executive cv writing mistake frustration

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Executive CV

It doesn’t matter at what stage you are of your career. HR find executive CV writing mistakes glaring. Professional CV writers spot these errors immediately and also how they can be fixed. For a price, of course.

However, if you’re not comfortable with hiring a CV writer, here are the top 5 CV writing mistakes to avoid when writing your executive CV:

1: Using either the chronological or functional skills CV format

While the chronological format works just fine for people who are just starting their managerial careers, this won’t necessarily work for someone who has spent several as an executive.

Using the functional skills format doesn’t help either because employers still need to know where you’ve worked and for how long. For this reason, it is best to use the hybrid CV format, which includes both skills and work experience.

2: Weak or no title on your executive CV

The inability to craft a compelling title is just as bad as not even placing one at the top of your CV. How is the reader supposed to know what you are looking for?

A vague title or one that broadly describes your role doesn’t help all that much either. It’s necessary to get the reader’s attention immediately with a title that sets the tone for the rest of the CV in terms of work experience and skills. In other words, the title should tell the reader what position you are looking for while the rest of the sections should explain why you deserve such a job.

3: Lack of quantifiable achievements

As a manager, it’s clear that team behaviours lead to measurable results. It’s fine to describe how you improved the performance of your team. However, what would be better is if you could chart out the results in numbers. In other words, convert all your achievements as a leader into numbers. Ultimately, this is what prospective employers are looking for – people who can lead teams to accomplish or exceed their goals and which is apparent in the numbers. Always quantify your achievements as an executive. It matters because your role involves making a real difference!

4: Weak or no verbs

It’s bad enough to use weak verbs, but it’s worse not to use any at all. Verbs, as we’ve learned in English, bring life to any statement. The more energetic the verb, the better. Your reader will most likely respond better to a verb like “spearheaded” instead of a weaker-sounding “was responsible for.” Ten times out of ten. While this might not mean much, being able to use active verbs turns your CV into an action-oriented one. Not doing this is a crucial mistake as your CV will come across as passive.

5: Word Repetition

Yes, while it’s excellent to use active verbs, we understand that there are a few that apply to your job profile. Still, it can be very annoying to the reader if you use the same words over and over again. This is a practice that you should steer away from as it can result in your CV being overlooked purely based on being confusing and irritating to read. Know that every word you use on your CV should make an impact. Make it count. Avoid repetition like the plague.