How to write an executive CV
Competitions for managerial appointments are at an all-time high and the CV submission process has become a crucial to making you stand out. This guide below will explain how you should write a CV for when applying for high-level executive positions.
First thing to remember is that the CV is not the only means to showcase your credentials and your past successes, but is important to articulating your personal brand. At an executive level the CV should convey you as a serious business proposition so that you can cut through the pack and be seen.
So question, how can you add extra value to the next company you are targeting? What differentiates you in terms of your approach and ethos? When it comes to the senior management team structure, how can you dovetail into the next position? These answers, if communicated originally enough, will enable strengthen your pitch.
Many people feel their CV should market them through a list of past roles and activities, believing these are the only touchstones of their ‘proposition’ to a prospective employer. The problem is if for example, most of the other 91 applicants for the position all submit similar CVs which comprise mainly of long, historical lists of past career details. This leads to very little in differentiating the applicants if they’ve all been operating at a similar level. It’s vital nowadays to articulate your CURRENT skill set.
You need to show the reader exactly how your unique management style can be deployed to deliver in your next role with authority and precision, augmented by any specialist industry acumen. Your CV should pitch you heavily in the PRESENT tense in terms of your brand, with past achievements being consolidated in a more streamlined and succinct way to simply back this up with quantifiable proof. This is largely an exercise in reinterpreting your career history into a more modern, tighter selling tool.
How to write a CV: top tips
When creating your career section, our career advice is to focus on desired outcomes as much as possible. People often think achievements are best measured on a CV by figures, and although they look good by breaking up the reams of text, they can look superficial.
Try to go for meaty, original achievements - for instance, if you were instrumental in devising and piloting a new sales initiative for your firm which proved such a success it was rolled out nationally, then expand on it, as this packs more of a punch than “Responsible for exceeding sales target by 11% in year one”. Try to add as much detail as possible on the circumstances of your achievements too, e.g. “within an EMEA market that the organisation historically had no presence within or impact on”.
It’s vital that you’re pitching yourself at the right level – in some companies there is a gulf between the remit and responsibilities of a middle and senior manager. It you want to pitch up a level, use your professional profile and skills section to embellish your potential.
Overall, a management CV is so much more than a record of information now. It should be a compelling profile of both you and your ‘offer’ - a purposeful sales document to eclipse others in the pile.
There are many senior executive careers available and the first step is all about getting your CV right, do this well and you will land yourself many executive job opportunities.