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Writing your CV

Does your Curriculum Vitae (CV) assist you in getting the exciting new opportunity you are looking for?

Whether your goal is to become the CEO, Director, Senior Manager, Principle Engineer your CV provides the first step to achieving this; becoming not only a means to showcase your career successes and credentials, but more importantly to articulate your personal brand. With competition for managerial and senior positions at an all-time high, your CV has become an increasingly important sales tool to make you stand out.

This guide explains how to write a CV for senior and managerial positions.

Format is key
  • Consider that the most common file format is Microsoft Word. Stay away from getting creative and putting together a Power Point CV or  even worse, an Excel based CV. Avoid  tables and tabs as they can become distorted if cut and paste is used to import your CV.
  • Perfect the appearance of your CV. While the contents are important, so is the appearance. Use easy-to-read font type (Arial or Times New Roman) and size.
  • Avoid lots of white space and aim for 2.5-3 pages MAXIMUM. Make sure the first page shows your key achievements – you want your CV to have an immediate impact and make them turn the page.
 Mould your CV to fit the position for which you are applying
  • It's not only important to communicate your abilities, but to show how those abilities fit the high-level position. If the position includes travel to China and you speak fluent Chinese or Mandarin, this is an important attribute, emphasise it.
Use a consistent writing style.

When writing a CV, it's essential that you are clear and concise. Long, ambiguous sentences make for difficult reading.

Action words make the reading more interesting and communicate your active, not passive accomplishments.

Ensure you do a spell check errors are always a negative especially at senior level as it’s considered a lack of attention to detail.  Also if you conduct a grammar check it Word may indicate the sentence is ‘fragmented consider a change’ this is fine for CV’s you don’t have to change it.

Adjectives are empty
  • No one wants to hear you are a quick learner, a team leader or capable of working under pressure. Hiring managers quickly reading you CV want to see evidence. If the right message is there the implicit message will get across stronger than an explicit adjective. Avoid adjectives and ensure that you provide examples that will implicitly send the message.
Use Action Words
  • Include a work history, using action words to describe skills and responsibilities
  • Will the job titles or the company names be most impressive? Only you know the answer to that, but whichever is most important should be listed first.
  • Afterwards, emphasize the responsibilities and accomplishments of your positions.

The summary should have a carefully chosen explicit message and carefully crafted implicit message. Usually placed at the beginning of your CV, the summary should have enough information and evidence to help a hiring manager decide if it’s worth their time to read further.

When someone finishes reading your summary they should have a clear idea of: What, when, where, how, how long and answer their question ‘what can this person add to my business?’

  • The discipline you have focused on with an emphasis on your target i.e. sales, engineering, human resources, operations, change management, turnaround etc.
  • Products you have worked with i.e. Engines, gas turbines, pumps, valves, types of packaging/plastics etc.
  • The level of leadership and management responsibility i.e. manager, director, principle engineer etc.
  • Core strengths and key achievements
  • The type of organization i.e. public company, global or regional, small or large enterprise, etc.
  • The industries and markets that you have worked in (automotive, aerospace, Oil & Gas, power generation, packaging, automotive plastics etc.)
  • Regions you’ve worked in i.e. Europe, USA, Middle East, and Asia etc.
How long
  • Your total years of working experience, and the specific time spent in each what and where.
  • This should reflect key data supported achievements and evidence of how well you performed in each what and where.
  • It should also include key information regarding specific knowledge that could be relevant to your experience and performance such as language skills and certifications.
Sample Summary
  • 10 years of experience as an Operations Director
  • Senior Manufacturing Operations Executive with 19 years of overall experience in Automotive 1st Tier and OEM companies
  • Turned around a £120m loss making business to profit of 10% within 3 years through the implementation of automated manufacturing systems/processes and Operational Excellence initiatives, while enhancing performance, improving quality, reducing costs, and generating sustainable revenue streams
  • Skilled at managing financial and cultural turnarounds delivering improvements between 5-10% in all companies.
  • Have lead teams of up to 7 direct reports with over 600 indirect reports
  • Performed duties as an expatriate Plant Manager during a period of 4 years in Germany, and 3 years in China
  • Certified Six-Sigma Black Belt
  • Fluent in English (native) and speak basic German

Finally, once again ensure that you spell check your CV and thoroughly read over the document to check for further grammatical and spelling errors that may have been missed.

We have a sample CV template to assist you in writing your own. To download our CV template, please click here.

For more information, please contact us at

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