Improve Your Executive CV With These CV Writing Essentials
There is simply no room for sloppiness or careless mistakes in the executive recruitment realm.
Your CV is a direct reflection of your communication skills and professionalism, and a small error can very well cost you a coveted opportunity.
When putting together an executive CV, it’s critically important to pay attention to the seemingly minor details.
Before you send off your CV, run through our list of top 10 executive CV writing essentials.
1. Start with the basics
Your header should contain your:
If you hold any professional designations such as "CPA," consider listing them after your name as well.
- Make sure that your email address is professional.
- FirstNameLastName@gmail.com will work just fine.
- It’s often considered poor taste to provide your company email address, especially if you are currently working there.
- Provide a permanent number that you check regularly.
- Again, avoid providing your company line.
- Make sure that your greeting is professional.
You can list your full mailing address, but this is no longer a strict requirement.
Learn how to create a custom, abbreviated LinkedIn URL at this link.
Make sure that your LinkedIn content aligns with that of your CV, as inconsistencies can raise red flags.
2. Provide an overview of your career highlights
For this section, you can use one of two headings:
Instead of writing a generic professional summary in paragraph format, use 4-5 bullet points to craft an overview of your main achievements and career progression.
Provide specific examples instead of generic industry buzzwords.
Create a two-column bulleted list summarising your key industry expertise.
Avoid listing soft skills such as “strong communicator” and “team player.” Instead, highlight your key technical proficiencies.
3. List your roles
Unless you have a strong reason for not doing so, you should list your professional experience in reverse chronological order.
Be sure to include:
- Always list month and year. You don’t want to raise any questions about whether you're being completely transparent.
- If you only list years of employment, it’s likely that recruiters will ask for a more detailed breakdown later anyway.
- If you held multiple positions at one company, you should provide the dates you held each position.
4. Highlight your accomplishments
To stand out from other applicants, use your bullet points to explain what you accomplished in each role – not just what you did day-to-day.
- Did you increase sales? By how much?
- Did you sign deals? How many?
- Did you save the company money? How?
- Did you work on special projects? What impact did they have?
5. Be specific
Never assume the reader will know what you mean.
Don’t say that you signed “multiple” deals with companies in “various” sectors, for example.
Spell it out.
Quantify your contributions and the scope of your work whenever possible.
6. Write concisely
Say much as possible using as few words as possible.
And avoid flowery and self-promotional language.
7. Format neatly
Any of the following formatting slips convey sloppiness and poor attention to detail:
- Lack of alignment
- Inconsistent spacing between sections
- Multiple fonts/font sizes in one section
- Cluttered or “claustrophobic” appearance (from attempting to squeeze too much onto a page)
- Unprofessional fonts/colours
8. Stick to conventions
Let your experience speak for itself.
You don’t need to do anything fancy design-wise to make your CV stand out.
In our experience, it’s better to keep it simple and stick to traditional CV writing conventions.
9. Check your grammar and spelling
Your grammar and spelling need to be 100% correct.
If you’re not an expert, download Grammarly or have your CV edited by someone who is.
10. Print it on paper and check it again
It’s easy for your eyes to glean over errors when you’re reading a document on your screen.
We always recommend printing it on paper and copy editing the old-fashioned way!
Learn more about our executive CV, cover letter, and LinkedIn preparation service here.
If you have any questions about how we can assist, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also read more about us at this link.