Image sourced from Zeta Yarwood
Executive CVs have to be sharp and to the point, as whoever needs one is guaranteed to have loads of experience and skills that have to be shown. However, they’ve also got to contain as much detail as they can without becoming irrelevant or overly-long, and so it’s important to try and get the best of both worlds where this is concerned.
There are two types of CV that are often used for executive CVs that you might be familiar with already – chronological CVs and functional CVs. A chronological CV is one of the most common formats – it demonstrates where the professional has worked at, what they have done within these roles, and any education they have received alongside this. It’s easy for the employer to track the career progress of the professional from start to finish, and to gain a good depth of understanding about them.
A functional CV, on the other hand, is focused purely on the skills, expertise, and achievements of the professional. Usually only one page long, functionally CVs immediately demonstrate what makes the professional stand out, without the employer having to trawl through their work history. These are useful for job roles where the ‘extra mile’ is greatly appreciated.
While both of these CV formats work great for a lot of professionals, they don’t really help that much for an executive CV. You can’t use just a chronological CV as it doesn’t show the employer what the professional has really achieved (without a lot of reading), and a functional CV also doesn’t work as there’s nothing to back up the achievements that are mentioned. This is why the best option for an executive CV would be to combine the two into a hybrid functional-chronological CV.
By combining the two together, you are showing the employer all elements that they need to help understand you better. Putting the functional element at the top helps those all-important achievements and areas of expertise to stand out; using the following pages as the career summary and education details helps to solidly back this information up. Remember that, unlike a standard CV, an executive CV can be up to three pages long – given the information that is likely to be required, three pages definitely isn’t a bad decision here.
Remember: if you require an executive CV then it’s likely that the positions you are going for have a lot of tough competition. Your CV can be the way in – you’ve just got to make sure you get all that stand-out information across in the right way.