A well-constructed CV is a statement about who you are and what you have achieved, and should be a document that convinces the reader of the need to meet you. In essence the CV is a ‘passport’ to a face-to-face meeting. It’s often the first step in the recruiting process and the first form of contact a candidate will have with a prospective employer. You only get one chance to capture attention and therefore it needs to be relevant, appropriate and impactful. It needs to give the reader no option but to meet with you.
Qualify impact and achievement of performance outcomes.
My clients, those that make leadership appointments – seek to hire people who they believe will improve business performance. A CV that captures achievements, that lists outcomes and qualifies a track record of delivery resonates with my customers and typically encourages the hiring manager to want to meet the candidate. A CV that is a narrative about a candidate’s experience and fails to qualify how this individual leads teams to achieve against performance targets has less impact with my audience/clients. For my customers it’s important to list achievements on the front page of a CV. Doing this suggests the candidate is outcome focused and has a history/legacy of effectively leading teams to add value. Good clients will welcome this bias and be keen to meet the candidate to assess ‘fit’ to there organisation and to establish a sense of comfort around the individual’s leadership style and ability to get things done.
Tell the reader who you are and what you want.
Often profiles, those listed at the top of a CV are verbose and reference a list of competencies, skills and experiences. My clients tend to respond well to a short concise statement that says, for example:
A highly effective Managing Director who has successfully led both PE and Publicly owned international manufacturing companies to consistently achieve double digit sales and profit growth, looking for his/her next leadership challenge.
A crisp statement of who you are and what you want presents a picture of self assured, focused individual with clarity of purpose and direction.
A well-managed career, captured in summary form on a CV has a positive impact on my clients. A CV that shows role and accountability progression, either when moving from company to company or within the same firm presents an individual who has effectively advanced his/her responsibilities and who has successfully developed and been effective at advancing ones career. This can be best captured by bulleting chronologically at the top of the CV the roles, duration and companies the individual has worked for. Although important, a candidates roles and responsibilities mean very little with my audience, unless the candidate can qualify the positive contribution his/her leadership has had on performance.
It’s helpful to get a sense of a candidate’s view on their own leadership style, values, competencies and behaviours when screening CV’s and although not common, it’s helpful to capture this in a CV. Words like decisive, collegiate, inclusive and performance orientated are often used. Core competencies around change and transformation, resonate well with most clients.
Presentation, particularly grammar is important. Your CV is a shop window to who you are and what you’re about. The CV is a reference to the ‘professional you’ and should demonstrate your commitment to the highest standards. Show you care and make sure it looks professional. Obviously email and phone contact details are important on a CV but from my experience, the home address etc is less relevant today. Where you live should not determine your suitability for a role. Your next role will not be based on how you look, and although optional – a photo is not needed on a CV.