It’s a candidate market right now; as a result, talented people are looking at how they can accelerate their professional journey.

But with promising leadership opportunities so abundant, it’s crucial that your CV stands up under scrutiny and meets today’s best practices.

This guide explains how you as a leader can take your CV from a tell-all list to a marketing tool that increases your chance of securing an interview.

 

STEP 1: USE AN EFFECTIVE LAYOUT

Perhaps ironically, a well-written CV isn’t just about what you write! How a CV looks matters just as much as how it reads. After all, when a potential employer or the Intuitive Team first casts eyes on your CV, it’s the aesthetics and structure they’ll absorb first and determine where they’ll focus next.

In essence, an effective CV layout quickly highlights your value  – and who doesn’t want that?

  • Clever psychology suggests that CVs structured in one of these two ways are better at landing interviews. Consider incorporating the techniques.
  • We also recommend making good use of space, i.e., starting with a summary statement, keeping older role descriptions brief and adding more detail to your three or four most recent positions.
  • Another golden rule is to stick within three pages. Senior executives inevitably have mountains of experience. So take a skills-based CV approach and hone your storytelling to keep things compact.

 

STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE/TONE

We’ve all experienced writer’s block, but it’s so important to think carefully and nail what your CV says. So much of this comes down to the “anchor language” of your CV – the core words that best represent who you are, the value you add aligned to the employer’s priorities.

To find your anchor language, try out a personal branding exercise. We recommend this proven approach. And undertaking a personal branding exercise won’t just help you grasp those elusive words, you’ll come away knowing:

  • The true value of your career experience and authentic self
  • The strength of your leadership capabilities and style
  • Your opportunity for development
  • The style and environment in which you work best

 

STEP 3: WRITE FOR YOUR FUTURE SELF

To attract your desired leadership role and land an interview, write your CV with your future self in mind. In short, position yourself for the position you want, not the position you have.

Now, we aren’t recommending that you get lost in a daydream. Honesty is everything, and you must be able to justify your potential based on what you’ve done in practice. Writing your CV for your future self is more about understanding your transferrable skills and rebranding them to be relevant to the opportunities you’re now seeking.

Start by reflecting on your achievements, skills and responsibilities, and think about how you can curate them to add value to a new position or sector.

  • For example, right now, your strong communication helps staff meet deadlines on budget.
  • In a more senior role, communication may be more about ensuring continuity during a significant business transition.

 

STEP 4: TELL A CAPTIVATING STORY

A confident CV is a successful CV. And in our experience, storytelling is a fantastic way to exude confidence and charisma without edging into the egotistical.

Great storytelling draws your reader in, directs their focus, and adds colour to your career story. But, most importantly, it lets your personality shine while keeping things professional. So, when preparing your new CV, consider brushing up on your narrative techniques to showcase better your culture fit and culture add potential.

 

STEP 5: DESCRIBE IMPACT INSTEAD OF TASKS

When writing a new CV for today’s candidate market, senior leaders must focus on achievements rather than a list of tasks from a job description. Recruiters and hiring managers are interested in the impact you’ve made and the change you’ve driven, and although your strategies will be of note, the big picture is far more compelling.

Please resist the urge to detail bullet points of tasks and consider your evidence and extension of that storytelling we mention above. It helps to get into the “skills-based CV” mindset, whereby qualities and outcomes are emphasised.

Describing impact instead of tasks effectively bridges the gap between your current experience and where you’re heading professionally. Basically, you can still bring relevancy and value to opportunities where direct experience is lacking in responsibility or sector.

Thinking about a new sector? Check out our seven-step preparation plan.

 

STEP 6: INCLUDE NUMBERS AS EVIDENCE

Being a leader is about making impactful decisions that put a business in a stronger place. So, whether you’re a revenue generator or not, you must think about numbers and metrics that prove your effectiveness. In your new leadership CV:

  • Reference percentage and financial improvements in projects you’ve led
  • Connect with any associated numerical growth in the wider business
  • Explain the holistic impact of your actions
  • Feature numbers and metrics throughout your CV to show your commercial and strategic aptitude – don’t just add a “numbers section”

 

STEP 7: HAVE A SUITE OF CVS

Senior leadership candidates should always have multiple versions of a CV. That’s because after confirming that a potential employer’s Employer Value Proposition aligns with your values, you could find yourself considering a deep pool of opportunities!

