The goal? Get hired as a COO of a Fortune 500 company. The time frame? Two months. The challenge? You
know the BoD and CEO won’t hire just anyone. They can’t afford to take the chance that you’re not up there with Mary Barra and Marc Benioff. The wrong person in this role could crash the company.
How can you prove your COO skills on a thin sheet of 8x11? And most people do it exactly wrong. They talk about their job duties. Instead, they should pack their resumes with Netflix-worthy leadership accomplishments. Check out the steps below to write a job-winning COO resume.
One of our users, Nikos, had this to say:
[I used] a nice template I found on Zety. My resume is now
one page long, not three. With the same stuff.
Want other leadership resume examples? See these guides:
Sample COO Resume Template
Energetic chief operations officer with 9+ years of experience as a change agent, leader, and communicator in a tech company with over $500M in annual revenue. Seeking to improve ROI for HubSpot. At MicroWorks, cut product development times by 50% through modified Agile workflow and employee-led programs.
Chief Operations Officer
MicroWorks, Minneapolis, MN
June 2013 – June 2020
Drove 180+ employees in a consumer electronics company to grow revenue from $200M to $500M in 7 years. Managed operations, marketing, production, research, and development. Increased quarterly profits by 55% by driving teams to identify new business areas. Reorganized sales teams to focus more on customer communication. Gained valuable input that led us to redesign our sales strategy, increasing ROI by 35%. Created a business analysis division that identified 30+ new potential service offerings related to our core strengths. Led product development teams to develop 10 new product lines that anticipated unmet customer needs. Gained an additional 5 million loyal customers and $150M in revenue. Worked with the marketing division to develop 5 new cross-platform campaigns that raised annual revenue by 33%. Collaborated with the IT team to create a proprietary intra-departmental communications platform. The platform eliminated over 700 meeting hours per week.
Insara Tech, Inc.
June 2009–March 2013
Slashed annual budget by 25% while simultaneously raising quality measures by 28% through implementing better hiring and quarterly review strategies. Implemented improvements to our customer service policies, creating a 12% increase in retention and loyalty. Renegotiated vendor service contracts to cut operating costs by $13M per year.
BS in Finance
Graduated: May 2007
Recipient, Charles L. Mizner Leadership Award Dorby Scholar
Board Member, ARBOL Astronomical Research Association. Led drive that increased corporate donations by 25% Member, BEA (Business Executives Association) White paper on corporate communications cited in The Economist
Marketing, sales, finance, business development, leadership, communication, contract negotiation, IT, budgeting, business analysis, critical thinking
Driving Change Through Better Hiring published in Businessweek The New Normal in Digital Marketing published in Inc Magazine
Here’s how to write a job-earning chief operations officer resume:
1. Format Your Chief Operations Officer Resume the Right Way
As a COO, you might be anything from a foil for the CEO to the acting leader of the business. That matters to the BoD, so they’ll judge everything about your COO resume. Your margins, font choice, line spacing, and paragraph styles are all under the lens. Don’t leave your job search up to chance.
So what does
the perfect resume look like? It follows these resume format success steps:
Best Resume Styles 2. Get Noticed With a Resume Profile Statement
“I keep sending my resume, and nobody replies.” That’s frustrating, but it’s got two simple reasons. The first and easiest to fix is that your resume introduction isn’t compelling enough. That’s the paragraph at the top that teases all the best features of your resume.
You won't write a resume objective statement. Those are strictly for inexperienced job seekers, and you’ve got more experience than Ursula Burns.
Instead, write a
resume career summary statement. The goal? Get the BoD to sit up straight in their Herman Miller Aerons. The way to do it is to use the most Fortune-5000-level moments from your resume.
How To Make Your Resume Stand Out 3. Target Your Chief Operations Officer Resume Job Description
Would you like to know the biggest mistake you’ll almost certainly make in your COO resume? You’ll focus on your job duties and qualifications.
“But wait—aren’t I supposed to focus on those things?” Nope. To get the job, you need to zero in on the most wow-getting times you’ve moved the needle.
Here’s how to add
relevant experience to a resume so it blows their hair back: Start with your current or most recent position. Write down the job title, organization name, location, and your start and finish dates. Next, how to tailor a resume to a specific job. That starts with adding up to six bullet points that show accomplishment. Achievements in a resume are everything. Begin each bullet point with power verbs like increased, grew, or implemented. Words like that encourage you to show your successes.
Resume in Past or Present Tense? What Tense to Use 4. Write a Value-Oriented COO Resume Education Section
You don’t need to show
cum laude on your resume to get the job. In fact, the business world is jammed with leaders who never went to college. But if you’ve got a degree, flaunt it. There’s a way that works, and then again there’s a way that makes board members shrug.
show your education in a resume: List your school name, the degree you earned, and your graduation date. If you have a university achievement or two, list them. For example, did you run the student business association or get a fellowship for leadership? Does GPA belong on a resume for chief operations officer jobs? Not unless it’s sky-high.
How to List a Degree on a Resume 5. Prove You’ve Got the Right Chief Operations Officer Skills
If you wrote down all your skills right now, how many would you have? A thousand? But nobody will read all those, even if they’re all amazing. But how can you choose which ones to put in, and which ones to toss out? First, list about 10 COO skills, max. Second, make them the ones the company wants most.
Here's how to show your chief operations officer skills will take the company from good to great:
First, do some digging. How can you learn what skills they’re after? Talk to board members if you can. Talk to the CEO. Have a qualifying conversation about their goals. Can’t do that? Read about them in the media. Learn their challenges and business objectives. Where are they headed in the next five years? What skills will get them there? Now that you know the right skills to put on resumes for COOs, write your list of 10. Combine both hard skills vs soft skills to make the perfect list. After you write your resume skills list, revisit your bullet points. Your achievements should show you used the same skills to get the job done.
COO Resume Skills
Pro Tip: Need the right resume keywords? Those are just the skills and qualifications the business wants most. Put them in your skills list and bullets for an ATS-friendly resume.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check?
Check. Start building . professional resume template here for free
When you’re done,
will score your resume and tell you Zety’s resume builder exactly how to make it better. 6. Add “Additional” Sections to Your COO Resume
Experience and education on a resume aren’t the only ways to show your skills. In fact, some skills only come from volunteer work and other activities.
Read more: What Sections Go in a Resume? 7. Write a Cover Letter for Your Chief Operations Officer Resume
“ Do I need a cover letter for my COO resume?” Yes, you do. If you send your resume without one, they’ll have no way of knowing you’re not just auto-applying to every job opening in the book. You’ve got to write a personal appeal that shows this particular company is important to you.
what is a cover letter for if not to show your passion for helping the company succeed?
Include the right
parts in your cover letter: Start off with a modern cover letter template so you don’t waste a lot of time figuring out a working format. Skip the "Dear Hiring Manager" cover letter pitfall and jump straight in with the name of the CEO or board president. Craft an attention-getting cover letter introduction, so they’ll read your letter thoroughly. The second paragraph should tantalize them with the most Bogle-level items in your chief operations officer resume. Make a cover letter ending that conveys what you like most about the organization. Then request the interview with a strong CTA.
cover letter length is not a matter of opinion. If you can’t say it in a single page, you can’t say it at all.
Cover Letter Salutation and Best Greeting Examples
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our
Here's what it may look like: cover letter builder here.
cover letter templates and start writing.
That’s everything you need to write a great chief operations officer resume!
Thanks for reading! Do you have another question on how to make a Bezos-level chief operations officer resume? Give us a shout in the comments section!