5 Quick Steps to Build your Executive CV
These quick steps will ensure that your CV turns heads and your experience gets the recognition it deserves.
There is absolutely no questioning the importance of having a groomed CV. Beneath the surface, there is a lot more that people are trying to extract than just your career experience. For example, your personality, style of communication and ability to analyze and present data are often telling too.
Let’s get one thing straight from the start, ignoring those few exceptions, there is absolutely no need for your CV to be longer than 4 pages; you always want the recipient of your CV to decide to read it the moment they lay eyes on it. These quick steps will ensure that your CV turns heads and your experience gets the recognition it deserves.
Objective vs. Value: The classic objective statement at the top of a resume is useful, however not what HR managers and recruiters are looking for when it comes to C-Suite candidates. What value can you bring to the company? What are your most practiced and successful skills? They want to know how you will directly affect their company. This should only be a couple of sentences or a few bullet points.
Design and Uniformity: A clean and consistent layout is incredibly important to a successful CV. Bullet points aligned, font sizing and spacing is uniform, and the content is easy to follow. There are always some things that are more important than others, so make sure to format these points closer to the top, or in some cases, bold important figures and statistics. .
Precise Language: HR and the rest of the Executive Board want to see what it is exactly you have done with a company. If you have grown sales, by how much? If you’ve expanded the global reach, give an example. Vague bullet points without any precise value or language add fluff and provide no pull in your CV. Contrary to popular belief, titles do not always speak for themselves i.e. everyone knows that the Group CFO of Novartis will be an impressive individual, but success is often measured relative to your environment, so ensure that quantifiable data is provided to illustrate how the business improved under your leadership. .
The Active Voice: Using phrases like “responsible for” or “supported” are passive and not as aggressive as the active voice. Instead choose wording like “led,” or “implemented” showing leadership skills and the ability to take action. .
Tailoring: After twenty plus years in the industry, most executives have a lot to share and show for their careers. Diluting your skills and listing yourself as versatile CEO/CFO/CBO will often be detrimental to your goal. Tailoring your CV based on the job you’re applying for can almost always be a good idea. This way cutting out the unnecessary career points are easy, and it’s quick to spot the relevant successes. I meet with a lot of executives wanting to try a new challenge after 15+ years’ service with one or two firms and don’t quite understand why on paper, their experience working for a multi-billion enterprise is not entirely compatible with what their desired next employer (a small or mid-size business) would be looking for.
These points may seem obvious to some, but they are important to always keep in mind. Should you need help tailoring or reworking your CV, don’t hesitate to contact our team. In the future, look out for more articles concerning career tips and market knowledge in the C-Suite space.