If you find yourself looking for a new role at Director and C-Suite level, it’s easy to think your job title will automatically open the right doors for you. After all, everyone knows what’s required at director level, don’t they?
They must understand your expertise and that you must have the performance, experience and knowledge to step into a similar new role. But, unfortunately, it rarely works like this.
Director and C-Suite level
That’s because Director-level roles are as diverse as any other with the added problem that there are fewer of them. And directors struggle to find new roles for other reasons too, such as not understanding how to identify and present their value and benefits to a new organisation.
This means they often return to the job market believing their previous title conveys everything anyone needs to know and that their skills and experience are obvious.
This is usually a mistake.
And that’s why it’s so important that if you’ve been working at director level, you thoroughly overhaul and rebrand your CV before you start looking for a new position. This is especially important if you’ve been with the same company or in the same role for several years.
It could be that since you last applied for a job, your existing CV focus and format is now outdated and no longer fit for purpose. It’s not just about getting the format right – although that’s important – it’s also about understanding how to use the right keywords in the right places so your CV gets picked up through online searches.
At London Outplacement, we focus on helping directors to get across their trademark approach and professional value. This ensures a new organisation can easily see the benefits they can contribute.
And that’s why we write for a high percentage of directors and senior executives. We have the experience necessary to produce a high-quality CV that conveys the right message, one capable of attracting the attention of the right employer.
How to write the perfect Director CV
A great CV is a must for any job, so if your CV doesn’t match up to today’s expectations, you could well be overlooked. CVs have changed considerably over the last few years. This is why directors, many of whom have run the same company for years with no need to sell themselves on the job market, tend to stick to what they know and end up taking an outmoded and too traditional approach.
Why You Need a New Approach to a Director-Level CV
A key difference between writing a management-level CV and a director-level CV is the need for the director-level CV to emphasise leadership skills over technical and managerial ability. A standard management-level CV takes the wrong approach, and often uses an outdated layout. There’s also the fact that the CV may well not be tailored to meet the demands of online job-searching.
As a director, your CV must now show how your experience and achievements will help a new organisation achieve their business goals. It needs to show how you’ve led other businesses to higher profits, lower costs or more efficient systems. You need to show how your role fitted into the management structure of the organisation. Who do you report to, the Board of Directors or the Chairman?
Your CV also needs to demonstrate how you manage, monitor and guide the business you work for and what sort of decision-making power you have within the company. As part of this, you must detail who reports to you and show you have the knowledge and experience to choose the right strategies and routes to success across the whole organisation.
7 Top Tips On How to Write an Outstanding Director CV
Writing a Director-level CV takes skill, so here’s how to ensure your CV gets you noticed.
1: Focus on achievements rather than responsibilities
Concentrate on showcasing your successes rather than what you do. Current hands-on experience isn’t as important as showing your leadership skills and how you’ve contributed to the business in terms of increased profits, reduced costs or greater efficiencies. As a director, your ability to form winning business strategies based on information received by other managers is more important than technical skill. Make sure your CV profiles your management style or approach to leadership above everything else.
Use the questions below to help you identify what makes you attractive to your next employer.
What are my proudest career achievements?
Which areas of the business would struggle if I left tomorrow?
What are my unique strengths?
What do I love doing?
2: Quantify your results
Wherever possible, back up your successes with examples and quantify them with numbers. This will add depth and authority to your CV. Make sure your achievements are linked directly to the business’s core activity as well as its profitability and productivity. Ideally, your numbers should support your claim to have had a direct impact on any increases in profit or growth and decreases in costs and outgoings over a period of time. Focus the evidence of your achievements on the following areas:
Implementation of policies.
Change and crisis management.
3: Make your CV searchable
Make it clear that you have specific industry knowledge and that you understand the business by using relevant keywords and buzzwords. This will ensure your CV gets picked up by recruitment search software. This is critical when so much recruitment takes place through online job sites, LinkedIn and head-hunters.
4: Think of your CV as a business case
A CV is a sales tool designed to get you an interview, so use it to demonstrate your value and the return on investment you offer. Use it to persuade, inform, excite and deliver a result. To make your CV more powerful, do your homework on the company you’re applying to and tailor it to meet the needs of the organisation and the role advertised. Make it clear why the company should appoint you above anyone else by putting forward a business case that makes hiring you a good decision.
5: Remember you are a brand
When you’re looking for a job you need to build on and reinforce your own personal brand. This will be expressed through your CV as well as your LinkedIn, cover letter and one-page executive bio.
6: Test the strength of your CV
Look at everything you’ve written about yourself on your CV and ask yourself, ‘So what?’ at each stage. If you can’t answer that question, you need to strengthen that weak point. Add a fact, an action that came from it or a benefit it provides. Your CV will set the agenda for the interview, so focus on areas you want to expand upon.
7: Edit your career history
List your positions from the last 10 years with five or six achievements beneath each role. Add context with some additional information such as the company’s area of operation, size, number of employees and annual turnover.
8: Finishing touches
Present your highest-level academic qualification first.
Add important industry-related qualifications.
Include any memberships of associations (and your level of membership).
Add details of any boards you’ve sat on.
Include information about speeches given at distinguished industry events.
Using a Director CV Writer
It takes time and effort to write an outstanding CV with a convincing sales pitch. This is why many directors seek an established company to write one for them. Cntact London Outplacement to discuss how we can help you. We can ensure your CV is set up so it uses keywords effectively and ensures your CV is visible to head-hunters and recruiters you want to impress.
Apart from anything else, having an outstanding CV will boost your own confidence as it gives you a perspective on yourself and presents you in a way that may be difficult to achieve by working on your own.
Do reach out by completing the online form if need help constructing your sales pitch and value proposition.