How to write an ‘Executive’ level CV for Director positions

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A CV for a Director position is different. The level of the role, its importance and its uniqueness within each company and depending upon the stage in the lifecycle of the company set it apart.

It’s a challenging thing to write and this should never be under-estimated. It always justifies specific effort. A generic firing off of the one you used last time will never do. If you are an experienced and high performing Director but you don’t know where to start with your CV then don’t worry – you are not alone. It may be a long time since you wrote a CV and that does not detract from your ability to perform the role.

Here are the key differences with a Director level CV.

 

It requires more detail

A Director has the power to make a big difference to a company. They can literally make or break the company. So, rightly, a basic list of what you have done in your career is not sufficient.

The fact that you have been in a similar position for x years is not sufficient. It never is for any job, but even more so here. It’s all about what you have achieved.

 

It has to be relatively succinct

There is a difficult balance to be set between getting across the requisite detail and avoiding going on to a silly number of pages. A CV should not in any circumstances be more than three pages.

How to achieve this? Avoid the pointless commentary, the descriptiveness; particularly descriptions of the companies for whom you have worked. Make it all about you and what you have achieved.

 

It’s about leadership rather than management

 With a Director level CV some universal truths about recruitment and selection come into even sharper focus. The fact that you didn’t single-handedly complete all aspects of something does not mean that you can’t write it on your CV. Indeed if you were to only focus on what you personally did, you would either be missing out the most important things or you would show up a limited capacity to delegate.

You need to be specific about what you did, what decisions you took, why, how and with what results and what you oversaw within the company. And you need to do this without using the term ‘we’.  As I’ve said before, there may be no ‘I’ in team but there is no ‘we’ in recruitment and selection.

 

The structure can be similar to any other CV

You will still need a summary – it’s just a high level one. You will still need work experience that includes achievements – but they will have to be significant. And you still need your education section. This should be degree level upwards if you have one, or professional qualifications only otherwise.

CPD is a big part. If you are qualified in some of the key recent changes within your industry, this is highly valuable in terms of direction setting.

 

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Graeme Jordan

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CV Writer and Interview Coach. Blogging about ways to improve your CV writing and job searching experience.