Therefore, you’ll need to frame your experiences, skills, and qualities in relation to the demands and expectations of a role. For example, bringing specific skills into the foreground or rebranding your skills for a new field.

Senior leaders must also have a digital mirror of their CV in the shape of a LinkedIn profile. Update your LI profile in tandem with your CV, including a photo refresh.

 

If these CV writing rules and best practices are new to you – no worries! Arrange a chat with an Intuitive talent consultant to get expert guidance and support. Drop us a message here. We can’t wait to hear more about you.

WE would love to get to know you!

Please do give us a call, drop us a message or follow us on Twitter & Linkedin!

Related blogs

Read more Read more
Creating a friendly workplace culture for neurodivergent individuals in UK transport

Being neurodivergent-inclusive brings benefits both to employee wellbeing and your business. But how do you create a neurodivergent-friendly workplace?

Read more Read more
Seven Ways Interim Managers Could Boost Your Business

Recruiting interim candidates is a good way of bringing in specialist expertise, offering flexibility and a diverse breadth of experience as well as cost-effectiveness.

Unconscious bias against neurodiversity in recruitment
Read more Read more
Assessing Your Recruitment Process for Neurodiversity Bias

As with any other employee, new executives need support as they adjust to their new role so that they can perform to their full potential. But how long is long enough?

How long should executive onboarding last
Read more Read more
How Long Should Executive Onboarding Last?

As with any other employee, new executives need support as they adjust to their new role so that they can perform to their full potential. But how long is long enough?

Read more Read more
Key Challenges for the UK Bus and Coach Industry – and the Leadership it Needs

We take a close look at the biggest challenges facing the bus sector and how they might be addressed moving forward.

promoting yourself as an interim executive
Read more Read more
Promoting Yourself as an Interim

To be an effective interim executive, you need a particular skill set that equips you for the challenges you’re likely to encounter. Here’s what to develop – and to promote.

Considerations to make before committing to your next career move
Read more Read more
What You Need to Consider Before Making Your Next Career Move

Before committing a big career move, there’s a lot you need to think about. Here’s what you should consider before taking on a new role.

Read more Read more
Infographic: How Intuitive Made a Difference in 2023

We did so much in 2023, so we’ve created an infographic of some of our biggest achievements this year!

Executive job interview tips
Read more Read more
Tips for Acing Your Next Executive Job Interview

if you’re on the lookout for a new executive role – whether it’s your first job at this level or you already have some senior-level experience – hare some top tips to bear in mind.

bus industry diversity
Read more Read more
Driving Change in the UK Bus Industry: Why Diversity Matters

Taking a closer look at why it’s so vital that organisations in the bus and coach sector take diversity seriously and act accordingly.

Read more Read more
Neurodiversity in Transport Resources

Missed our Neurodiversity in Transport Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Bus Sector
Read more Read more
Video: A Force for Change in the Bus Sector

Our team works with a host of leading employers in the bus industry, placing dynamic leadership talent into executive level roles.

ed&i in the UK bus sector
Read more Read more
ED&I In The UK Bus Industry: The Scale Of The Challenge

Buses have long been the site of struggles for civil rights and equality, and, for all its progress, the UK bus industry has a way to go.

executive onboarding blog
Read more Read more
How To Keep Executive Onboarding On Track

Between 50% and 70% of executives fail within 18 months of starting a new role. So what can be done to ensure executives thrive and prosper?

interview style pros and cons
Read more Read more
Conducting a Successful Interview: Pros and Cons of Different Interview Styles 

Recruiting for executive roles is never an easy business, but choosing the right interview format for the position and your organisation can make it easier.

executive onboarding
Read more Read more
New Candidate Expectations for Executive Onboarding

New senior-level recruits have very different needs from their colleagues. Here’s how to ensure your executive onboarding process works.

The UK rail skills shortage 2023
Read more Read more
Infographic: The UK Rail Skills Shortage

Our infographic lays bare the scale of the skills shortage in UK rail, its effects on the industry, and how recruiters can help to address the skills gap.

impact statement
Read more Read more
Our Impact Statement

Through our commitment to ED&I, we’ve spent the last decade working to make transport more diverse – and more reflective of the public it serves.

Read more Read more
Inclusive Leadership Resources

Missed our Inclusive Leadership Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Read more Read more
Growing Senior Transport Roles to Consider in Recruitment Plans

We detail the growing c-suite positions you should account for in your recruitment strategies or may want to pursue as a leadership candidate.

