Executive Titles: Leadership Titles in Corporations

An individual that holds an executive title within an organization plays a significant part in an organization’s decision-making. They can make key decisions concerning a company’s finance, marketing and recruiting strategies. These positions can be known as a C-suite or C-level role because the names of the job titles start with the letter C, which refers to the word "chief" that shows up at the beginning of each job title. 


This article will discuss what executive titles are in corporations, best practices when searching for jobs with these titles and FAQs about executive titles. 


Read more: 10 Recruiting Strategies for Hiring Great Employees


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The basics of executive titles

Leadership titles include a role that significantly impacts the future of a company. Generally, any major decision related to a company’s strategy must be approved by someone holding an executive title before it can be executed. They usually come together to meet and establish goals that can help the company expand its resources, to build better products and hire more staff members. Employees can earn one of these roles if they move up within the company or if they’re hired from outside of the organization. 

Here are a few examples of common executive titles:


  • Chief executive officer (CEO)
  • Chief operating officer (COO)
  • Chief information officer (CIO)
  • Chief marketing officer (CMO)
  • Chief financial officer (CFO)
  • Chief technology officer (CTO)

Chief executive officer (CEO)

A CEO is the primary representative of the organization. They meet and render advice from other C-suite executives on future decisions regarding the company. They mainly report to the board of directors, and they can have various career paths before working in this role. However, they’ll need to have a track record of making long-term choices that achieve measurable results. 


Chief operating officer (COO)

A COO is an executive representing the human resources department and is right below the CEO on an organizational chart. They ensure the swift execution of operations, so employees can perform in their positions effectively. Their responsibilities include overseeing recruitment practices, training methods, payroll, administrative and legal services. 


Chief information officer (CIO)

The CIO is the head of information technology for a business. One of the common career paths for a CIO is to start as a business analyst and work higher-level roles within the organization. In their pursuit to be a CIO, they learn how to code using different computer programming languages and implement project management strategies to improve the company’s efficiency. They’re one of the important voices when discussing risk management and financial activities. 


Chief marketing officer (CMO)

A CMO is one that manages all marketing functions that help promote a company’s products and services. One of the essential skills they have is product development, where they know how to improve the functionality of a product to entice customers to keep buying it in the future. Also, they’re adept with technological platforms that can reach potential leads and customers via social media. However, they must possess advanced knowledge of increasing exposure to your product in a brick-and-mortar environment.


Chief financial officer (CFO)

A CFO oversees all financial transactions that a company makes. They review the organization’s cash flow, and they formulate the financial budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Additionally, they assess the value of investments through a cost-benefit analysis, which helps the company take calculated financial decisions with a high earnings potential. Some of the positions that you can work at to position you for this role include a financial analyst or an accountant. 


Chief technology officer (CTO)

A CTO is accountable for the research and development practices that fit the company’s technological framework. They review the short-and-long-term technological demands of the company and make the necessary investments to meet and exceed the objectives generated by the CEO. They differ from the CIO because the CTO focuses more on carrying out the strategy, whereas the CIO is using their skills to give the company financial value from technological investments. 


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Best practices when searching for jobs with these titles 

Check out the list of best practices the next time you look for a position with an executive title: 


  • Understand your next career move
  • Create a strategic plan 
  • Update your professional networking and personal website 
  • Speak to an experienced human resource professional 

Understand your next career move

If you’re looking to become a C-suite executive, you need to research companies that fit the criteria of the job you’re looking for. Try to narrow down industries you’re passionate about and see if a company in that industry aligns with your core values and competencies. 


Create a strategic plan 

Make a plan to apply to C-suite roles in a certain industry. You’ll be busy working in your current role, so it’s important to devote some time during each day to your job search. You can make plans to go to networking events and perform other activities that expand your professional network. 


Update your professional networking and personal website 

A C-suite executive or an applicant for a C-suite position should have an updated professional networking and personal website that showcases their career path. You should connect with professionals interested in C-suite roles and with hiring managers, so they can see your experience on your profile. A personal website should expand on your life story and how you navigated your career path. 


Speak to an experienced human resource professional

An experienced professional in human resources stays updated on hiring trends in the industry they work in. Choose to speak with a hiring manager with relevant experience that’s connected to your prospective employers. Make sure to ask questions about how you can stand out, so you can be called in for an interview.


Executive titles FAQs

Here’s a short list of FAQs that you may ask when searching for an executive job at a corporation: 


What are some executive titles that I should be looking for in my job search? 

Some of the executive titles that you can apply for include a CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, CMO and CIO. You should carefully research these positions to see which one matches your skillset. 


What is the best advice I can use to apply for a C-suite position? 

The best advice you can adhere to is having a plan to enact your job search. Knowing your plan gives you a clear understanding of the steps you need to take in getting the job you want. 


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