Man in suit writing his executive cv

Why You Need an Executive CV and Tips to Write a Good One

In Career Tips, Resume Writing Tips /

There are a host of reasons a job seeker needs to prepare curriculum vitae instead of a resume, especially when aiming for a senior- or C-level role. These range from the length that details broad experience, to the targeted audience who would review the application. More often than not, many applicants don’t realize they need an executive CV outside the normal job search.

Do you know that you can tailor your CV in more ways than one? First, let’s look at what makes an executive CV distinct from normal resumes, and how you can take your career to the next step by knowing when and how to use it.

What A Director-Level CV Has That Most Resumes Don’t

Most resumes and CVs contain a summary statement, work history, special skills, and awards and honors you may have received over the years. But whereas for a resume these sections comprise the major part of the document, for a CV, they’re just the starting point. Here are the other parts that you may try adding when writing your executive CV as listed in Monster.com.

  • Professional licenses or certifications
  • Relevant coursework to match career or academic objective
  • Description of thesis or dissertation for advanced degrees
  • Papers, books, and other related publication you have written
  • Academic or professional presentations delivered
  • Travel and exposure to cultural experiences
  • Related professional and association memberships
  • Additional details that may support your objective
  • Letter of recommendation or a list of references
  • Professional development courses you have attended

Make sure you’ve read the application guidelines. Some firms and groups are strict on what you should include and how you must lay out the contents.

What to Highlight in an Executive CV

Do you know that aside from your job search, you can use your CV for other purposes? A write-up from Forbes says you can use your executive CV for your first board seat nomination, to obtain your EMBA, or pitch a talk topic to TED. Also, you can use it to apply for advisory, interim, or consulting roles.

Having these said; in writing your CV, consider defining these leadership skills in the sections of your interest and expertise to suggest talking points.

1. Your purpose.

One of the crucial skills to highlight in a leadership CV is your purpose, says Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post. Finding and keeping a sense of purpose is vital in building and nurturing an organization. Under a purpose-driven CEO, everyone within the firm knows what you stand for beyond profit and growth.

2. Your ability to empower employees.

In terms of leadership, LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman says that leaders like you should know how to recruit and manage talent to keep up with rapid change. You should know how to inspire your staff and it should show in your CV. Cite actual ways, examples, and results on how you engage your workers.

3. Your willingness to learn.

A great leader should learn to adapt and be ready for change. To do these, Hoffman further adds that you need to become an infinite learner. Highlight your bias for learning by noting your newly gained knowledge and skills, along with your will to learn more.

4. Your activities on social media.

Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, also notes that 61% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are making a mistake by having no social media presence at all. Being active on social media allows you to have a platform where you can share your message directly and gives you the chance to showcase your purpose. Make it easy for your readers to find your online profile by adding links to your social media accounts on your executive CV.

Tips in Writing an Executive CV

Man taking notes on how to write an executive CV from his laptop

Writing a CV for executives requires extensive effort, especially if you will use it for purposes beyond job search. To help you start off on the right foot, here are some writing tips from Resume Prime’s executive CV writing experts.

1. Use the “less is more” approach.

While the resume limit of 2 pages doesn’t apply on CV for CEOs, the “less is more” tactic still prevails if you want to catch the attention of your reader. Don’t try to expound every detail of your success. Instead, focus on your biggest feats as they lead to what you want to do next.

2. Format like a leader.

Rather than starting each bullet with your action or activity, begin with measurable impact when writing about your career history. To define the payoff or metric, ask yourself what results you have achieved. This will fuel the creative, visionary, and strategic part of you that has helped you become a great leader.

3. Know what you’re getting into.

Never go to a battle unequipped. Do a research on the group or firm, your target role, and the application guidelines. See what they expect from you; and from there, sell yourself by pitching in your working edge.

4. Finish it like a pro.

Last, aside from the content, the layout of sections also matters. Start with your personal details and statement, followed by your key skills and achievements. Your career history should be in reverse chronological order and your qualifications come last. Never forget to double-check your final draft to avoid glaring grammar and spelling errors.

As you ensure you’re well prepared for your career, do you need further help in writing your executive CV and sending it before the deadline? Trust Resume Prime and let our experts do what they do best — write an effective and custom CV for you. Call us at 1 (888) 846-9272 or check out our executive CV writing services for more details.

Sources: Monster | Forbes | LinkedIn Learning Blog | CV Library
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