The Rules of Writing a CV For Senior-Level Candidates
As a senior-level executive, your CV is not confined to a printed copy that accompanies you to job interviews. Rather, your CV is one that highlights your achievements in a way that it gets you high-level jobs via recommendations and executive referrals. This is where your wealth of experience and strength of your network works in your favour.
As an executive candidate, there are certain principles that should guide you as you put your CV together. You should bear in mind that as a professional, you will not always have to apply for a job directly. When you upload your CV on a popular job website, there is a strong chance that you will be recommended for the job. This will, however, only happen if your CV is tailored to achieve this. Take a look at the dos and don’ts of CV writing that we have compiled for you.
The Dos of CV Writing for Top-Level Candidates
These are the elements you want to focus on when rewriting your CV. You can’t possibly put everything interesting that has happened in your career into your CV. As a professional, your CV should stand out with achievements and relevant experience that employers would be drawn to. However, the question is, how do you achieve this? Simply follow the tips below:
Success Stories Around Your Career
When your CV tells a prospective employer how you achieved certain goals especially around revenue, branding and strategy, they begin to draw up a mental picture of you doing the same thing for their organisations. As a top-level candidate, your wealth of experience should work in your favour.
In order to highlight success stories that you have championed, consider using a Challenge-Action-Results pattern to showcase your achievements and successes that you have recorded. Don’t hesitate to reinforce the value you are bringing to the table.
Pay Attention to Personal Branding
What personal branding does for you as a senior-level candidate is that it blurs the lines between your passion, your strong personal attributes and your value proposition. These are things employers want to see in a top-level candidate. The better you highlight these, the higher your chances of landing the job.
You should remember that even as an executive or highly experienced candidate, you would be competing for the role with others who are as qualified as you are. What companies are searching for is the candidate who is the best fit.
Make Your Job Target as Clear as Possible
The more your CV falls in line with what employers are searching for, the higher their inclination to invite you for an interview and this further increases the chances of hiring you.
You should steer clear of making your CV generic. Instead, structure it in such a way that it targets the particular role you are applying for. Employers don’t have all the time in the world to go through every single CV they receive in detail. You might be a really good fit for the job but your CV has to make this obvious as well because this is the document that speaks on your behalf.
The Don’ts of CV Writing for Top-Level Candidates
A good CV comes with restrictions and your ability to follow through. Your CV, as a senior-level candidate, should market your career and not just end up in the trash. These are things you should not do when writing your CV at this level.
Avoid Talking About What You Stand to Benefit
Let’s be very honest with you. Employers don’t care much about statements like “…self-motivated to help me achieve positions of career advancement.” You should not fall into the trap of telling an employer what the job will do for you. Instead, strike hard and resoundingly at the things you can do for the company. This is what employers want to know. This is where you want to showcase your value, skill and experience. Ensure you have an executive statement that sells your value as the best fit.
Don’t Stuff Your CV With Information
As a candidate with many years of experience, you’re bound to have a lot to put on your CV. This is one temptation you have to avoid though. The reason is simple. Busy employers have no more than 10 seconds to decide whether they are impressed by what they have seen on your CV or not. One page you want to pay close attention to is the opening page. If you lose the employer on the first page, there is an unfortunately high tendency that they will not go any further than they already have.
Avoid Stretching It
Your CV should not exceed two pages or better still, keep it as close to 2 pages as much as you can. At this stage of your career, your CV represents a career marketing document. The last thing you want to do with your CV is to make it a history of your entire career.
Your focus should be on making it as compelling as you can without going as far back as 10-16 years ago. In a situation where you feel the need to cite an experience that stretches that far back, endeavour to encapsulate such information into a line or two.
Find Your Own Voice
You are a professional and you should have a confident voice of your own. Write your CV in your own unique voice and that is mainly because many have cultivated the habit of flooding their CVs with cliches like visionary, excellent communication skills, results-oriented and much more. What you should use instead, are action words and strong words like pioneered, leveraged and much more.
If your CV does not trigger any interest in the hands of an employer who is clearly in need of your services, then the problem is not with you as a candidate but with your CV. Remember that you can only make yourself easy write your CV professionally or get recruitment experts to rewrite your CV. Rewrite yours today.