How to Write an Executive CV

Posted on 4 June 2024

An executive CV, also known as a leadership resume, is a comprehensive document that outlines the professional experience, achievements, skills, and qualifications of an individual seeking executive-level positions such as CEO, MD, Director, Vice President, Chief… or other top-level roles within an organisation.

It serves as a short and effective tool to evidence a candidate’s professional abilities, including previous experience, management capabilities, and their capacity to drive organisational growth.

While both regular and executive CVs share a common structure, such as educational background, work history, and skills, an executive CV emphasises leadership experience, strategic thinking, and a track record of delivering results at the highest levels of a business.

For this reason, executive CVs tend to be longer and more detailed than standard CVs, highlighting significant accomplishments, board memberships, industry recognition, and other indicators of leadership ability.

Companies seeking executive-level talent typically look for a combination of technical expertise and soft skills essential for driving business success. Some key skills and qualities often sought after in an executive CV include:

Leadership

Ability to inspire and lead teams, set strategic direction, and achieve business objectives.

Strategic Thinking

Capacity to develop and implement long-term plans that align with organisational goals and adapt to changing market conditions.

Financial Acumen

Proficiency in financial management, budgeting, forecasting, and maximising shareholder value.

Communication

Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to convey complex ideas clearly and influence stakeholders at all levels.

Problem-Solving

Aptitude for identifying challenges, developing innovative solutions, and mitigating risks to ensure operational efficiency and profitability.

Decision-Making

Sound judgment and decisiveness in high-pressure situations, balancing short-term needs with long-term objectives.

Change Management

Experience leading organisational change initiatives, fostering a culture of agility and continuous improvement.

Industry Knowledge

Deep understanding of the industry landscape, market trends, competitive dynamics, and regulatory environment.

When structuring an executive CV, you should consider the following components, which are integral to an effective executive CV layout:


Header

Include your name, contact information, and a professional title (e.g., CEO, CFO).

Executive Summary/Objective

Provide an impressive, punch, and concise overview of your career highlights, leadership
strengths, and career objectives.

Professional Experience

Detail your work history in reverse chronological order, emphasising executive roles, key
achievements, and quantifiable results.

Education

List your educational background, including degrees, certifications, and relevant coursework.

Skills

Highlight key skills and competencies relevant to executive leadership, such as strategic planning, financial management, and team building.

Achievements/Awards

Showcase notable accomplishments, awards, honours, or industry recognition.

Board Memberships/Professional Affiliations

Include any board memberships, advisory roles, or affiliations with professional organisations.

References

Provide references or testimonials from colleagues, clients, or industry leaders who can attest to your qualifications and character.

Most importantly, ensure that your executive CV is well-organised, visually appealing, and tailored to the specific requirements of the target role and industry.

In summary, crafting an effective executive CV requires a strategic approach that effectively communicates your record of leading teams, departments, and organisations, at the highest level.

Set yourself apart by emphasising key skills such as leadership, strategic thinking, communication, and decision-making, and structuring your CV to showcase your professional experience, education, achievements, and relevant affiliations.

By creating a compelling executive CV, tailored to the expectations of prospective employers and executive recruitment partners, you can position yourself as a ‘must have’ candidate for coveted C-suite roles.

Visit MB Executive to learn more about our executive service.