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  2. Chief of Staff
Written by Krystin MorganKrystin Morgan

Chief of Staff resume example & writing guide

Chiefs of staff are trusted advisors to business executives, providing knowledge and strategic direction. Creating the best chief of staff resume takes work, so we’re here to help. This chief of staff resume example and guide will walk you through each step of the process.
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Chief of Staff resume example & writing guide
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A chief of staff is a trusted advisor to a company’s executive team, offering strategic guidance, operational excellence, and overall coordination and management of processes and projects. In short, a chief of staff is an executive’s right-hand person. 

But even with all of your strategic thinking and problem solving, it can be difficult to know the best way to structure and write your chief of staff resume—especially since your role may be varied and have you bouncing around between several projects at once. 

Luckily, the same skills you rely on to be a successful chief of staff are exactly what you need to create a compelling resume: skills in organization, process optimization, communication, and more.

Resume guide for a chief of staff resume

Think of Resume.io as your very own chief of staff when writing your resume. With resume examples and guides for over 500 career paths, plus an expert resume builder, we’ve got all the support you need. 

This guide and corresponding chief of staff resume example will cover the following:

  • How to write a compelling chief of staff resume
  • Choosing the right resume format for chief of staff roles
  • How to add your contact information
  • Writing a chief of staff resume summary
  • Adding your chief of staff experience
  • Listing formal education and other relevant training
  • Picking the right resume design and layout or using a chief of staff resume template
  • What the chief of staff job market and compensation look like today

How to write a chief of staff resume

When you set out to write your chief of staff resume, the first step is to understand the pertinent sections to include. Any good chief of staff resume should contain the following:

Each section has a role to play in telling your chief of staff career story. Start by jotting down your past successes and achievements at each job; you’ll use this information as you fill out each section of your resume. Ultimately, you want to land on the unique value proposition that sets you apart from other chiefs of staff. 

It’s key to remember the following:

  • Focus on specific achievements, not just job duties. Anyone can provide a list of responsibilities, but your resume should call attention to what makes you uniquely qualified.
  • Use your analytical ability and talent to connect the dots to understand what the company needs, then adapt your resume accordingly. Adjust your approach based on the company’s culture and style.
  • Clear communication is key for a chief of staff. Your resume needs to display that ability at first glance. Use a resume template that’s well laid out, easy to read, and attractive.
  • Familiarize yourself with the job posting and the most important requirements, then work those keywords into your resume. This will show both a human reader and an advanced ATS algorithm how you fit into the role.
Expert tip

Optimize for the ATS

Chances are, you’ve heard a lot about the ATS, but do you need to be scared of it? Does it chew up and spit out resumes? Can it be beat? The reality is not so scary.

ATS is the acronym for applicant tracking system, which is software that companies use to track and manage their job applicants. Some advanced systems include algorithms companies can use to help scan through resumes, ranking them based on which ones best match the job posting. 

For maximum success, make sure you understand the important keywords and have them on your resume in a way that’s honest and accurate. It also helps to use a resume template that’s simple and easy for both humans and systems to read.

Choosing the right resume format for chief of staff roles

As a chief of staff, you know that it’s important to disseminate information clearly and concisely, targeting your communication to your specific audience. The same applies to your chief of staff resume.

To achieve this, we recommend using a reverse chronological resume format. This format puts the focus on your work history and experience, displaying it from most recent to earliest.  

If reverse chronological doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, perhaps because you’re new to the working world or making a career change, you can consider the functional format. This places more emphasis on your skills and attributes instead of your experience. 

Alternatively, you can try a mix of both and create a resume that focuses on your skills while still detailing your past work history. Whichever you choose, we have plenty of resume templates to select from our resume builder. You can see each format in action in our resume examples.

Design-wise, you may find success with a professional layout

Be sure to include your contact information

While it may seem like a simple part of your resume, the header matters quite a bit. Think of it as your resume’s business card: it’s the way the reader will know who you are and how to reach you. 

But it’s not as simple as just listing your contact information. There are plenty of things to consider: 

  • Full name & title. List your first and last name and the title of the role you are pursuing.
  • Professional email address. A chief of staff must show good judgment, so be sure to use a professional email format, such as [email protected], rather than an email address that is silly, quirky, or inappropriate.
  • Phone number. Include a phone number where you’re easily reachable. Be sure your voicemail is set up, professional, and has room for new messages.
  • Location. No need to list your full mailing address; that can be unsafe, and it’s considered old-school. Instead, just list your city and state. If you’re open to relocating, you can list “willing to relocate” here as well.
  • LinkedIn. If you have an active LinkedIn profile that shows off your skills and expertise, link to it here.

