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A guide to writing an executive CV

Posted by
24 Jun 2015

I amfrequently asked by the senior legal professionals I represent how best topresent their CVs and how much information to include. Often I find seniorcandidates include too little information in fear that their CV will appear toolong. Although a balance needs to be metbetween a concise career history, clients do like to see detail.

The basicdetails of creating an executive CV are the same for all applicants, keep the fonttraditional such as Ariel, Times New Roman or Calibri and ensure the format iscomputer/email friendly.

Education and Professional Qualifications

It may seemirrelevant or a long time ago, however it is important to include basic secondaryand higher education details. Dates, the name of the education establishmentand the number of grades you achieved will suffice. Similarly, include relevantprofessional qualifications and memberships. Avoid including an excess list oftraining courses and seminars you have attended unless absolutely relevant tothe role for which you are applying.

Summary

You may wantto write a brief synopsis of yourself and career history with any particularhighlights. This can be presented as a paragraph, bullet point orcombination of both. You can tailor this information to each individualapplication ensuring you are pitching yourself at the right level for the roleand demonstrating the value you can add to an organisation.

Career History

Keepinginformation in chronological order is important. Start with the most recentfirst. Clearly state dates, name of organisation and your positon.

This sectionis the most important and the part that most people will struggle with. Foreach role, clearly bullet point key responsibilities and achievements, with asmuch relevant detail as possible. Keep the information to point, avoid writingas a narrative as this can make it difficult for clients to read and absorb theinformation. Include information such as; key accountabilities, managementresponsibilities, personal caseload if applicable, projects you were involvedin and achievements. Try to avoid excess use of figures to illustrateachievements instead describe the event with detail. Give concise examples ofany particular challenges you overcame, management style you adopted.  This personal information is whatdifferentiates you from other applicants and again you can try and tailor thisto suit a particular organisation and/or role.

If you areworried about your CV becoming too long, keep the information on the roles atthe beginning of your career brief. Furthermore, if you are working with anagency, it is better to include as much information as possible as therecruitment consultant can work with you to tailor it for each individual roleyou are applying for.

It is worthmentioning at this point that you should account for any time out of theworkforce. For example: maternity leave, career break, time out to study.

On averageyour CV should be somewhere in the region of five pages in length although thereisn't a hard and fast rule, more importantly the information needs to berelevant and presented in a clear format that makes it easy to read.

If you wouldlike assistance with creating your CV or advice or the senior jobs market,please do contact me on 0161 834 1642 for a confidential discussion. Alternatively, email me at natalie.ferguson@sellickpartnership.co.uk

Tagged In: Careers, CV, Employment, Events, Legal
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