How To Write a Chief Operating Officer Resume

A competitive chief operating officer (COO) resume is packed with demonstrations of experience, confident leadership, and knowledge of the industry in question. Create this document by leveraging best practices, such as using action verbs and specific metrics in bulleted lists or choosing the right format for your resume.

This guide provides specific tips for every part of your resume. It also offers guidance about the types of skills and action verbs you might include and what templates are best for COO resumes.

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level
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1. Craft an outstanding profile with a summary of your chief operating officer qualifications

This two-to-three-sentence section of your COO resume is like an elevator speech. It must pack a punch, include a hook, and entice the hiring manager to keep reading. Consider customizing the summary for each resume you send out so you can include the skills and experience most relevant to the organization.

As a COO candidate, employers generally expect you to demonstrate plenty of leadership and business experience. Use the summary to indicate how long you’ve worked in the industry and how long you’ve been in management positions.

Senior-Level Profile Example


Chief Operating Officer (COO) with 10+ years of advancement and excellence at large healthcare organizations.

Entry-Level Profile Example


Senior Operations Executive with 10+ years of advancement and experience. Skilled at guiding large-scale organizations to new levels of efficiency and performance in competitive markets. Adapt readily to new workforce challenges and industry conditions. Bilingual: Fluent in English and Spanish.

2. Outline your chief operating officer experience in a compelling list

Tailor your experience section to the industry and employer in question when possible. For example, if you’re applying for a COO position in the medical field, ensure you include any experience leading teams in regulatory environments or considering the needs of patients and the bottom line.

Create strong bullet points in this section with a formula that includes an action verb, accomplishment, and specific metrics. For example, you might write, “Collaborated with directors to increase communication efficiency, reducing downtime by 15%” or “Fostered strong vendor relationships, resulting in opportunities for 20% cost savings.”

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example


Chief Operating Officer (COO), DTI Medical Center, Seattle, WA | October 2017 to Present

  • Oversaw all operations department functions while managing a $15M budget
  • Guide development of clinical workflows to ensure consistent operational excellence
  • Defined and translated enterprise goals into a new short- and long-term strategic plan
  • Led a team to refine various policies and procedures toward more patient-centered care and better clinical outcomes

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example


Chief Operating Officer (COO), YCW Corp., San Diego, CA | October 2021 to Present

  • Guided a cost reduction initiative that raised the company’s bottom line by $700K in 6 months
  • Built productive partnerships with senior leaders of five major departments
  • Drove five successful change initiatives to create a more inventive and collaborative work culture

3. Outline your education and chief operating officer-related certifications

Typically, employers want COO candidates with years of experience and the education to match. Hiring organizations may only accept candidates with college degrees, so ensure your education is easy to find and scan. Include the name of the school, your degree, and when you graduated — and do so for all degrees you hold.

Executive candidates should also include professional certifications. If you have a Program Management Professional (PgMP), Certified Management Executive (CME), or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential, list it on your resume. These and other specialty credentials indicate your knowledge and capabilities and may set you apart from the crowd.

Education

Template

  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] – [Graduation Month and Year]

Example

  • Master of Business Administration
  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA – May 2010

Certifications

Template

  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]

Example

  • PgMP, Project Management Institute, 2012

4. List key skills and proficiencies for chief operating officers

While the work history section is a huge component of an executive resume, COO candidates must also pay attention to what skills an employer wants. For example, if an employer includes budgeting in a COO job description, you may want to include any accounting, cost control, and budgeting skills you have on your resume.

Including relevant skills — such as those below — can help your resume make it through applicant tracking systems (ATS). This increases your chance of review by a hiring committee and the opportunity for an interview.

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Business development Change management
Cost control Crisis management
Customer service/relationship management Disaster recovery
Financial management Growth strategies
Leadership Marketing
Mergers and acquisitions Negotiations
Operational efficiency Process improvement
Project management Regulatory management
Risk assessment and avoidance Strategic planning
Supply chain management Team building

How To Pick the Best Chief Operating Officer Resume Template

As an executive-level candidate, you likely have much experience and skills to convey on your resume. Choosing a well-organized template that allows for all this information without cluttering the page can help you better connect with potential employers.

