CFO to CEO: 5 Ways to Demonstrate your Capabilities on Your Executive Resume

The transition from CFO to CEO is not exactly natural, logical, or expected. CFOs may not be considered viable CEO candidates because their resumes don’t usually demonstrate full P&L oversight. However, great CFOs hold many traits that are transferrable to great CEOs. For example, they approach problem-solving and decision-making with a focus on details, data, logical thinking, ethics, and integrity. That being said, the change will not be an easy one; if you are a CFO looking to transition into a CEO role, consider exploring executive career coaching options.

The good news is that you can strategically use your resume to facilitate your job transition. We know that a targeted resume is more effective than a broad resume; you just have to write it so that it sings your praises as someone who already has the experience necessary to be a great CEO. Yes, you will demonstrate your financial expertise, but you will also focus on your strong business acumen, empathetic leadership, and diverse knowledge, skills, and abilities across commercial and operational challenges.

5 Highlights that Will Update Your Resume from CFO to CEO

  1. Team & Corporate Culture Development. Provide examples of times when you led teams to high performance and developed robust and engaged corporate cultures.
  2. Far-Reaching Professional Network. Show that you have professional connections across departments, industries, and business scopes.
  3. Sweeping Reputation. Demonstrate that you have impacted the entire organization and have positive upward, downward, and lateral relationships. Include testimonials that speak to your financial expertise and empathetic leadership abilities.
  4. All-Inclusive Experience. Give examples of your successes across functional challenges, strategic project management, international experience, and people leadership.
  5. Interdepartmental Collaboration. Describe ways you have partnered with other business functions outside the typical realm of the CFO to realize organization-wide success.

To find out how we can help you transform your resume from CFO to CEO roles, book a complimentary and confidential call with us here.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and 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.