5 Steps to a High Performing Executive CV


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When you are looking to land a top executive job, it’s crucial that your CV impresses recruiters and sells your talents to employers effectively. Whether you are a senior manager, managing director or CEO, you need to demonstrate your ability to lead a business to long-term sustainable success. But with stiff competition in the executive world, how do you ensure that your CV stands out for the right reasons and captures the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers. Take a look at the following 5 steps to a successful executive CV.



Develop a simple CV structure

As you may know, recruiters do not spend long on the initial scan of your CV. Whilst sifting through scores of applications, they will most likely take a quick glance to find the essential requirements before deciding to invest any more time in you.

For this reason, your CV must be logically structured in a manner which is easy to skim-read and pick out important points. Use a clean and simple font, divide sections with bold headings and break text up as much as possible to make the read less daunting. Your roles should be started with a contextual introduction and then bullet pointed responsibilities and achievements.


Deliver a confident profile pitch

The top of your CV is extremely valuable space, because it is the first thing anybody will see upon opening the document. Getting this part of your CV wrong could lead to instant rejection in some cases, so invest some time into the crafting of a powerful profile.

Your CV profile is a short paragraph that sits at the top of your CV with the aim of summarising your offerings and selling yourself to employers. Use your profile to show your industry background, type and size of the companies you work for, and the overall impact you make for your employers in line with the requirements of your target roles. Write in a professional but persuasive tone to excite the reader and encourage them to continue reading your CV.  


Demonstrate crucial skills

Within your role descriptions, there are certain skills that all executives need to demonstrate in order to land job interviews. The skills below are a good base to work from.


Executives are responsible for the long-term well-being of an organisation, so they must have abilities in planning and implementing strategies that drive company-wide success. Your roles should have clear examples of strategies you have devised, introduced and delivered, as well as the results they have achieved.


All companies want growth and executive hires will be expected to deliver it, so your executive CV must contain plenty of examples of growth you’ve achieved. Whether it’s market share, headcount, revenue, or any other metric, show the tactics employed to achieve growth for previous employers.


Executives play a key role in keeping businesses profitable, so it should feature heavily in your CV. Any examples of margin increases, creating revenue streams or delivering record profits should be made prominent in your CV.

Management team building

Senior executives will normally lead management teams with responsibilities for various areas of the business. A strong executive should not only be able to recruit and build a strong management team, but also lead them and maintain an excellent level of performance across their areas.


Prove your impact

Throughout your CV, you must prove the impact you make or hiring managers will find it difficult to understand the benefits of hiring you. Employers will expect to see positive results from a new executive they bring on board, so it’s important to detail your previous results if you want to get your foot in the door.

Some typical results that an executive might include are:

  • Increasing headcount from 300 to 350 and opening 2 new European offices
  • Generating £500k revenue in first year – a 20% increase from the previous year
  • Increasing profit margins by 5% via contract negotiations with suppliers


Andrew Fennell is the director of executive CV writing service Standout CV and author of How to write a CV – The Ultimate Guide

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