A Checklist to Help You Pick the Best Executive Resume Writer For You

If you are an executive, you may be wondering if it is worth it to invest in having your resume professionally written. Read on to find out why I think it is and what you should look for when choosing a great executive resume writer.

Why the Best Executive Resume Writers are Worth It

Most C-level professionals like yourself opt to have their executive resumes written for the following reasons:

Your Time is Valuable

The time it takes you as an executive to put together your own resume and do it well is usually a driving factor. You have probably already figured out that as a multi-six-figure plus executive, it costs you more money to try to develop your own marketing collateral (at your salary) vs. hiring someone knowledgeable to do it for you.

Self-Promotion is Awkward

There is the struggle of writing about yourself and conveying a successful career track record without feeling like you are bragging. The best executive resume writers are gifted in this area and will effectively pull out your strengths in showcase your talents for maximum impact.

You Need a Polished & Succinct Presentation

Perhaps most important is the edge a professionally written resume (also called a leadership resume) can give you as an executive in today’s market. Many studies have been done that show a well-laid-out document keeps the reader on the page longer. A resume that truly has a polished and professional appearance is more attractive and better received by key decision-makers; it creates excitement, establishes trust, and generally garners more interest. This is very important at the top executive level where there are statistically fewer opportunities.

What Makes the Best Executive Resume Writer?

So, with all the resume writers out there, how does an executive decide which one to work with? Below is a checklist of items you can use as you determine the best executive resume writer for you.


There are very good writers who are not certified, but in an unregulated industry such as career services, a certification acts as an insurance policy to you. The best executive resume writers will have certifications from top associations such as Career Directors International, Resume Writing Academy, and The National Resume Writer’s Association, including the CERW, CARW, NCRW, PCRW, or ACRW

Industry Expertise

Have they written for your level, your geographic location, and your industry before? It isn’t a deal-breaker if they haven’t done all three, but it is important they are least in the general ballpark in terms of experience with your background and desired position.

Price (Not Really)

At the end of the day, your focus should not be the price of the resume, but the return on investment you stand to gain. This is why I always say hire the absolute best executive resume writer you can afford. Lower-priced writers often make their money with high volume. Jeremy, a friend of mine that I recently wrote a resume for, told me that by using it, he landed a position with a Fortune 100 energy company and tripled his salary – in just a few weeks! So to Jeremy, does it matter now if the best executive resume writer was $1000 less or $500 more than a lesser writer? Not one bit with returns like that. Confidence that your writer can help get you where you want to go should be top priority.

Brownie Buttons

What brownie buttons (as I call them) does the writer have to offer you? Inclusions in books, magazine articles, and major media, as well as winning awards, are ALL excellent indications that someone is pretty good at what they do. It also indicates that the person is probably a pretty good marketer. When it comes to your resume – a marketing document – having a writer who has a strong foundational understanding of marketing 101 plays very well to your success. If you like how they market themselves, they will probably know how to market you, too!

Resume Samples

The best executive resume writers will have examples of executive resumes they’ve personally created right on their website. It is very important to check out their resume samples and ask for more if you need to. Do you like their work? Does it resonate with you? Do you want a resume that looks very similar? You should, because that is probably what your resume will end up looking like! Of course, understanding what represents good content is foundational too, but that’s material for another article!

Writer Personality

Do you like the writer? Remember, this person is going to be working closely with you, translating intimate parts of your career and personality for you, and possibly giving you guidance to help you with next steps. Do you like them and will you trust them enough to let them lead you? Even if he/she is a fantastic resume writer, if they rub you the wrong way or they are not a good fit for whatever reason, it is best to keep looking.

Job Search Support

How much does the writer know about next steps? Are they savvy enough to accelerate your results with additional support, coaching, services, and resources above and beyond your resume and/or LinkedIn profile? It is my belief that the best executive resume writers will understand what happens after they give you your resume and be looking through that lens when they are writing it, thus creating a more focused and results-producing document overall.


Finally, the best executive resume writers will have happy clients who get amazing results. Look on their website for testimonials that contain quantifiable achievements — something a great resume writer knows all marketing collateral should contain. You can check out my testimonials here.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of CEOresumewriter.com and Maryelizabethbradford.com and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.