Writing an Effective Executive CV
When writing an effective executive level CV you must be aware of the greater demands and responsibilities placed upon the executive as compared to the other levels of employee in an organization.
To be an executive is to hold the authority to act on behalf of the business. This may be in ways that may affect the organization without any restraint other than the executive’s frame of reference as it sits within the company policy.
Although an executive may be broadly aligned to the same competency framework as other employees, the difference is in the level of competence required.
This is what must be demonstrated and illustrated when writing an effective executive CV.
For example the main competency criteria for the executive may include:
o presentation skills
o team building
o strategic thinking
o people management
Naturally these could also apply to any other employee throughout the organization. However the difference is in the scale or higher level required of the executive’s ability to perform the required competence.
Effective Executive CV
This is why it is not sufficient, when writing an effective executive CV to refer simply to responsibilities. You have to define the substance of the responsibility or the crucial purpose of the role and then place it into context. The difference then becomes clear: the statement becomes one of responsible TO (i.e. the board of directors) and accountable FOR. Writing in this way removes any doubt about the true purpose of the executive’s job role and leaves the way open to describe HOW the responsibility is discharged.
Thus you might read a statement like this:
“Responsible to the Group CEO and accountable for achievement of profit, cash and ROI targets; the development and implementation of organic and acquisitive growth strategies.”
There can be no doubt about the executive’s purpose when you read a statement like that!
Now, when you have defined that purpose it is a straightforward matter to convey to the reader, HOW the purpose was fulfilled.
o Expanded widget business by 400% since 2013. Business now delivers 20% net margins, 25% ROI and…
o Increased fixings market share from 4% to 20% by targeted sales growth through merchant network and…
o Transformed business from labour intensive to automated, through investment in new…
Nothing makes it clearer to a prospective employer or headhunter than specific, concise statements of purpose and delivery. It also makes for a very focused executive CV that wastes no time in getting it’s message across to the reader. Which also says something about the executive!
So, to write an effective Executive level CV you should start with name and contact details then follow with an introductory paragraph that establishes the level, sector and key attributes of the individual as they relate to the appointment and lead the reader in the desired direction.
This might read like this:
“Experienced Managing Director; strong leadership and communication skills; effective team builder; proven capability in strategic work; successful deliverer of profitable growth and cash; tactically astute in managing a complex supply chain; innovative sales and marketing skills; pragmatic; hard working; approachable; French and German languages spoken.”
Then for each job role identify the Business Name, the dates of employment and the Job Title but use the guidance above to define the purpose and what was delivered, quantifying where appropriate. Finish off with relevant educational and personal information at the bottom of the page.
Final note: Do not add labels such as ‘Curriculum Vitae’ or even ‘Achievements’ – they are unnecessary and only take up space on the page. In the same vein, edit it ruthlessly and get rid of pronouns and prepositions that don’t add to the information.
Writing an effective executive CV by using this guidance you can be sure you have equipped yourself with the most powerful and impressive CV that will work for and not against you.
Peter Fisher is an Executive Career Coach and Webmaster for www.careerdesign.co.uk where you can find everything you need to write an effective Executive CV