Executive CV Writing
Posted 5 June 2017
Whether you are preparing for a job search or an annual performance review, keeping your CV up-to-date is a worthwhile practice. Do not rely on your memory when it comes to revising your CV months down the line, but update it frequently to keep track of your career path and prepare for the future.
When writing a CV, it is easy to become caught up in recording all the details of your past, but it is important not to forget the reason why you are writing a resume. It should be viewed as a tool that can help you begin a different role or even a different life. Focus on communicating your value and your unique selling point, and be prepared to adapt your CV to suit the job you are applying for.
At Cranmore, we have many years of experience in specialist executive recruitment for sectors such as pharmaceutical and healthcare, data and research, manufacturing and industrial, as well as technology, telecoms and media. Many roles are based in large cities such as London and New York where competition is fierce so to help you create the best CV possible, here are some tips to remember:
The most important thing is that your CV is concise and focused. Ideally, it should be 1-2 pages long, or 3 pages if you have many publications, speaking engagements, or board positions to record. However, you need to question the value of every piece of information you include. If you have experience from over 15 years ago then it is most likely outdated and therefore not significant. Keep lengthy details of projects from your early career to a minimum, and stick to relevant skills for the post you are applying for. Your CV is a summary and does not need to include every detail of your career, but it should clearly show your employment path to date. Having gaps in your CV is not detrimental as long as you can explain why you had that break.
Making it easy for the recruiter to see how you fit the role is of paramount importance. If you are writing a chronological CV, put your most recent employment and skills first and highlight clearly the relevant experience you have to fulfil the role. The recruiter should not have to figure out what qualities you have, so make them stand out. Some people create their CV by listing the relevant skills first, but this must include clear dates or the recruiter will not know how recently these skills were achieved. Once you have spent time perfecting your CV, avoid using the same resume for all future positions that you apply to as this can have a negative impact. Use the original CV as a template but make sure each separate CV highlights the key points that each company is looking for.
Language and Layout
Optimise your CV for skim readers and draw their eye to the important areas by using a bold font for job titles and important achievements. Keep the layout streamlined and user-friendly and do not create an elaborate document using different fonts, text boxes and images. This should be reserved for creative industries and could result in you being rejected if your CV is distracting, hard to open, or difficult to scan. Do not add a photograph unless asked to do so as this may conflict with Human Resource’s rules on discrimination, and they may be duty-bound to reject you. Also, make sure that you spell check and proofread your CV for errors, or have someone else do this for you. With spell checking software readily available there is no excuse for poor spelling and appearing careless, especially when applying for an executive role.
When writing a CV remember to keep it succinct, show your skills, and check your spelling!
If you are searching for your next career step or wanting to find the perfect candidate for your company, contact Cranmore for personal and experienced advice on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0333 0110 573.