Writing a CV can be a daunting task. After all, taking your career to date and condensing it into a two-page highlight reel is no easy thing. Combine that with the pressure of trying to get a new job in a candidate-driven market means that CV’s make some people sweat.
Many might think that once you’ve cracked your first entry-level CV, got yourself a job, and climbed the career ladder somewhat, that CV’s are no longer a problem. Perhaps you’ve got the experience, the contacts and you’re confident and capable at leading teams and managing long-term company goals. You might think your CV would practically write itself. But that’s not necessarily the case. Many would argue that writing a CV for an executive level position is actually more challenging.
Polished and Impressive
Your executive level CV will have to be polished and impressive, because you’ll be competing with other people who have had equally accomplished careers. The challenge, just like with other CVs, is getting recruiters and hiring managers to notice you. On top of that, you’ll need to show that as well as having a certain set of skills or proficiencies that you’ve used in your career so far, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve made concrete changes to a business, or achieved certain goals. That could be improving the bottom line, seeing projects through from start to finish, implementing technological changes or managing teams. Whatever it is, for an executive CV, you’ll need to get the point across that you have changed a business for the better.
How to do it
Many in the world of recruitment say that for an executive CV in particular, you need to think of the resume, and the entire recruitment process, as a sale. You are the product, and the CV is a key piece of sales collateral. With the CV, like with all sales pitches, you need to have the person on the other end deciding that not only do they want the product, they need it.
To do that, it needs to be well-written, well-designed and well-thought through. There’s a wealth of information on that in the RedCat Candidate Resource Centre, but even for an executive CV it’s worth bearing the basics in mind; simple things like getting spelling right will make a big difference.
Tailor your CV
You must tailor your CV. This is really a case of thinking through why you are applying for a particular job and why you think you are right for it. It means doing your research – finding out exactly what companies and recruiters are looking for in particular roles and making sure you highlight the experiences you’ve had that demonstrate those desirable points.
Think like a Hiring manager
Bear in mind how recruiters work. LinkedIn is a truly essential resource for recruiters and hiring managers, and so there must be some degree of synergy between your LinkedIn and your CV. Some argue that it is a good idea to have a LinkedIn profile that shows just enough information to tease a recruiter into wanting to know more – which they can find out through your CV. The point is, it must be up to date and must complement what you write on your CV.
Beating the competiton
As we’ve already noted, if you’re going for a senior level job, you’ll be facing some pretty stiff competition. It’s highly likely that most other candidates will be equally well-qualified and will also have some quite significant experience. The key point here is that it’s important to explicitly demonstrate your main achievements. Perhaps you helped design a new product, implemented a technology infrastructure change, or managed a team through a difficult project. As long as you can show that you’ve done something above and beyond what your competition has, you’re onto a winner.
There are many more intricacies and nuanced points that could be delved into. The RedCat Digital team helps its candidates navigate these all the way through the process – so if you’re looking to move on to your next executive level job and need help with your CV, you know where to look.