Why you aren’t getting the job you want – The 8 most common executive CV questions answered

Why you aren’t getting the job you want – The 8 most common executive CV questions answered

Your Curriculum Vitae is arguably one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to your executive job hunt. However, as is usually the case, the most important is the most difficult. With so many opinions out there it can be hard to understand what is important and what is not.

Our executive CV development team took the time to answer 8 of the most frequently asked questions about an executive CV to help you understand where you may be going wrong.

1. What makes a good CV?

A good CV is a CV that is targeted to the role you are applying for. So make sure you are using the right language, identifying the key skills for that specific role and that you are really focusing your application on what your prospective employer is seeking.

2. What is the difference between career history and key skills section on the CV?

Career history is an important part of your CV but it is definitely not the whole of it. With a CV the most important part is the targeting of your key skills and competencies to the position you are applying for. So the career history is really a secondary part whereas the Key skills are the most important.

3. What are the most important elements to your CV?

The most important elements that we need to put on the front of the CV are the ones in which are going to sell you into the role. First impressions really count so it makes a difference to put those unique selling points on your CV. So page one, putting those unique selling points and key skills are the most important areas.

4. Should I use bullet points on my CV?

In the career history section, I would suggest bullet points make it an easier read. Faced with a page full of text and long paragraphs, it is far more likely to end up in the bin.

5. Should I tailor each CV to each job?

I would suggest yes, but don’t be too daunted by that. If we have an initial introduction on the CV which covers your key skills and executive summary then this is the area in which we can adapt. the career history is an area that would need less adaptation (if any) so adapting your CV for each role isn’t quite such a huge task for each individual position.

6. Should I have a core competency section on m CV?

I think it is important because it allows a reader to quickly scan the the key skills and identify whether you have the skills in which they are looking for.

7. How far back in my career history should I go?

I would recommend going back 7-10 years – in detail – so we can identify the contributions you have made to the organisations during that time. Prior to that we need to have information about your job role, company you worked for and the date sin which you worked. However, the content and detail is less important as the achievements in the more recent years are more likely to be the most persuasive.

8. How can I influence the reader of my CV?

It is obviously important to highlight your core competencies, experience and areas of skill. The way in which you can influence the reader is by illustrating those and demonstrating those achievements in those fields so we have evidence to back up those claims and show the ways you have added value to organisations in the past.


Obviously the biggest thing about CVs is that not one should be the same and each individual should be tailored towards your own unique experiences. If you would like help with your own executive CV development, click the button below to get in touch with one of our relationship managers and receive a free CV appraisal. Click here to find out how we can help you


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About the author

Michael O'Keeffe

A graduate from Fairfield University in New Media with a particular focus on Television, Michael has worked in social media since graduation. His expertise will offer a variety insights into how you can penetrate into the saturated executive job market.

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