control
- Financial resource management
- Personnel resource management
- Negotiation and persuasion
- Time management
- Operations analysis
- Service orientation
- P&L Management and Improvement
- Product/Brand Development
- New Business Development
- Strategic Planning and Growth
- Workflow Optimization
- Performance Improvement
- Staff Management and Training
One thing to keep in mind here is that you should not blindly take these skills and add them in your Chief Operations Officer resume. Instead, you should first use the above skills to create a list of skills that you are good at. Your core strengths.
From there, go through the job description and create a list of skills the employer is looking for. Compare the two lists and note down any skills that appear in both lists. These are the skills you should include in your resume.
ADD EXTRA SECTIONS TO TRANSFORM YOUR COO RESUME FROM GREAT TO OUTSTANDING
While most of the other candidates will end their resumes here, go a step further the extra mile and add some extra sections to spice up your resume and give yourself an edge over the other candidates.
The aim of the extra sections is to show how committed and passionate you are about your career.
Some of the extra sections you might want to include in your resume include:
- Professional memberships
- Accomplishments and awards
- Volunteer experience.
Writing your Chief Operations Officer resume need not be hard. With the tips shared in this guide, you will be able to write a COO resume that will put you ahead of more than half of the competition you are up against.
Before submitting your resume, don’t forget to proofread it to ensure that you don’t miss on a great opportunity because of some stupid mistakes, or better yet, have a friend or trusted colleague (you don’t want everyone in your organization to know that you are job hunting) do the proofreading for you.
They are more likely to catch errors you might have missed. From there, you can go ahead and submit your resume, accompanied by a high quality, highly tailored cover letter.
Finally, remember that if you want to simplify the process of creating your Chief Operations Officer resume, you can use our resume builder and have your resume ready within a couple of minutes.
All the best in your job search!
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