16.08.2021

Five common mistakes even executives make on their CV

It may be a surprise to learn that even top level executives make common mistakes on their CVs, but there's no doubt that they do occur - frequently. The fact is that hiring at an executive level diverges from general hiring in a number of ways. So if you're operating at the highest levels of your career, you need to understand what will make you stand out and be adept at avoiding the common errors that executive hire recruiters and hiring managers see time and time again.

The challenge lies in shouting out about all the experiences that you've had, whilst a) being concise and b) appearing to be relevant in a marketplace that constantly changes and renews.

With that in mind, these are the five most common CV mistakes that executive applicants make on their applications:

1. Failing to highlight experience in a full and meaningful way

A job title isn't enough - it's essential to fully layout your career history, but in a way that highlights the most relevant and important things to the role that you're applying for. This degree of highlighting and personalisation is vital to job applicants at all levels. Yes, you might be director, but this doesn't explain your role and its dimensions - so explain this and give plenty of interest for interviewers to then discuss with you.

2. Overly relying on the basic CV

When you operate at a executive level, recruiters are unlikely to find you via your CV. However, they are very likely to find you via LinkedIn, especially for executive roles. This means that it's vital to invest in the quality, relevance and updating of your LinkedIn profile. Boost it with recommendations, referrals, professional qualifications, awards, contributions to relevant discussions, thought leadership pieces and other important pieces of high quality and important information. This will allow the higher level jobs that you want... to find you!

3. Coming across as lacking relevance in the current marketplace

Appearing to be generally 'out of touch' - particularly with regards to technology, market trends, and employee trends is self-explanatory but so important. Be sure to show how you are up to date in your industry, and that you understand the challenges, opportunities, threats and changes facing it. Again, LinkedIn is a great forum for demonstrating this relevance and strategic insight. Simply detailing achievements in previous roles and incarnations just won't cut it - especially when your successes are related to now-defunct technologies.

4. Detailing every single position you've ever had

Executive search professionals are really only interested in your senior or pivotal roles. They really don't need to know about your first junior position or the paper round you had several decades ago! Unless it's relevant, strip it out. Focus on roles that you had over the past decade.

5. Failing to tailor your CV for the position in question

This is something that candidates at all levels routinely fail to do. Ask yourself whether each piece of content on your CV is relevant to the role you are interested in. If it isn't strip it out. Have you answered all requirements of the CV and the role description? If not, flag up relevant points of experience, knowledge and career history.

The help you need

At Cento, we are executive search experts and we offer far more than basic CV services to our executive level clients. When you choose Cento for your talent solutions, our exclusive Executive Search offers priority access to the finest talent managers, market insight services, recruitment technology solutions - including AI, video interview platforms and more. Additionally, we offer the largest candidate pool of 'on 'and 'in' market talent in the engineering, manufacturing and energy sectors.

To find out more, please contact us on: 01509 615 290 admin@centogroup.com
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