Author Topic: Advice on writing an executive level CV  (Read 1097 times)

Monirul Islam

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Advice on writing an executive level CV
« on: May 16, 2018, 01:04:38 PM »
Writing an executive level CV

When writing an executive CV both the presentation of information and demonstration of leadership achievements are vitally important. Getting the right tone of voice within the CV is key too. Your personal qualities and values will influence the teams and stakeholders around you so it’s essential to give the reader insight into your leadership style.

An executive professional profile
Position yourself for the roles you are applying for in the first sentence of your professional profile. So, whether this is ‘chief financial officer’ or ‘chief marketing officer’ you can mirror the job title of the role you are applying to for maximum engagement. Then describe your leadership strengths. Use original language and try not to fall back on recruitment clichés.

Key skills section?
In an executive CV a key skills section has limited value. You would not be operating in a leadership post without having the necessary leadership or technical skills to do the role. Skills should be implicitly demonstrated through achievements and it is these that are going to impress a future employer. Focus on your achievements rather than presenting a list of skills.

Career history 
The CV should focus around the most recent years of your career as these are most likely to be closest to the leadership roles you will be applying for. State the key areas of responsibility including budget, people and any interesting facts around the scale and scope of the role. Then provide specific examples of achievements that focus on the outcomes of your endeavours.

Tailor the CV for specific roles
Every role will vary in the requirements an employer is looking for. Therefore, read the person specification carefully for each role and adapt the CV accordingly. The more closely aligned to a specific job your CV is the more likely you are to be called to interview. It is better to take time over each application rather than using the same CV for multiple roles.
Keep to two pages
There is a tendency amongst some job seekers to believe that the more senior you are the longer a CV should be. This is simply not true. Keep the CV to no more than two pages. The same rule applies for executive CVs as for all others – a CV is about getting an interview not getting the job. Get your message over quickly and powerfully and a 2-page format is ideal for this. 

Use a professional looking layout
Writing an executive CV is not an exercise in excessive design features. This is particularly true for senior roles where it can be argued a more conservative approach is required. A CV is all about you and your brand and this is what needs to shine through. So, ensure the headings are clearly labelled, sufficient white space throughout and that the formatting is consistent.

This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.

CV Writers are the official CV partner to Guardian Jobs.

In addition to a CV writing service they can help with LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and more. You can get things started with a Free CV review.