Don’t include:

  • Date of birth: Including a birth date on your resume is not customary in the US and could lead to age discrimination.
  • Personal details: Leave off personal information like your marital status, parental status, social security number, passport number, etc.
  • Photo: Also not customary in the US, photos can be distracting, invite discrimination, and take up unnecessary space.
Do

Maxwell Anderson

Chief of Staff

San Francisco, CA

[email protected]

456-843-4582

Don't

Maxwell Anderson

Seeking Chief of Staff work

1516 Webster St., San Francisco, CA

DOB: March 5, 1988

Sell your skills with a summary

You may be wondering where a chief of staff resume objective fits in. These days, an objective is actually considered outdated. It has been replaced by a much more compelling element: the professional summary. 

The summary pulls everything together, showing off the overarching story of your career and where you’ve made an impact. Leverage your ability to distill information and influence others, as you only have 2-4 sentences to make your case.

Don’t just reiterate the content in your resume. Think about what sets you apart and makes you an excellent chief of staff, then weave it into a narrative.

Need inspiration for your summary? Check out our related resumes: 

You can find adaptable chief of staff resume example summaries below:

Entry-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Motivated, organized, and detail-oriented professional with experience in project management and operations. Adept at coordinating with cross-functional teams, providing support to executive leadership, and analyzing data and metrics to uncover opportunities for success. 

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Mid-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Experienced chief of staff with 5 years of experience improving organizational efficiencies and processes, providing strategic guidance to executives, and fostering collaboration across functions. Proven track record of driving high-impact, high-visibility projects that benefited the entire organization.

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Senior-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Seasoned chief of staff with over a decade of proven success collaborating with executive leadership in large enterprise corporations. History of driving business growth, optimizing processes, and providing strategic vision and leadership.

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Showcase your chief of staff work experience

Your resume’s experience section is one of the main focal points of the entire document. Start by listing each of your past roles, with the most recent or current at the top and working your way backwards. Don’t go further back than 10-15 years or so; any older and the work is less relevant and can invite ageism. 

For each job, list the company name, your title, and your dates of work. Underneath each role, create bullet points and start each of them with a powerful verb to show off your impact. To keep your bullets concise and clear, omit pronouns like “I” or “my,” and focus on specific accomplishments and results when you can. 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of just listing past responsibilities and job duties. For example:

  • "Collaborated with executive leadership.”
  • "Created and implemented business strategies.”
  • "Improved processes.”

While these are certainly chief of staff duties, there’s nothing about them that make it clear how you are uniquely talented and qualified. To show that, you can fill your bullet points with specific results. Brainstorm some areas where you made a big impact. Did you design a new strategy or vastly improve a specific process? Did you transform the way the company does business or save millions of dollars?

Inject that information into your bullets and watch them turn into something more compelling:

  • "Partnered with Chief Technology Officer to drive strategy and success for engineering organization.”
  • "Designed and implemented strategies that led to over $500,000 annual savings.”
  • "Drove process improvements and introduced agile methodologies, cutting project delivery time by over 25%.”

Take a look at the chief of staff employment history resume sample below:

Adaptable resume employment history example

Chief of Staff at New York City Department of Education, New York City 
July 2016 - Present 

  • Serve as a strategic advisor to the Chancellor, providing guidance on key policy decisions, operational improvements, and stakeholder engagement
  • Lead a team of 10 staff members in managing the Chancellor's priorities, ensuring alignment with the department's goals and effective execution of initiatives
  • Collaborate with senior leaders across the organization to drive innovation, efficiency, and continuous improvement in support of student success

 

Director of Operations at Teach for America, New York City 
August 2013 - June 2016 

  • Managed day-to-day operations for the New York regional office, supporting a team of 50 staff members and 500 corps members
  • Developed and implemented operational policies and procedures to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and ensure compliance with organizational standards
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to design and execute professional development programs, community partnerships, and fundraising events
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How to write a chief of staff resume with no experience

Most chief of staff roles will require some relevant experience, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you don’t have direct experience on your resume. It just means you'll need to focus more on your transferable skills and education.

For instance, if you haven’t held a chief of staff title but have worked as an executive assistant or project manager, you can highlight the skills you gained in those roles. Try to leverage language that is specific to chief of staff work; instead of saying you provided support to an executive, display how you collaborated and partnered with them.

If you have any related educational credentials, showcase them here. Perhaps you’ve taken relevant courses or training, or have a business degree or MBA

Include the relevant key skills that make you a great chief of staff

Your chief of staff resume skills section is where you’ll list out the top skills you possess. These skills should be relevant to the role and ones you are comfortable demonstrating if asked. 

The biggest focus should be on hard skills, like specific software, project management methodologies, or knowledge that is specific to the department you support (like coding languages if you’re chief of staff to the CTO).

