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Account Executive Resume Example & Writing Guide

Account Executives know how to sell and to manage, but you may need help selling yourself and managing your next career move. This Account Executive resume example & guide is designed do just that!
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Account Executive Resume Example & Writing Guide
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Account executives must perform the balancing act of keeping long-term clients satisfied and making sure they are operating in the best interest of their company.

Building relationships with clients takes time. You need to lay the foundation and then build upon it. On the flip side, if you don’t make a good first impression, you are unlikely to get a second chance. The same is true of your job search. Putting in the work upfront to create an account executive resume that gets the attention of hiring managers will yield results in the long run.

This account executive resume guide, along with Resume.io’s resume examples and resources for job seekers, are designed to give you a head start on the resume-building process. Let us help you target recruiters just as you do prospective clients by making an amazing first impression.

This resume guide, along with the corresponding account executive resume example will cover the following topics:

  • What does an account executive do?
  • How to write an account executive resume (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for an account executive resume sample
  • Advice on every section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional resume layout and design hints.

What does an account executives do?

Account executives are primarily salespeople, but selling is simply the beginning of what account execs do. Account executives act as a bridge between their companies and their clients. If they work in a creative industry such as advertising, they may also act as a bridge between the financial and creative sides of the business.

The top three responsibilities of an account executive are:

  1. Client relations
  2. Generating new business
  3. Meeting with colleagues to make business decisions.

Because sales representatives are on the frontlines, they know what clients want, so they may be asked for input on product development and marketing. They are expected to understand and anticipate client need and to make presentations that entice clients to purchase products and services.

Statistical insight

What do account executives earn?

Getting a good estimate for account executive salary can be tough. Where you work, what industry you work in and your experience level all play into account exec earnings. 

For example, according to Indeed, the average salary for an account executive is $64,889. Because account executives are salespeople, their compensation packages are likely to include commissions. Commissions add $22,000 to that and bonuses average $15,000. That adds up to $101,889.

However, Salary.com lists $70,577 as the 10th percentile for salaries with a median of $96,483. That lifts to $114,013 when bonuses are included. If you’re in the top 10 percent of earners, your monetary reward will be $161,449 or higher.

Account executive job market and outlook

The job market for account executives is a bit hard to parse. Just as salaries range widely depending on the market, so do career prospects. Good account executives are needed in any industry requiring sales, however, and that can make your job search a bit easier if you are willing to learn something new. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) aggregates data for account executives within the advertising, promotions and marketing managers category. The projected growth rate in that job market is 10 percent, just about average. If you have technical expertise or another highly desired specialty, you can expect more opportunities.

Statistical insight

Median salaries in top-paying industries for advertising and promotions managers*

Advertising, public relations, and related services $150,930
Management of companies and enterprises $126,420
Information $119,090
Wholesale trade $ 96,380

*Source: BLS

How to write an account executive resume

Writing your account executive resume can seem like a daunting task, but this guide will help you take it step by step. The first task is knowing what to include. Your CV should contain the following elements:

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

You’re a salesperson and the tone of your resume should reflect the style of communication you use to sell to customers: personable, yet professional. Avoid too much jargon and stick to a straightforward message.

Approach your future employer the way you approach a future client: Do your research. Try to find out as much as you can about the hiring process and the person who will be your boss. Tailor your resume to fit the needs of that individual, the department and the company as a whole. 

Every section of your resume should be building the case for why you are the right person for the job.

Expert tip

Create an ATS-friendly resume

ATS, which stands for Applicant Tracking Systems, put data into companies’ HR software by scanning your resume. Then, they check to see if you match the job for which you have applied or any other available positions.

The keyword here is scan. Your resume won’t get seen by a person unless you rank high enough in that initial scan. The ATS takes into account keywords, phrases and other information pegged to the job. Then, it prioritizes resumes that rank highest. Your first job is to rank high.

How do you do that?

You carefully analyze the job listing for the skills and attributes listed. Next, you carefully analyze your resume to see how well it matches. Finally, swap out any skill or attribute you have that isn’t already in your resume for one that your prospective employer has not mentioned. 

Here’s a word of advice, though: Don’t try to “stuff” your resume full of keywords and phrases. Even if you get past the ATS, recruiters are well aware of that trick. Try to place those important words and phrases as naturally as possible.

Choosing the best resume format for account executives

Surprise is not the element you’re looking for here. Your goal of your resume format is to make it easy for hiring managers to find what they are looking for. If they have to hunt, they may just move on to the next candidate.

That means, unless you have a compelling reason, use standard headings and within your employment history section stick to reverse chronological order. If you are just starting out as an account manager or are making a lateral shift into the field, you may want to consider the resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids. The functional resume format applies only if you have specialized or niche expertise.

Resume summary example: your elevator pitch

You know the drill: You have two minutes to wow your prospective client before their eyes glaze over and they start wondering what they are going to eat for lunch. For your resume summary (also known as a profile ) you need 3-5 strong sentences that capture the essence of your sales success, communication skills and personality.

