How to prepare a CV when going for a C-Level Role

How to prepare a CV when going for a C-Level Role

When applying for corporate executive positions, it is essential to distinguish yourself from the competition. The following is a list of some golden rules that you need to adhere to in order to prepare a CV that stands out above the rest:

Most important section of a CV

The first one-third of your CV is the most critical. Some identify this section of the CV as the profile area or summary. This section allows you to display to the reader at a glance who you are, what you have done, and what you can potentially do for them in an executive capacity. What’s important to remember is that the information conveyed in this section needs to be clear, compelling and concise.

Create tailored CVs based on the particular job

A generalized CV will not cut it in a competitive executive job search market. Therefore, create customized CVS based off of the specific job you are applying for. Use information found on the corporate website or job posting to know what skills and attributes are most in demand for each specific position. Match your skill sets and summaries to the descriptions found.



The modus operandi of most businesses is to read CVs electronically via computers, tablets, and other mobile devices. Because of this trend, aim to keep your CV to at most two pages. Use online resumes and LinkedIn profiles to highlight more details if you cannot fit everything within this two page limit.

Contact information

The email address you identify yourself with is a sneakily important aspect of your CV. Your chosen email address provides a subtle clue that you are up-to-date with technology, even if you really are not. An Outlook or Gmail account is sufficient. Putting an AOL email extension on your CV, conversely, gives the hiring manager a perception of an older, behind-the-times individual.

Listing your professional portfolio URL and/or a LinkedIn profile link is also a valuable component to consider. The addition of this contact info further displays a level of tech savvy, as well as provide an opportunity to obtain additional information about your credentials from these other sources.


Even aspiring C-level candidates need to be conscious of keywords in their CVs. Recruiters and hiring managers will run the CV through a keyword search. This is particularly true if the role is in an industry where it is essential that the top-level management have expertise in certain key areas. These keywords need to be dispersed throughout the CV, as well as highlighted in the profile or summary area.


Employment history

Avoid writing your CV as a series of job description. Instead, focus on your accomplishments while with that employer to tell your success story. Quantified accomplishment-based statements in the employment history section demonstrates a C-level candidate’s value.

Consider the following aspects when developing these statements: What has been the decisive impact you have had in each position? Have you delivered profit increases? This will lead you to develop action statements such as “Drove revenue and income growth of 29% over a 12-month period, through growth and acquisitions.”

It is essential as an aspiring C-level candidate to distinguish yourself from other senior level management. Using the tips above will assist you in creating a sparkling CV and add to your success in getting called in for an interview.

Make sure you’re ready to to take your career to CEO level and succeed. Sign up to the CI Executive Career Management programme and get access to a Career Coach to guide and coach you through your journey to board level. Also don’t forget to keep a lookout for the top roles that become available in emerging markets.

Start Your Executive Job Search Now!

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About the author

Josh Fraser

A graduate from Jacksonville University, Josh has been helping individuals reach their professional aspirations by providing meaningful and germane insights. His expertise will provide an invaluable understanding into how you can penetrate into the saturated executive job market.

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