As an executive assistant, you’re used to dealing with high expectations from your boss. Staying organized, problem-solving and resume writing are your specialties
OK, that last one probably caught you off guard. After all, you’re reading this article because you could use a bit of help with your executive assistant resume.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to walk you through the entire process of creating an outstanding executive assistant resume.
- A recruiter-approved executive assistant resume example
- Advice on what to include in your executive assistant resume
- How to make your executive assistant resume stand out [with top tips & tricks]
To start, here’s some inspiration:
An executive assistant resume example, created with our very own resume builder, that’s been approved by recruiters.
Now, read on to learn how to create a resume that looks as amazing (or better) than the one above!
Looking for a resume example for a different position? We've got you covered:
- Consultant Resume
- MBA Resume
- Business Analyst Resume
- Financial Analyst Resume
- Administrative Assistant Resume
- Office Assistant Resume
- Bookkeeper Resume
- Accountant Resume
- Bank Teller Resume
- Banking Resume
- Career Change Resume
How to Format an Executive Assistant Resume
First step: you need to decide on the format of your executive assistant resume.
Certain information needs to really jump out at employers, and choosing the right resume format will help you emphasize this important content.
Nowadays, the most common resume format is the “reverse-chronological” format. This is the best choice for an executive assistant resume.
Of course, there are other resume formats to consider...
- Functional Resume - This format makes skills the focal point of a resume instead of professional experience. It’s a good option if you don’t have a lot of experience, are transferring to a new industry, or have gaps in your work history.
- Combination Resume - You guessed it: a combination resume is a hybrid between “Functional” and “Reverse-Chronological.” It focuses both on skills AND work experience. The combination resume works best if you have a lot of work experience or you are trying to change industries.
Now that you’ve chosen your resume format, it’s time to get your resume layout right.
Here are the basic layout principles you should follow:
- Margins - One-inch margins on all sides
- Font - Choose a font that “pops”. Just don’t go too crazy. Good: Ubuntu, Roboto, etc. Bad: Comic Sans
- Font Size - Ideal font sizes are 11-12pt for normal text and 14-16pt for headers
- Line Spacing - Use 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing
- Resume Length - Ideally you should keep to a 1-page limit. Having trouble fitting everything on a single page? Check out these one-page resume templates.
- Think of your audience when designing and writing your resume. The one person you absolutely need to convince that you are the right person for the job is the “executive” who you’ll be assisting. And as you know, executives are busy people. Make your resume as concise as possible. That means being selective about which content to include. More to come on that later.
Use an Executive Assistant Resume Template
We hear this all the time from executive assistants: “my past bosses were always old-fashioned, so why shouldn’t I just create a simple resume in Word.”
Maybe that’s true, but we know a way to create a visually striking resume in the same amount of time that it would take you to create that “simple” Word version. Just use an executive assistant resume template.
What to Include in an Executive Assistant Resume
The main sections in an Executive Assistant resume are…
- Contact Information
- Resume Summary
- Work Experience
If you want your resume to stand out more, you can also try these optional sections:
- Interests & Hobbies
Let’s go through each of these sections and discuss how to properly develop each of them.
Still not clear on which sections to use? Check out our guide to What to Put on a Resume.
How to Get Your Contact Information Right
You’d be shocked at how often people make mistakes with their contact information. And these little errors can immediately prevent you from interviewing for a position. It could be a missing digit in your phone number. Or an email address that isn’t very professional.
For your contact information, include:
- Title - Why reinvent the wheel with this one? Use Executive Assistant.
- Phone Number - Double-check, triple-check this. One typo and your chances of an employer contacting you are gone.
- Email Address - Use a professional email address (firstname.lastname@example.org); if you don’t have one already, create a new Gmail account specifically for job searching.
- (Optional) Location - This isn’t mandatory, but the company might ask for it as part of its screening process.
- Mark Baumer - Executive Assistant. 101-358-6095. email@example.com
- Mark Baumer - Pursuing New Opportunities. 101-358-6095. firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Write an Executive Assistant Resume Summary or Objective
Did you know that recruiters spend less than 6 seconds reviewing a resume on average? If you just said “Woah, is that right?” then we can confirm its true.
With that in mind, the lesson for you is this: a recruiter needs to know you are qualified for their job in a single glance. Otherwise your resume won’t even be read.
What’s the quickest way to hook your reader and make sure he or she gives your resume a read?
Easy, write an effective resume summary or objective.
Both the resume summary and objective are sections that go at the top of your resume below the contact information section.
