As an account executive, your job entails pitching creative concepts to clients. But to get a new, different job, you’re going to have to pitch yourself on your resume.
Don’t be tempted to use the same resume you used when you applied for the job you have now. Every position is different, and you will need to tailor it to the position you have your eye on. We’re going to show you how.
Resume objective for accounts executives
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ authoritative Occupational Outlook Handbook, the job outlook for promotions, marketing, and advertising managers (which is basically what an account executive is) is projected to grow 6% in the decade to 2029.
This is faster than the average growth for all occupations, although they say that dedicated marketing managers’ opportunities will grow even more quickly, by 7%.
But to get your share of the action, you’ll need a compelling resume to send with your job application.
Brad Karsh, vice-president, and director of talent acquisition for Leo Burnett, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, urges account executives to read the job description carefully and adjust their resumes to the employer’s requirements.
You have to target your audience. So, find out what they are looking for and then match your abilities and skills.
He believes a career summary (in the place where an objective would normally go) is a great way to target employers or recruiters.
Also try to use action verbs that show you are a leader and have initiative, like coordinated, headed, organized, produced, controlled, created, developed, established, implemented, launched, and so on.
Experienced accounts executive with repeated success in managing multimillion-dollar accounts. Developed 100s of traditional and digital strategies. Regularly identified viable, potentially profitable opportunities for clients.
Resume skills for accounts executives
Accounts executives (ACs) play the role of advertising, promotions, or marketing managers, dealing with clients, each of which represents an account for the firm or agency they work for.
The skills needed range from technical software skills to strong personal, so-called soft skills, including excellent communication, time management, and creativity, combined with strategic planning skills.
Attention-to-detail is essential and, because there is selling involved, a go-getter mentality that will help to find new business, maintain and grow current business, and constantly curate a pipeline of potential business will be a great asset.
Whether you’re an advertising or sales account executive, sales skills are important too.
While there are differences in the work differently titled ACs do (advertising vs sales), the skillset each one needs is basically the same. It’s just the way they apply these skills that differs.
But when you compile your resume for a specific accounts executive position, you need to be sure that you target the skills your potential new employer is looking for.
Ultimately, being an accounts executive isn’t a regular 9-5 job. You’re going to need to be majorly motivated and willing to go the extra mile, even if it means working many extra hours.
Interpersonal | Management | Creative | Strategic | Motivation | Analysis | Organizational | Decision-making
Accounts executives work experience
Work experience is very important on a resume, although entry-level account executives won’t have much if any. This is one of the reasons many students opt for internships, some of which are paid.
Internships can last for weeks or months, and may result in credit towards their university or college program.
It stands to reason that if you knew what path your career was going to take when you enrolled in college any internship will be relevant to a future job application.
Even if your job as an intern wasn’t exactly the same, if it is in the same (or a relevant/related) field, then include it in your resume if you need to bulk out this section.
For example, in the sample resume below you will see that the internship was a client success position. While client satisfaction is important to this role and that of an AE, and there are similarities in their roles, they aren’t the same. Nevertheless, the internship is relevant.
Similarly, you may have been employed in fields other than the one that is advertising for an account executive. The focus might also be different. For instance, the position might be specifically for an advertising account executive or a sales account executive.
As long as what you have done and achieved in previous jobs is relevant, go ahead and include them in your resume.
Sample Work Experience
Account Executive, 2020
Played a significant role in driving strategic growth in this exciting, venture-backed startup launched in downtown San Francisco during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Project managed cross-functional tasks required for the sales cycles and beyond, including business development, customer success, marketing, finance, administration, legal activities, and customer operations.
- Ensured that Extend’s partners received excellent service and communication.
- Ensured that the company’s partners were represented in a positive way to internal Extend stakeholders, ensuring the image of excellence.
- Influenced selling strategies by providing thought leadership.