In fact, this is the only spot in an otherwise formulaic document in which to show off who you are. You will have more opportunities in your cover letter, but there’s no guarantee that will be read before a recruiter scans your resume.

The resume summary is the place to bring out your greatest achievement and tout your success. Describe yourself with dynamic words and tell the hiring manager how you will make their life easier. Salespeople are not known to be shy, but this is definitely not the place to be demure. 

Expert tip

Use this basic outline for your profile:

  • One general introduction sentence about who you are
  • One or two sentences describing a career highlight
  • One sentence on your professional personality and work style.

You can combine these sentences or add more descriptions if you have more to say. You can also expand your account executive summary if you have space within your two-page limit.

The resume example text below gives you an idea of how to write your summary section.

Adaptable resume summary example

A personable and trustworthy account executive with over 7 years performing in a fast paced sales department. A proven history of fostering client relationships in order to maximize sales volume. Adept at business development and seeking new opportunities from a wide range of clients. A concrete ability to manage all aspects of a sale from start to finish without supervision. Adept at assessing client drive and implementing programs that best foster that drive. Experience in developing and overseeing campaigns that successfully meet client needs and goals.

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Employment history sample: sell it with data

Your employment history section offers the details you hinted at in your summary. It’s here that you show off your growth and knowledge in your industry.

Within each previous and current position, use bullet points to demonstrate what you have done to add value to your company. Remember: Your future employer has a problem and is looking to hire someone to solve it. Explain just how you have done that in each of your jobs and show that you are already doing many of the tasks required in your new desired position.

Expert tip

Writing stronger bullet points

  • Focus on your achievements instead of responsibilities.
  • Use data or specifics to back up your claims.
  • Keep each item short. If it requires too much explanation, leave it out or break it into separate items.
  • Employ strong verbs (and a thesaurus if need be).

Use this adaptable resume sample text to get you started.

Adaptable resume employment history example
  • Streamlined an effective lead process that generated a 75% increase in year over sales volume.
  • Analyzed sales and financial performance to understand company needs and future goals.
  • Cultivated client relationships that resulted in company growth and increased productivity.
  • A clean record of meeting monthly sales quotas.
  • Met with buyers and planners to discuss replenishment programs and projected finances.
  • Managed a team of people devoted to achieving success in regards to the connection between advertising initiatives and our clients.
  • Organized events and product workshops.
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CV skills section example 

What’s the point of a skills section? It’s the executive level brief of your attributes within your account exec CV. With a quick scan, your future employer can see exactly what you offer and what you think is important for getting the job done. This is also a great place to differentiate for the ATS!

You’re a communicator and you need to make that known, but don’t neglect your business acumen or technical know-how. Try to find the right blend of soft skills and hard skills. 

The No. 1 skill successful account executives need, according to MasterClass, is negotiation. That’s followed by interpersonal skills including both written and oral communication, project management, sales (of course) and analytical ability. Make sure these stand out on you CV.

The skills section resume example text below gives you an idea of how concise to be.

Adaptable resume skills example section
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Sales Planning
  • Campaign Creation
  • Marketing
  • Excellent Communication Skills
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Account executive resume education example

The education section of your resume is the most formatted section. Here you are simply listing your degrees. Most account executives hold at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing, communications or a related field. Some may hold MBAs or more technical degrees. If you do hold an advanced degree, there’s no need to include your high school diploma. You may also include any certificates, seminars or classes you have taken that relate to your career.

Expert tip

Value-add sections

If you have earned awards for your sales skills, you may highlight those by creating a separate awards and accolades section instead of including them elsewhere.

Other sections to consider are publications or productions if you have done creative work in the past, or industry affiliations and involvement.

Below is resume example text for formatting your education section.

Adaptable resume education example
  • 1997-2001 Hanover High School, High School Diploma Hanover, MA
  • 2001-2005 Hunter College, Bachelor of Communications NY, NY
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Resume layout and design: first impressions

Presentation may not be everything, but it sure is a lot. You know that, so it should come as no surprise that the layout and design of your resume can be the deciding factor. Make your design stand out without getting too flashy. If you’re in a creative field, you can stretch a little farther with a personal flourish such as an extra dab of color, but remember: function over form.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Go easy on your reader’s eyes by leaving plenty of white space.
  • Stay away from gimmicks and flash -- you want hiring managers to read the content, not be distracted by the layout.
  • Resist the temptation to narrow the margins or lower the type size to fit in more of your amazing accomplishments. If it’s too hard to read, your carefully crafted bullet items won’t matter.
  • Proofread, or use an online resume builder with built-in spell check.

Consider using one of our expertly-designed resume templates to close the sale. 

Key takeaways for an account executive resume

  • Approach your job hunt the way you approach your prospective clients: Gather information, speak directly to their needs and present yourself professionally and personably
  • Target your resume for each job, both to impress recruiters and to increase your chances of passing by the ATS
  • Use your skills section to reveal to employers what you think is most important for getting the job done
  • Check out our account executive resume sample for more ideas on creating a great page layout.
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