Intro to CVs
What are your strengths from an employer’s point of view? Why should they choose you amongst other candidates? Will they notice your uniqueness after opening your CV? Why should the main decision maker devote 15 minutes of their time to you, although their company does not have an open recruitment process?
Your CV is your business card
It is the first impression you will make on the recipient of your CV before they actually meet you. That is why the quality of the CV is so important. An ideal résumé communicates your personality and traits as an executive, and therefore its content should be prepared with the reader in mind and be relevant & concrete.
When preparing free CV Reports, we assess, i.a., formatting, language accuracy, overall legibility or punctuation consistency. Our clients, experienced managers and usually board members, are very often surprised by the low scores their CVs receive. One of them – a CEO from a heavy industry company – had an interesting insight after reading his report. He scored 12%:
“It looks like I am a good quality “product” packed in an inadequate box […] Let me say that it is better to have a good product in a bad packaging, rather than the opposite. I suppose it should be easier to upgrade the packaging rather than the content, which seems to be looking fine :). So, the future looks good.”
And he is right!
General CV writing tips
The structure of the traditional CV has changed over the last 10 years. On top of that, there is a difference between the CV of a student and the one of an executive. What often happens is that instead of completely re-doing their CV, top managers simply keep adding to their “student-versions”. The result: a hybrid CV that is not worthy of the 21st century.
- When preparing your CV avoid writing in the first person. It makes the whole text more difficult to read. We know that there are career coaches that claim otherwise. We’ve verified with HR Directors and CEOs.
- Ideal length: 2-3 pages. Additional, relevant information that does not fit onto that 2-3 pages, should be placed in another document that we call Project Portfolio.
Last, but not least: always make sure you double-check everything: formatting, grammar, spelling, etc. To get it right, read Getting it right.