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  2. Chief Operating Officer
Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

Chief Operating Officer Resume Example & Writing Guide

You’re at the top of your game. To land your next C-suite job, you need a COO resume that ticks every box. Read our guide on how to get it right here.
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Chief Operating Officer Resume Example & Writing Guide
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You’ve climbed the mountain and reached the peak position. Your flag is waving in the wind and you can look back at how far you’ve come. Yes, if you’ve made it to the C-suite heights, it means that you’ve had a long, illustrious career so far. So, what happens next?

If you’re looking to land your next operational role, you need a COO resume that turns heads. While it may have been a while since you last applied for a job, it’s important to position your application well. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to get started. 

Here at Resume.io, we have the tools and resources you need to succeed, including 350+ resume examples and guides. No matter what your career aspirations, we can help you reach your goals. In the following resume example and writing guide, we will cover: 

  • What a chief operating officer does
  • The elements you need to include in your next COO resume
  • Advice on what to include in each of the resume sections
  • Design tips to help you create a jaw-dropping application

Looking for some general advice? Check out our comprehensive guide on how to write a resume from scratch now. 

Bar chart with the average chief operating officer age
Bar chart with the average chief operating officer age

What does a chief operating officer do?

Known more commonly by its acronym COO, this position takes the second spot behind the CEO. Think of yourself as the co-pilot of the business. The C-suite role comes with a wide selection of duties, the likes of which we can hardly begin to cover here. However, you can expect to oversee the general managing and operations of the business at large. 

You will find yourself collaborating with the heads of each department and supervisors alike. Communicating and leading is the key to making sure that every part of the machine runs as it should. Each day, it will be your central goal to ensure that the business operations are continually streamlined and more efficient than the day before. 

Statistical insight

Let’s talk about money!

COO roles are at the top of the career ladder, but what does that mean for your bank balance? According to Salary.com, the average salary for this position as of October 2023 is $485,780  per year. 

Of course, a wide range of factors can influence the salary you can demand. Everything from the sector in which you work to your education will play a role here. For that reason, the salary you get can range between $377,843 and $629,711. 

How to write a COO resume

The first thing you need to know about writing your COO resume is what goes into it. There are some central elements that you should include in your CV, as follows: 

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

No matter what level you are at, hiring managers expect to see this format. Trying to do anything out of the box is likely to alienate them. You might think that you’re being creative, but this approach will get you nowhere fast. Instead, you should stick to the format that we have outlined above and include each of the elements that we have highlighted here. 

Be sure to tailor your COO resume to the company in question. When you are setting your sights on a top tier position, the hiring manager will expect you to know your stuff. Research the business in-depth before you even start creating your application. The more you know about the company, its vision, and its values, the better position you will be in to apply. 

Expert tip

The language you use matters! 

When you’re writing a COO resume, be sure to choose your words carefully. Your application needs to hit the mark when it comes to content, but the tone is equally important. Use formal language that showcases your expertise and skills with finesse. 

It’s also smart to slide in powerful action verbs. These so-called “doing words” put you in the driving seat of your career. Show the hiring manager that you take real initiative now. 

Choosing the best resume format for a chief operating office

Next up, you need to make sure that you choose the right resume format. The reverse chronological approach is the obvious choice here. This structure allows you to start with your most recent achievements at the top of the page and work your way back in time. 

However, there may be times when you use a different approach. For example, a functional resume format highlights your competencies over the experience you have. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our resume formatting guide for more information on this topic. 

Resume summary example

Your resume summary is arguably the most important part of your application. It’s a freeform section in which you share your most valuable attributes. Much like an elevator pitch, this paragraph needs to be short and snappy. Your aim is to get to the point quickly and grab the reader’s attention. Lead with your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and take it from there.  

