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Executive CV Advice

The Executive CV – Moving Beyond Achievements

Achievements are usually the centre point of a conventional CV, e.g. how much money was saved, how sales increased, what processes were proposed, planned, initiated, implemented or streamlined.

The Executive CV has more than one focus. It describes the Executive’s ability to drive profits (achievements) and the capacity to lead an organization by blending various ‘soft’ skills.

Successes are easier to hone in on. The result is clear and often quantifiable. After all, you penetrated a market or you didn’t, you were a top-performer or you weren’t.

It is harder to capture emotional competencies on paper, to indicate who you are, what you stand for, how you relate to others and how you affect change within an organization.

On an Executive CV, a list of achievements does not suffice. Employers expect more and since your CV is an introduction to your full qualifications, you must incorporate what you have done as well as provide a notion of how you influence others. This information must be presented in a concise and compelling manner given that your CV is your most important marketing tool.

Moving Beyond Achievements

Coupled with a track record of financial success, good leadership is the single most important factor in the survival of an organization. Because of this, Executives who highlight the following ‘soft’ skills on their CV are usually the ones invited to interview. It is the art of describing the following qualities in full that is key to a good Executive CV:

Visionary – An “ideas person” that challenges traditional ways of conducting business, and is willing to take on calculated risks. Demonstrated ability to think strategically, act tactically and have the strength of character to motivate others to buy into his or her ideas, concepts and values

Professional integrity – A person who understands the value of honesty, accountability and trust in a business environment

Charisma – Knack for captivating an audience, having a presence that commands respect and has a natural ability to hold the interest of the listener

Emotional self-control - Someone who anticipates challenges and overcomes those that are unanticipated

Effective use of inner resources – A person that trusts his or her gut instincts and takes the initiative to drive change

Flexible communication style – The ability to assess a situation and react to it appropriately

Since there isn’t much room at the top, opportunities at the Executive level stage are limited, making it vital for your CV to move beyond the entry level approach and to focus on who you are professionally and personally. This is why it is crucial that as an Executive, you present yourself as a complete package - a product a company will want to acquire.

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