However, the resume summary and objective are not the same, and you will never use both. The main difference between the 2 sections is that…
A resume summary is a 2-4 sentence summary of your professional experiences and achievements.
This is your opportunity to make a bold statement that immediately tells recruiters they should keep reading. It’s the “hook”.
- Executive management professional with 7 years experience assisting Chief Marketing Officers in the logistics and transportation sectors. Proven ability to adapt to constantly changing demands and coordinate travel schedules, having organized 38 separate business trips for a CMO in 2019.
On the flip side, a resume objective is a 2-4 sentence snapshot of your professional goals and aspirations.
- Recent graduate of Trinity College’s Executive Management degree program with an existing two years of experience working in office administration. Managed scheduling and appointment preparation for a financial planner as a full-time office assistant, while also completing my studies. Looking to apply my existing organizational and business skill set in a C-level office.
So, which one do you pick? A summary, or an objective?
You’ll notice from the above examples that the resume summary is used by people who are more advanced in their careers or at least have some direct experience working in the type of role being applied for.
A resume objective is better suited to those who are new to a field (student, graduate, or switching careers). So, the objective tends to read a bit more aspirational.
How to Make Your Data Entry Work Experience Stand Out
Which resume section do employers care about most? Work experience.
Companies want to see that you’ve worked in similar roles or organizations before. Here’s how to structure your work experience section:
- Position name
- Company Name
- Responsibilities & Achievements
Let’s see what that looks like put together:
Executive Assistant to the CEO
DKL Express Services
03/2017 - Present
- Managed the CEO calendar, including scheduling multiple daily meetings and speaking engagements
- Coordinated international business trips by booking flights, hotels and arranging required meetings, often with senior government and corporate representatives
- Responded swiftly to CEO requests for information by liaising with other internal teams to gather inputs
- Prepared meeting briefing packages on a daily basis
- Independently organized the annual board meeting for three consecutive years, which included identifying available times for full board participation, arranging venue logistics and booking board member travel
Take a look at the last bullet point. This one is important. Why you ask? Because it stresses a major achievement. In this case, the organization of three consecutive annual board meetings.
Highlighting your successes on a resume is proven to be a successful resume writing strategy.
The more you can be specific about the results you produced for a previous employer, the more the person reading your resume will be able to imagine the value you can add to a company.
What if You Don’t Have Work Experience?
Students and recent graduates ask this question all the time. And, frankly, it’s a challenge that applies to all types of jobs, not just executive assistants.
The truth is you need to work with what you’ve got. Chances are you’ve worked at least a summer job or internship. List these jobs but only indicate responsibilities or achievements that are directly relevant to an executive assistant position.
If you don’t have any work experience, list relevant school projects, courses and volunteer work that provide evidence you would be a successful executive assistant.
If you’re a student or recent graduate, you might want to check out our guide on how to make a student resume!
Use Action Words to Upgrade Your Executive Assistant Resume
- Worked on
What do these words have in common? Well, they don’t really say much. They aren’t power words that convey specific actions.
A great resume writing strategy is to use very specific verbs, or power words, to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out. Here are just a few that are relevant to executive assistants:
How to List Education Right
The next section in any executive assistant resume is the “Education” section.
No real tricks here. Just provide your educational experiences in reverse chronological order. Here’s how it should look:
- Degree Type & Major
- University Name
- Years Studied
- GPA, Honours, Courses, and any relevant projects or experiences.
Bachelor of Business Administration
University of Milan
2014 - 2018
- Relevant Courses: Advanced Microsoft Office, Information and Workflow Management, Business Communication Strategies
- Served as Vice-President of Events for the International Business Students Association
- GPA: 3.6 / 4.0
Pretty straightforward, right?
Before moving on, here are some typical questions we get about education on a resume, along with their answers:
- What if I’m not finished college or university yet, or I dropped out?
You should still mention your degree. Just include the years studied. If you are still studying, put “Present” as the end date. E.g. 2017 - Present.
- Do I list my high school education?
Only if you haven’t completed higher education. If you have a college diploma or university degree, it’s obvious you graduated high school.
- What comes first on my resume: education or experience?
If you have any relevant work experience, then this should appear first. If not, education goes first.
Still have questions? Check out our guide on how to list education on a resume.
Top 30 Skills for an Executive Assistant Resume
Every employer has a specific set of skills they look for in candidates. Normally these are listed right in the job description. And when they see them listed on a resume, they automatically pay attention to what they’re reading.