Account Executive, 2018 – 2020
Serviced the agency’s day-to-day client business ensuring everything ran smoothly with each and every account. Liaised with other departments to keep budgets and deadlines on track.
- Worked with the agency’s traffic department developing project timelines based on client needs and expectations.
- Prepared contact reports for review by the agency supervisor and prepared and submitted weekly client status reports.
- Coordinated project development with vendors, which included checking and maintaining budgets.
- Attended client meetings and conventions.
- Ensured that the workflow through the agency was constantly orderly and followed the established timelines.
iHeart Media, Inc, SC
Account Executive, 2017 – 2018
Responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities and growing existing client relationships. Offered solutions to help clients achieve their business goals through marketing and advertising campaigns.
- Identified and solicited new business that led to an increase of 22% in the firm’s client base.
- Identified old and new client needs and developed successfully persuasive proposals to meet client needs.
- Regularly delivered effective sales presentations.
- Worked collaboratively with internal partners to drive revenue.
- Effectively increased the firm’s incoming revenue by 15%.
Accounts executives education
Accounts executives are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a field that is relevant to their employers’ specialization.
Relevant majors or specializations include management, marketing and advertising, public relations, and communications, but finance and economics can hold them in good stead. Courses in law, economics, computer science, and statistics can also be a great advantage in the long term.
Either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts is acceptable. Some employers are happy with an associate’s degree. Typical courses might include topics like distribution, customer service, selling, accounting, and advertising.
According to Zippia, close to 14% of account executives have a master’s degree.
Colorado Technical University
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), 2016 – 2019
While a university education provides some knowledge that an account executive uses, there are many short courses you can take to develop and strengthen critical business skills.
For example, The Vanderbilt Univerity’s Owen Graduate School of Management, which is located in Tennessee, offers numerous online programs and short courses that enable people in the industry to broaden skill sets, learn to think strategically and to become more effective leaders.
The Emory Goizueta Business School in Georgia offers online short courses designed to boost business knowledge and acumen, that also teach strategies, tactics, theory, and practice.
It really depends on what kind of additional education and training you want.
- Making Strategic Decisions
- Stepping Up: A Toolkit for Strategic Leadership
- Persuasive and Influential Speaking
- Negotiation Skills for Managers
- Executive Decision Making
- How to Approach Problems Like a Management Consultant
It is not compulsory for account executives to be certified, and when we sample job postings, we found that relatively few employers called for certifications of any type.
However, certifications expand knowledge, and they also add credibility.
Sales account executives could benefit from certification via the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP).
The Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) program is designed to teach a myriad of useful techniques that enable anyone in any type of sales to move clients through the stages of the buyer’s journey.
It’s a great program for sales executives, including account executives and other sales professionals, as well as business owners and CEOS.
It’s a six-week online course that provides effective behavioral training that fuels success in the industry.
Marketing certifications are also useful, especially for advertising account executives. The most popular are in digital marketing and are offered by Google (Google Ads Certification), HubSpot (Content Marketing Certification), Hootsuite (Social Marketing Certification), and other social media companies.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) offers the American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) program.
- CPSP (NASP)
- PCM (AMA)
Complete accounts executives resume sample
We sampled a good cross-section of accounts executive job opportunities and chose this one for the sample resume.
You may not be pitching for a job with an advertising agency as prominent, or large, as Saatchi & Saatchi, but by studying how we tailor the resume for this job, you will gain insight into how to do the same when you write your resume for your chosen position.
The position advertised here is for an account executive to handle the day-to-day management of their Toyota client accounts. It involves every aspect an AE would handle including strategies, creative elements, reporting internally and externally, and liaising with partners and vendors.
Even though they don’t mention minimum education, there is no doubt that a company with the status and prestige of Saatchi & Saatchi will want an AE with at least a relevant bachelor’s degree.
The other so-called “qualifications” are all clearly described, most importantly the integrated disciplines that are vital to the success of the position.