However, as a chief of staff, soft skills also matter. It should be clear that you have excellent communication skills, organizational prowess, analytical abilities, and leadership talents.

Our resume builder includes numerous key skills to choose from, as well as the option to write your own. 

Here’s what the skills box looks like in our chief of staff resume template. 

Key Skills and Proficiencies
  • Strategic planning and execution
  • Organizational leadership
  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Process optimization and improvement
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While this section is important, it’s not the only place your skills should appear. Instead, make sure they’re included throughout your resume — even better, show them in action by providing evidence and context in the form of results and achievements.

In your experience and summary sections, you can highlight things like:

  • Leadership skills by showcasing your work with executives and how it impacted the broader team, impactful projects you’ve driven, or company-wide communication you’ve facilitated
  • Department-specific knowledge by noting anything related to the department in which you support executives. For instance, if you are a chief of staff to the chief marketing officer, detail your marketing expertise and experience.
  • Process and organizational improvement by demonstrating your role in implementing improvements and efficiencies.

The job description is a great place to look when determining the best skills to include.

Detail your education & relevant chief of staff certifications

As a chief of staff, the education section is important, but also fairly straightforward. Start by listing your educational experience in reverse chronological order. If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher, there’s no need to include high school credentials. 

In addition to your formal education, the chief of staff resume education section should include:

  • Relevant training, certifications, and courses. If you’ve earned, for example, a project management certification like PMP, or you’ve undergone other related training, add it here.
  • Past internships. If you’ve held relevant internships in the past, they can be included here.
  • Professional development. Are you a member of any relevant associations or interest groups? If so, list them here to show your commitment to the industry.
Adaptable example for education and certifications

Master of Public Administration (MPA), Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, New York City 
August 2011 - May 2013 


Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Fordham University, New York City 
August 2005 - May 2009

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Pick the right resume layout and design for a chief of staff resume

Your resume represents you as a chief of staff, so it needs to be streamlined, organized, and compelling. That means the design and layout you choose are of the utmost importance. 

For a resume that grabs the hiring manager’s attention and puts your talents and achievements front and center, use a design that is clean and reader-friendly. You want a modern and simple font and only limited color, if any. Avoid extraneous tables, graphics, or anything that causes clutter or confusion. 

If you’re looking for a way to make the design process easier, look no further than our field-tested resume templates, which handle the formatting and structure for you. 

Chief of staff text-only resume example

Chief of staff resume example (text version)

Profile

Accomplished Chief of Staff with 12+ years of experience seeking a high-impact role at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to drive strategic initiatives, optimize operations, and foster cross-functional collaboration to support the organization's mission and growth.


Employment history

Chief of Staff at New York City Department of Education, New York City 
July 2016 - Present 

  • Serve as a strategic advisor to the Chancellor, providing guidance on key policy decisions, operational improvements, and stakeholder engagement
  • Lead a team of 10 staff members in managing the Chancellor's priorities, ensuring alignment with the department's goals and effective execution of initiatives
  • Collaborate with senior leaders across the organization to drive innovation, efficiency, and continuous improvement in support of student success

 

Director of Operations at Teach for America, New York City 
August 2013 - June 2016 

  • Managed day-to-day operations for the New York regional office, supporting a team of 50 staff members and 500 corps members
  • Developed and implemented operational policies and procedures to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and ensure compliance with organizational standards
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to design and execute professional development programs, community partnerships, and fundraising events


Skills

  • Strategic planning and execution
  • Organizational leadership
  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Process optimization and improvement


Education

Master of Public Administration (MPA), Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, New York City 
August 2011 - May 2013 


Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Fordham University, New York City 
August 2005 - May 2009

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Chief of staff job market and outlook

Chief of staff roles have increased in popularity over the past decade, especially among individuals with backgrounds as an executive assistant or similar. While there’s still no single standard for what constitutes a chief of staff, what’s clear is they can offer strategic insight, thought leadership, and business oversight—which are always needed. 

What type of salary you can expect in a chief of staff role

Chief of staff salaries can vary depending on the type of company and the specific role. However, there are some averages to consider. 

In their latest salary report, the Chief of Staff Network noted the average base salary for chief of staff roles in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia is $144,121. 

According to Salary.com, however, the median total income is about $270,582 per year. Glassdoor states base pay averages between $95,000 to $173,000 per year, with additional pay (bonuses, equity) amounting to another $39,000 to $73,000 annually.

Key takeaways for building a chief of staff resume

Chiefs of staff help keep executives on target to achieve business success, lead projects and processes, and offer strategic direction to companies. This requires exquisite communication, collaboration, and leadership skills. These are exactly the skills you’ll rely on to create your chief of staff resume. 

You can streamline the process even further with our online resume builder, which will make the process simpler and more enjoyable on your way to winning the job.

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