Knowing how to write a CV is a skill in itself and needing CV help is very common. It doesn’t matter how impressive your work history is or the number of good things you have to talk about, if you haven’t quite mastered the correct way to write a CV so that your prospective employer sits up and takes notice of you and your achievements then you will almost certainly be selling yourself short.
To help you write your CV, developed by recruiters for recruiters and hiring managers, the Director-e CV conveys, quickly and precisely, the information that really matters if you want to be noticed and rewarded with an interview.
We’ve worked with recruitment professionals and it has been quite an education to learn how they work. They really are time limited and although their skills are acutely honed, they rely on you, the job seeking applicant, and your CV helping them see and recognise the key attributes and experience they are looking for. If they aren’t quickly and clearly visible they will disregard you and move on to someone else.
Write a CV The Director-e Way: A Guide with Tips, Help & Advice
This is the section where you introduce yourself to the reader. Your professional summary should be presented as 3 distinct parts and is strictly limited to 7 lines of text, ensuring that your Professional Summary is succinct, readable, informative and attention grabbing.
The average recruiter will only spend around 10 seconds reading a CV in the first instance, and if they cannot easily find the information they are looking for, they are more likely to discard it.
Part 1: Is about WHAT you are, i.e. A PLC Board level Financial Director from the Automotive sector with extensive financial strategy, business planning; human resource and corporate governance experience.
Part 2: Is about WHAT your value proposition is, i.e. with a consistent track record of bringing measured strategic production planning; financial stability and employee development programmes to large, multi-site manufacturing operations.
Part 3: Is where you show WHAT VALUE you deliver to business, i.e. Key strengths include implementing rapid business turnarounds, designing and implementing financial awareness policies; leveraging new technologies, corporate governance and embedding business-wide performance cultures to achieve best-in-class per capita profit.
This section is where you will highlight the skills you have gained throughout your career that you think will be of most interest to a potential employer. It should be presented as 10-12 key skills in bullet point format. There are no right or wrong skills to showcase, but we would suggest that you consider carefully which skills you believe would demonstrate most value in your preferred discipline.
Make sure you use key words that are immediately recognisable to people in your profession/industry, also remembering that recruiters may also come across your CV using job website search engines. Write your CV by using the same key words across its entirely could increase your chances of being found and approached by recruiters.
This section gives you the opportunity to showcase your 4 key career highlights. Although hiring managers prefer these to be reasonably recent, we recognise that as a seasoned professional, you may have a long career track record with numerous exceptional achievements. Please feel free to showcase yourself as you see fit when you write your CV, but they should have clear relevance to positions declared in the Professional Experience section below.
Our wish is to showcase you as a high-calibre candidate and attract the attention of hiring managers who are seeking seasoned experts and professionals. All of your achievements should be considered relevant and when you speak with the hiring manager, you will have ample opportunity to explore your career highlights in further detail.
When you write your CV, you can accommodate 4 career highlights / key achievements. This is a critical opportunity to grab recruiters’ attention so keep them short, sharp and to the point. Set each highlight / achievement out based on the STAR structure below, and remember you are limited to a maximum of 7 lines per highlight.
S – Situation, What was the SITUATION.
T – Task, what was the TASK.
A – Action, what ACTION did you take.
R – Result, what were the RESULTS – numbers and percentages count.
SITUATION – Following a period of rapid growth and acquisition, TASK – identified a need to consolidate business head count and Recognition and Reward systems across the enlarged group. ACTION – Performed top to bottom review of existing structure and policies with key managers and stakeholders; designed and implemented consolidated group reward systems acting as lead negotiator with employees and unions. RESULT – Oversaw implementation; successfully consolidated company Recognition and Reward systems minimising business disruption and positively managing employee retention and exit strategies, reducing cost base by 12%.
This section is your career in reverse chronological order. This is a critical area as it is your final opportunity to engage with the reader and ensure that they want to turn the page and continue reading – so make it count!
This section is likely to be the longest and most comprehensive of your CV. However, we advise that when you write a CV, you keep it to 2-3 pages in length. Remember that experienced hiring mangers/recruiters will be skim-reading CVs in the first instance to check a candidate’s relevancy to a position, so ensuring that key words such as job title, skills/software used, number of staff reporting to you etc are clearly visible is important.
For each role start by explaining in a brief paragraph what the role entailed, who you were working for and what they do (e.g. automotive manufacturer). Then highlight key duties and responsibilities and demonstrate up to 5 key achievements for each role, ideally in bullet points.
This section will highlight any professional training you’ve had over the course of your career. It will help recruiters/hiring managers immediately identify skills they could be looking for e.g. Six Sigma, PRINCE2, SQL etc. These can be listed simply as bullet points, preferably with dates that the qualifications were attained.
This section highlights your education history, again showing most recent qualifications first and working backwards. Being a seasoned professional, it’s likely that the most interesting thing to recruiters/hiring managers here will be either a university degree or other qualification that relates to your career. Your individual A level/O level/GCE/GCSE results are not required, so when discussing your earlier school years simply give the name of the school and the dates attended.
This section highlights any achievements in either your personal or business life that you feel might be of interest to the hiring manager or recruiter. These can be anything from being Chairperson of a local school, running a marathon, raising money for charity etc. Whilst this section may not necessarily include anything specifically that the recruiter/hiring manager may be looking for, it may contain information that catches the attention of the reader and ultimately may make them take a second look at your CV. Achievements like running a marathon or climbing a mountain may not be relevant to a particular role, but the skills and determination it takes to achieve these things will almost certainly be of interest to a potential employer.
This section will most likely only include a link to your LinkedIn profile. However, for careers such as architecture, graphic design or anything creative you may have a site/blog that contains a portfolio of your work, which would be certainly worth including.