Passionate AE with five years of experience, most of which involved direct contact with a wide range of clients. Digital advertising fundi. Toyota owner for eight years. Strong spirit to succeed.
Verbal and written communication | Positive attitude | Creativity | Interpersonal relationships | Time management | Integrity | Computer systems | Marketing | PR | Direct marketing | Social media | SEO | Sales software | Self-motivated
GroundTruth Advertising Technology Company, IL
Account Executive, 2018 – 2020
Responsible for prospecting and developing new client accounts as well as maintaining and building existing sales relationships with current clients.
- Increased the volume of new business sales through agencies and direct clients by 15% the first year, 20% the second year, and 26% this year.
- Communicated GroundTruth capabilities to clients, explaining differentiators and the visitation data product suite that drives high-performing business outcomes and ROI.
- Held 5-10 meetings with clients every week and logged meeting activity via Salesforce.
- Exceeded sales quotas regularly.
Harland Clarke, IL
Account Executive, 2016 – 2017
Worked in a niche that provides customer engagement solutions that help to connect businesses and people the way it matters.
- Participated in a high level of prospecting activities including lead generation, qualification of prospects, discovery, and demonstrating possible solutions to potential clients.
- Managed multiple accounts and increased these by 32% in two years.
- Consulted with clients regularly on marketing programs and business issues.
- Worked with professional strategists and delivery teams to execute project specifications and deliver quality results to clients.
- Worked with customer management software daily.
Client Success Intern, 2014
A paid internship that focused on learning how the organization operated, specifically shadowing the client success manager, but also observing several accounts executives.
- Implemented product content into real client environments.
- Assisted in preparing information and research materials.
- Managed databases in Salesforce, inputting information, data, and records.
- Performed administrative duties including scanning, photocopying, and organizing documents, taking memos, and maintaining files.
- PCM (AMA)
North Park University School of Business and Nonprofit Management
Bachelor of Arts in Advertising, 2012 – 2015
When you switch jobs as an account executive, you need to update your resume and make sure that it’s relevant to the new position you are chasing. You also need to concentrate on ensuring that your resume draws attention to you and the value you can offer the position.
- While resume objectives are optional, many experts in the field believe that a career summary at the top of your resume is a great way to attract attention.
- Sales skills are important for accounts executives and you should use actual examples of what you have achieved in the past. Quantifying your achievements is an excellent way to highlight your potential value to a new employer.
- Work experience is important, and it’s good practice to include details of previous jobs that dovetail with your new job description. This is where you should list achievements. But keep them relevant.
Tips from Experts
“The single biggest mistake that ad people make is writing a job description resume as opposed to an accomplishment resume. I don’t want to know that you’ve worked closely with creative, media, production, and clients to produce fully integrated advertising campaigns. These tasks are part of every account executive’s job description. As a recruiting director, I want to know about your accomplishments. How many ads did you produce? How much were your billings? Did you win any awards? Did you increase market share, profit, etc.?” – Brad Karsh, author of Confessions of a Recruiting Director: The Insider’s Guide to Landing Your First Job
“Good customer service, strategic planning skills, creativity and attention to detail are important.” – Erin Pieretti, senior account executive, Bauserman Group
“Your top accomplishments should reflect the three to five key “superpowers” you offer as value points (think divisional turnarounds, digital transformations, mergers and acquisitions, strategic growth plans and so on). Most importantly, remember to script all your accomplishments so that they begin with the metric or impact. Multiple bullets that begin with the action or activity are hard to read and do not set the correct perception. Always begin at the end and work backward. You will also find this to be a great leadership management tool as you track your accomplishments.” _ Mary Elizabeth Bradford, executive resume writer, Forbes Coaches Council
Applying for a new position can be an enormous challenge, but with the tips and advice we have given you, you can move forward with confidence.
Study the job posting thoroughly and make sure you address any concerns the company may have about applicants. Remember, they want somebody with sales skills, so sell yourself!