Look for a template that includes plenty of white space. While a one-page resume can be easy to manage, a two-page template might be necessary to include more than a decade of experience. A COO resume might include a small professional flourish or two, but keep the design elements minimal to ensure a clean, easy-to-process document.

Chief Operating Officer Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Example #1
  • Example #2
  • Example #3

Allison Rosenberg, MBA
123 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 12345 | (123) 456-7890 | [email protected]

Profile

Senior Operations Executive with 10+ years of advancement and experience. Skilled at guiding large-scale organizations to new levels of efficiency and performance in competitive markets. Adapt readily to new workforce challenges and industry conditions. Bilingual: Fluent in English and Spanish.

Career Highlights

Chief Operating Officer (COO), YCW Corp., San Diego, CA | October 2017 to Present

  • Guided a cost reduction initiative that raised the company’s bottom line by $700K in 6 months
  • Built productive partnerships with senior leaders of five major departments
  • Drove five successful change initiatives to create a more inventive and collaborative work culture

Director of Operations, MFW Advertising, San Diego, CA | August 2012 to September 2017

  • Collaborated with HR on a hiring initiative to place 15 new operations managers
  • Established a cross-department communication structure that increased efficiency by 25%

Prior Experience

  • Advanced steadily through a series of progressive operations roles at TKQ Manufacturing.

Education

University of California, San Diego, CA

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)

Language

  • Fluency in Spanish

Key Skills

  • Business Needs Assessment
  • Change Leadership
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Cost Reduction & Elimination
  • Cross-Functional Leadership
  • Organizational Alignment
  • Policy & Procedure Development
  • Process Redesign & Improvement
  • Productivity & Efficiency Gains
  • Profit & Loss (P&L) Management
  • Six Sigma Methodology
  • Strategic Business Planning
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Targeted Resource Allocation

Frequently Asked Questions: Chief Operating Officer Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for chief operating officer resumes?-

Common verbs for COO resumes demonstrate leadership, confident decision-making, and a growth mindset. Use these types of verbs alongside your accomplishments to create a resume that’s easy to scan and pulls the reader in.

For example, “Orchestrated vendor contracts to reduce raw material expenses 10% year over year” is a powerful statement. It shows employers you can act on their behalf for positive results. The alternative, which is simply listing “vendor management” as a duty under a past job, is lackluster in comparison.

Get some inspiration from the list of action verbs below for your resume.

Action Verbs
Accomplished Administered
Chaired Controlled
Coordinated Directed
Executed Generated
Grew Implemented
Innovated Negotiated
Optimized Orchestrated
Pioneered Revitalized
Spearheaded Strategized
Strengthened Transformed
How do you align your resume with a COO job description?-

One of the best ways to stand out to a prospective employer is to align your resume with their job description. This is a great way to show you’re already attuned to an organization’s needs. Start by carefully reviewing the job listing.

Tweak your COO resume by integrating phrases and critical skills from the job posting if they’re relevant. For example, if an employer is looking for “an executive candidate with a growth mindset,” use language and verbs such as grew, improved, strengthened, and improved as you list your past accomplishments. Provide specific examples of you successfully growing and scaling businesses.

Through 2031, job opportunities for top-level executives such as COOs are expected to grow at a rate of 6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s in keeping with the average growth for all types of jobs nationwide. Aligning your resume with job postings makes you a more competitive candidate for those open positions.

What is the best chief operating officer resume format?-

For most COO candidates, the combination resume format works best. It includes plenty of room for both professional experience and relevant skills and proficiencies. This type of format helps ensure your resume is ready to contend with ATS while still containing the engaging professional experience narrative necessary to wow hiring committees.

Choose a resume format that lets you tell the story of your experience in reverse chronological order. As an executive-level candidate, you need this space to demonstrate your leadership skills and what you’ve achieved for other employers.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume
Formalize your applications with professional cover letters. A customized executive cover letter lets you connect specifically with each employer and offers more opportunities to demonstrate you’re the best professional for the job.
Jacob Meade Headshot

Jacob Meade

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, ACRW)

Jacob Meade is a resume writer and editor with nearly a decade of experience. His writing method centers on understanding and then expressing each person’s unique work history and strengths toward their career goal. Jacob has enjoyed working with jobseekers of all ages and career levels, finding that a clear and focused resume can help people from any walk of life. He is an Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) with the Resume Writing Academy, and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches.

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