Ooh, sir/ma’am -_-. I know you certainly have people to manage, visions to fulfill, and missions to follow, so your time is limited. Still, you may want to put your executive CV out there in the job market to notify employers that you’re ready to move to another company and open for exciting offers. Believe me, I know; I have already met with and coached tens of executive professionals throughout the past four years.
From my experience, I would say that there are two major obstacles that executives typically face as they prepare for their next move. The first one, as we said, is the lack of time to showcase your wide expertise. I mean, when would you start listing your expertise with all those critical tasks to finish? The second obstacle is very common among all the executives I have met, which is having an outdated CV.
Here I will tell you how someone with your wide expertise can have the two-page professional CV that helps you nail your next job. But, before I start, notice that your CV’s main purpose is to get you an interview, not get you hired. Also, bear in mind that the examples I’m using are only for reference; they should not be copied and pasted.
With that being said, let’s get started.
Needless to say, you should start your CV with your first and last name and nothing else. Don’t use your full name because it’s a CV, not a passport. Leave out the word CV as it is not a banner for a new shop’s opening. Your name should suffice.
Under your name, you should write your targeted title. Mention only one title because as you know, a CV matches a job; you cannot say “Hey, that’s my CV so I should use it to apply for multiple various titles.” You don’t want your next employer to think that after all these years of experience, you are not sure about your next step.
Next, you should write your professional email. Thank God all the executive CVs I found were very professional in that aspect. Hooray!
Afterwards, write just one mobile number. Yes, you got it right: “mobile number.” No one uses landlines to call anymore.
Finally, write your address in the following way: neighborhood, city, country. For example, If you live in Maadi, you may write “Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.” Nothing more! Your next manager might be friendly, but they are not going to pay a visit, are they?
Professional Summary Not Objective
The part that follows your personal information is not your objective that starts with the cliche of “seeking a challenge…” You want a CV that stands out; why add a section that every recruiter out there knows for sure that it’s a meaningless cliche that everyone, for no apparent reason, copies/pastes? Also, someone in your current level is not seeking a challenging position; you should be aiming for more.
In all seriousness, this part should focus on answering the question “why
should we hire you?” You should highlight your most relevant strengths and quantifiable achievements that are unique to you as a candidate. Just imagine your recruiter asking you this question. With this question in mind, prepare a good answer and phrase it into your professional summary. Consider it the first impression you want to leave with the employer and write it this way.
To recap, you want to include the following elements in your statement:
- Core strengths that are most relevant to the role
- Past relevant experience
- Notable accomplishments that you intend to repeat in the next role.
Here’s an example from an executive CV:
- An expert MBA holder with 10+ years of experience in the automotive industry who was elected as ASQ (Local Member Community in Egypt) Communication Chair for two consecutive rounds (2016/2017 and 2018/2019).
- A strategic executive with a solid vision who is certified as BIQ Lead Calibrator, Red X Master, OpEx Lead, and Lean Six-Sigma Green Belt. Served as a key engineer in shaping the quality and manufacturing sectors of General Motors.
The next part that you need to include in your executive CV is core competencies. This part includes the core skills that you have and are required in your next career destination. They should be arranged in bullet points from most to least important.
Needless to say, trying to abuse this part by adding only the relevant skills (that you do not have) to your next destination does harm your chances of getting interviewed.
- Strategic planning
- Staff leadership and development
- Statistical problem solving
- Project management
- Organizational proficiency
- Quality management
- Lean manufacturing
Honors, Awards, and Certificates
Let’s address the elephant in the room, well, in our case, in the blog. If you do not have any honors, awards, or certificates, it won’t be the end of the world. You can completely ignore this part if your expertise does not include it. Simple!
Now, this part should include all the honors, awards, and certificates you have collected throughout your career.
What does every word mean, you may ask?
- Honors: any roles you held as a person of high esteem like being a keynote speaker at a certain big event or the honorary head of an organization.
- Awards: prizes you received because of your professional expertise.
- Certificates: a self-explanatory term, but what you need to know here is the difference between certificates and training. As an executive, you are not required to include all the training courses you have attended in your CV. You’re more expert than this. You are only required to mention notable, relevant certificates in this section of your executive CV. Why? Because they simply add more weight to your expertise.
Examples for honors and awards are as follows:
- Keynote Speaker on Ain Shams University Industry Day, 2019
- Assessor for the ASQ MEA Quality Professional Award, 2018
- Communication Chair ASQ-LMC “Local Member Community” for 2016/2017 and 2018/2019
Here are a couple of examples for certificates:
- Trained as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 Internal Auditor, April 2018
- Certified as Regional Coach and Auditor for GM Quality System (BIQ), November 2015
If you think that this is the easiest part in your CV where things should be smooth and easy, you don’t know the half of it.
This part of your executive CV is one of the most important ones for recruiters because it summarizes your professional expertise.
Here are a few tips you can follow in this regard.
- Focus on the achievements not the roles. Ideally, your CV should start with relevant positions you held. Relevant to what? Relevant to the job you are applying for. Anyway, under each position you should include key achievements prioritized by importance. After the key achievements, you should also list the key roles in the order of most to least important.
- We do this prioritization because we want to make sure that your executive CV does not exceed the two- to three-page limit. Why this limit? Because your CV gets read in 5–7 seconds, according to a survey made by WUZZUF and the good people at theundercoverrecruiter.com.
This is how your work experience section should look like in your executive CV:
Manufacturing Engineering Manager Oct 2018–Current
- Increased the market share of Thoresen General Cargo Liner Service (China and SE Asia to Egypt), from 15% to 65%
- Restructured manufacturing teams to include competent technology-based engineers instead of product line engineers
- Drove continuous improvement in the organizational, technical, and business information processes/systems through lean/innovative thinking/ideas
Finally comes the easiest part which is education. Here you write your postgraduate studies, if any, with your GPA (if it’s high enough to add more value to your resume). Then you write your graduation major, followed by the university name and the graduation year.
Examples of how the education section should look like in an executive CV include:
- MBA, specialized in Strategic Management and Operation Management, German University in Cairo (GUC), 2016
- Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Design and Production Engineering, Ain Shams University (ASU), 2008
Now, you’re done. That’s all you need to write in your two-page executive CV.
We know writing a CV from scratch for a person in your position is quite a hassle. That’s why I created this step-by-step guide for you to write a resume that matches your expertise and career aspirations. However, you can save yourself all the trouble and have your CV written by a Career Expert.
If you have any further questions on CV writing or anything that is career-related, feel free to reach out to me or any of WUZZUF’s Career Experts here.