You can probably guess many of the relevant skills for your line of work. But just in case, here are some of the most commonly sought skills for executive assistants.
Hard Skills for an Executive Assistant:
- Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, SharePoint
- Database management
- Calendar management
- Online research
- Business Knowledge
Soft Skills for an Executive Assistant:
- Communication (written and verbal)
- Prioritization and problem-solving
- Organization and planning
- Attention to detail
- Phone Etiquette
- Emotional Intelligence
- Teamwork and delegation
- Management and training
- Flexibility and efficiency
- “Soft Skills” are especially important for executive assistants who need to build trust and good rapport with a typically demanding individual. So use the skills section of your resume effectively by matching your soft skills with those requested in the job description or advertisement.
Looking for a more comprehensive list? Here’s a mega-list of 150+ must-have skills in 2022.
Other Resume Sections to Consider
You’ve got the main sections of your resume completed and you’ve edited them to perfection. You’re all done...
Remember the #1 goal of your resume is to make you stand out.
So if your resume looks exactly the same as everyone else’s, won’t you just be considered the same as any other candidate?
By putting in a bit of extra effort you can give yourself an edge. Consider these resume add-ons.
Depending on your career and personal interests, you may be (or have been) involved in various organizations outside of your full-time job.
Examples could include any boards you sit on or volunteering work for local community organizations. And your work with these organizations may actually help reinforce your skill set, which is why it’s wise to list them on your resume.
You don’t have to get into a ton of detail. Just list the organization, your role, and one key activity that is relevant to a position as an executive assistant.
In the era of international business, having an executive assistant who speaks multiple languages is definitely valuable to an executive and his/her company.
You never know when there might be a need for an email to be drafted in Russian, French, Finnish, or any other language you can think of.
If you know any foreign languages and have extra space in your resume, feel free to add a language section.
Make sure to list the languages by proficiency:
Interests & Hobbies
The relationship between an executive and his/her assistant is sacred. Harmony is key and often these two co-workers end up sharing a special bond over hobbies or interests.
It’s a good idea to list some personal interests on your resume to give a sense of your personality. Just keep in mind that certain hobbies might not seem the most professional. Better to reveal your passion for comic books once you’re actually hired.
Not sure which hobbies & interests you want to mention? We have a guide for that!
Match Your Cover Letter with Your Resume
One of the most demanded skills of executive assistants is written communication. What better way to prove you know how to write then to produce the perfect cover letter?
On top of fulfilling an application requirement (yes, the majority of companies want a cover letter), you have an extra opportunity to show that you know how to write a concise, persuasive letter.
Including a cover letter that is targeted to specific employers along with your resume can significantly boost your chances of being invited for an interview.
And the first step to writing a convincing cover letter is to get the structure right. Here’s how to do that:
And here’s what you’d write in each section:
- Your personal contact information, including full name, profession, email, phone number, location.
Hiring Manager’s Contact Information
- Full name, position, location, email
Your introduction should be a bit bold. If you don’t manage to hook the hiring manager here, chances are, they’re not going to read the rest of it. So, mention:
- The position you’re applying for
- Your experience summary and top achievement
Once you’ve got the hiring manager hooked, you can go through the rest of your background. Some potential points to mention here are...
- Why you want to work for this specific company
- Anything you know about the company’s culture
- What are your top skills and how are they relevant for the job
- If you’ve worked in similar industries or positions
This is where you:
- Wrap up any points you missed in the body paragraph
- Thank the hiring manager for their time
- End with a call to action. Something like, “I look forward to discussing how my experience as an X can help the company with Y”
Use a formal closing, such or “Sincerely.”
Need extra inspiration? We know that creating a cover letter is very hard work. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter.
Alright, you’re ready to rock!
Assuming you’ve followed all of the advice we’ve provided in this guide, you should be ready to hit send on your application. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for that call or email inviting you for an interview.
OK, fine, before you hit send, let’s just quickly recap the key takeaways from what we covered:
- A reverse-chronological format is your best bet in terms of resume format. Your resume layout should be tidy and easy to read. No goofy fonts and don’t try to cram too much into the layout.
- A resume summary or objective are essential resume elements for catching a hiring manager’s attention.
- Focus on your achievements as much as possible when describing your work experience instead of outlining duties.
- Power up your resume with “power words” that convey action.
- Soft skills should be emphasized on an executive assistant resume.
- Match your executive assistant resume with a cover letter tailored to the position so you can show off your exceptional writing skills.