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Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

City Manager resume example & writing guide

To land a great City Manager job in 2024, you need a standout resume. Get started by editing this City Manager resume example to build a perfect resume in minutes. Simply fill in your own text, download your new resume & start your job application today!
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City Manager resume example & writing guide
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The first step to moving along in your career as a city manager is a resume that enumerates your assets. Resume.io, with our powerful lineup of resources for job seekers, including a bank of resume guides, resume examples for 300+ professions, and our easy-to-use resume builder, will help you get there.

In this guide, along with the corresponding city manager resume example, we will detail the following:

  • What are the responsibilities of a city manager?
  • How do you make the most of every word in you city manager resume
  • Writing each section (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Designing and laying out your resume.

What does a city manager do?

The main responsibility of a city manager is ensuring the financial stability of a city. City managers can also be seen as the CEO of the town, heading up its management. They also act as a bridge between the political side of governing and the day-to-day administration.

City managers are hired, not elected, and they oversee and manage all town departments and employees. They implement ordinances, resolutions, and policies that support the best interest of the town. A city manager may amend any description of job duties related to a department position. They are responsible for the proper functioning of the city manager's office, through the careful guiding of its employees and departments. 

The city manager oversees the long-term capital improvement plan for a town and is also responsible for the town's actions in response to emergency situations, and other scenarios that require guided action.

Some municipalities call their city manager the chief administrative officer (CAO), chief operating officer (COO) or administrative manager.

Statistical insight

There are 448 city managers in the United States. They earn a median salary of $92,135 a year, Payscale reports.

How to write a city manager resume

Before you compile your city manager CV, you need to know what sections to include. They are::

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

For details on each section, read on. 

City manager resume summary example

A city manager must respond to the needs not only of the administration of the municipality, but to its residents. That requires diplomacy and excellent communication. The summary of your city manager resume should show off those skills by introducing yourself and explaining, without bragging, why you are the best person for the job.

Your summary (also known as a profile) gives you the best chance to add some professional personality to your 1-2 page city manager resume. Your theme should be: Why hire me.

Curious how other related resume examples look? Get inspired by these positions related to management or government roles such as Executive resume example, Business Manager resume sample, CEO resume example, and Manager resume sample.

Adaptable resume summary example

Passionate city manager adept in utilizing excellent leadership skills and innovation to guide town planning and agendas. Experienced in guiding all departments and recommending initiatives for programs and infrastructure needs. Responsibly planned and implemented emergency responses, executive policies, and decisions for the town.


Employment history sample: Ladder of success 

City managers typically work their way up from other municipal positions. The employment history section is the place to document the string of successes that led you to this step. Since the requirement for this position is 7-8 years of experience, this section will take up the bulk of your city manager resume. 

Use the most space to describe the successes you are having now (and use the reverse chronological order format). No need to take up valuable real estate with your first job. Below you'll find the employment history section from our adaptable resume sample.

Expert tip

Try the STAR method for writing your bullet points: Situation, Task, Action, Result. For example, With budgetary constraints and an usually heavy snow season, kept roads clear and avoided a financial shortfall.

Adaptable resume employment history example
  • Provided guidance to town employees, commissions, and committees.
  • Gracefully handled many issues and implemented appropriate policies when necessary.
  • Coordinated interdepartmental activities.
  • Appropriately responded to public emergencies.
  • Acted as a thoughtful and considerate spokesman for the town.
  • Organized and managed the administration of town offices and departments.
  • Proposed any appropriate amendments to town policies.

CV skills section: Bridging functions

City managers perform the high-level functions of managing a municipality. To curate the best skills section for a city manager CV, first consider all the necessary attributes and then cherry-pick those that paint the best picture of you. Be sure to blend both soft skills (such as diplomacy) and hard skills (such as financial planning).

Judgment and decision-making, complex problem-solving, critical thinking, and social perceptiveness are all key soft skills necessary for a city manager, according to GovtJobs.com

Expert tip

The Applicant Tracking System obstacle

Human resources departments use Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan applications and complete initial screenings of resumes. They use algorithms to elevate some candidates and eliminate others. 

There are no guaranteed methods of clearing this obstacle, but you can increase your chances by:

  1. Carefully examining the job listing.
  2. Take note of the job requirements and the language used to describe them.
  3. Review your resume and insert the exact keywords and phrases you noted – don’t “stuff” your resume with these words, recruiters are savvy to that trick. Write your resume in your own voice as much as possible.
Adaptable resume skills example
  • Excellent Decision-making
  • Knowledge of Economics
  • Knowledge of Government
  • Advanced Communication
  • Project Management

City manager resume education example

The minimum education requirement for a city manager is a bachelor’s degree in public administration, political science, public policy or a related field. Many city managers also have a master’s degree in one of these fields.

The education section of a city manager resume is a simple listing of these degrees. Check out our resume sample below.

Adaptable resume education example
  • 2007-2011 Sacred Heart University, Bachelor of Economics Fairfield, CT
  • 2003-2007 Fairfield Preparatory School, High School Diploma Fairfield, CT

Resume layout and design: Professional look

When you get the interview, you will prepare your suit and tie with care. But before you get there, you need to apply the same care to the look of your city manager resume.

Stick with a clean, professional look and simple fonts that are easy to read. To give you more time to focus on the content, try one of our field-tested resume templates. Not only are they professionally designed, but they will eliminate your need to get into the nitty gritty of formatting.

Key takeaways for a city manager resume

  1. City managers are hired professionals who run the administrative side of government, but must also manage the political side.
  2. Diplomacy is a must in this role, and the summary section of a city manager resume is a great place to show that skill off.
  3. Check out our city manager resume sample for more ideas on creating a great header.
  4. Use Resume.io’s design templates and the online resume builder to get your job hunt started now!
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