Adaptable summary resume sample

Strategic and results-driven Chief Operating Officer with a wealth of experience steering high-growth companies to achieve profitability. Proven track record of successfully orchestrating operational improvements by developing innovative solutions, optimizing resources, and enhancing productivity and performance. Adept at fostering collaborations and building high-performance teams to reach business goals.

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Employment history sample

You probably have an impressive employment history. Now is the time to show it off. As a general rule, you should include three or four positions on your COO resume, or the equivalent of the last 10 years. Once again, you should use the reverse chronological approach. That means putting your most recent position at the top of the page. As you move down this section, you should work your way back in time. 

Adaptable employment history resume example

Chief Operating Officer (COO) at XYZ Tech, San Francisco, CA 
January 2015 - Present 

  • Shape and steer five-year strategic plan, driving a 30% increase in operational efficiency.
  • Champion and execute company-wide digital transformation, modernizing systems and processes to align with emerging technologies.
  • Create and maintain documentation for equipment, including operating instructions and maintenance records, ensuring operational consistency.

 

Vice President of Operations at ABC Corp, San Francisco, CA 
March 2008 - December 2014 

  • Directed the optimization of supply chain management, resulting in a 20% cost reduction.
  • Implemented innovative data-driven decision-making processes, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Managed and oversaw daily operations of the office, including scheduling, budgeting, and personnel management.

 

Director of Logistics at DEF Industries, San Jose, CA 
June 2002 - February 2008 

  • Developed and managed a lean logistics team that improved shipping timelines by 25%.
  • Spearheaded the development of a vendor management system to streamline redundant procurement processes.
  • Developed and implemented a set of internal controls to ensure the accuracy and integrity of financial data and reduce fraud risks.
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CV skills example

As a COO, you need a rainbow array of skills to do your job. You are in charge of all the operations that take place within the business. As such, you will need to put on many different hats throughout the work day. Make sure that you include a combination of both hard skills and soft skills in this section of your resume. 

Hard skills apply directly to the role or the operations section. These may include using a specific framework, dealing with software, strategic planning, and management. Soft skills, on the other hand, can be transferable. You might want to highlight your communication skills, time management, or organizational talents in this part of your COO resume.

Adaptable skills section resume example
  • Strategic Planning & Execution
  • Operations Management
  • Supply Chain & Logistics Optimization
  • Leadership & Team Building
  • Financial Forecasting & Budgeting
  • Process Improvement & Lean Methodology
  • ERP Systems & Business Intelligence Tools
  • Risk Management
  • Cost & Revenue Optimization
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Chief operating officer resume education example

Next up, you need to focus on your education history. Include the basics: your qualification, the institute, and the year you graduated. You may want to include extra details here if, for example, you completed modules that are highly relevant to a COO role. Should that be the case, you can bullet point the information below the basic details of your certification. 

Adaptable education resume example

Master of Business Administration (MBA), Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford, CA 
September 1999 - June 2000


Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, University of California, Berkeley, CA 
September 1995 - June 1999

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Resume layout and design

Now that you know what content your COO resume should include, let’s talk about how it should look. Here are some of the main points you need to keep in mind: 

  • Classic designs win interviews. As a COO, you are a high-ranking professional. You need a resume style that suits your level. Be sure to pick a classic design that effectively showcases your expertise and the skills that you have.
  • Readability is king. Your number one goal is to make sure that your resume is legible. If the hiring manager cannot read your resume, you won’t get very far.
  • Be generous with spacing. Cramming your page full of content is never the way to go. Leave a good amount of space between the sections. This will make your resume look less overwhelming and more approachable.

Key takeaways for a chief operating officer resume

  1. If you want to land the top job, you need to make sure that your COO resume ticks all of the right boxes. Nothing less than the best will do here.
  2. Make sure that your resume summary is on point. You only have one chance to make the right first impression.
  3. Using a reverse chronological approach is an effective option. However, you may want to consider other formats if you want to highlight different parts of your career.
  4. Be certain that your COO resume will stand out from the crowd by using one of our field-tested resume templates now.
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