Read more Read more
Guide to Interim Leadership Assignments in Transport

Read our guide to get a fresh insight into successful interim recruitment in the transport industry.

Read more Read more
Knowing if and When Interim Leadership Is Right for You

For many senior professionals, interim management is the most rewarding career path imaginable – but contract work isn’t for everyone.

Read more Read more
Diversity in Transport Report

Learn how your Transport organisation can benefit from enhanced Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in its teams with our exclusive Diversity in Transport Report – the 2023 edition.

Read more Read more
Video: Nina Reflects on 10 Years of Intuitive

Founder and Director Nina Lockwood reflects on the last ten years of Intuitive and shares her thoughts on recruitment and the transport industry.

Celebrating ten years of Intuitive Recruitment
Read more Read more
Video: Ten Years of Intuitive

Intuitive’s first decade has been magical. Here are the highlights, from bringing new faces into the sector to hosting a hit podcast and winning Executive Recruitment Agency of the Year.

Intuitive 2022 Year in Review
Read more Read more
Video: Our 2022 Wrap Up

2022 has certainly been a fantastic year for Intuitive. So to celebrate, we’ve packed our highlights into a short wrap-up video.

Read more Read more
Infographic: Sector Switching – How to Figure out the Right Fit?

Could a different sector be a better fit for your career priorities and progression goals? This 7-step plan can help you decide.

Read more Read more
Get what you need from Interviews Without being Script-Bound

We share six steps for developing an interview approach that gets what you need from leadership candidate interviews, without relying on a script.

Read more Read more
Adapting Your Interview Style: Part 2 – In-Person Interviews

In-person interviews are far more fluid than they used to be – especially for senior leaders. Here are four ways to adapt your interview style for senior leadership positions.

Read more Read more
Adapting Your Interview Style: Part 1 – Video

As video interviews have grown, so have expectations of how candidates use virtual tools. Here’s how to adapt your interview style for virtual spaces.

Read more Read more
Making LinkedIn an Irreplaceable Career Progression Tool

We share our tried-and-true seven-step strategy for making LinkedIn an irreplaceable tool in your career progression journey.

Read more Read more
Hallmarks of Ads that Attract the Strongest Candidates

Discover four fundamental features of senior leadership job adverts that attract the strongest Transport candidates.

Read more Read more
Allyship in Transport Resources

Missed our Allyship in Transport Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Read more Read more
Building an Employer Value Proposition That Evolves with Candidate Expectations

While you can’t predict what’s to come, adjusting your strategic approach with an evolving EVP can ensure it always delivers what matters.

Read more Read more
Faster Career Progression by Embracing Positive Thinking

A positive attitude can be a real divider when it comes to professional success and can improve confidence, relationships and the speed at which you achieve your goals.

Read more Read more
Building a Personal Brand That’s Instantly Memorable

How do you curate a personal brand that’s true to you but still has career progression prowess?

Read more Read more
How To Have Authentic Conversations With Candidates

Authentic conversations help uncover the real person behind an impressive CV, and are paramount to matching the right candidate with the right enterprise.

Read more Read more
Weighing Up A New Role: Three Questions To Ask

We share three fantastic questions that every transport leadership candidate should ask during the interview process. Revealing answers are guaranteed!

Read more Read more
Workplace Belonging Resources

Missed our Workplace Belonging Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights and download our resources here.

Read more Read more
Intuitive proudly announce our CPT membership

Intuitive will be teaming up with the CPT to connect bus and coach organisations with exceptional leadership professionals.

leadership potential
Read more Read more
Ways to Identify Leadership Potential Outside Your Sector

How can your transport organisation tap into cross-sectoral talent and identify leadership potential? We explore strategies for finding talent and 5 specific characteristics to look for.

transport sector
Read more Read more
How Transport Can Be a Successful Force for Change

Why connecting with clients with candidates from outside of the transport sector is important and how it can benefit your organisation. We share 4 interesting advantages.

Read more Read more
Reverse Mentoring: Why it’s Important to the Transport Sector

Reverse mentoring empowers less senior, younger, or more unconventional employees to share their knowledge and experience with more senior, conventional, and oftentimes older colleagues.

Read more Read more
How to Challenge Unconscious Bias in the Recruitment Process

Unconscious bias has been associated with career challenges for those from diverse backgrounds, and when left unchecked, can affect workplace inclusivity.

Read more Read more
Why Your EVP will Turn the Tide on Recruitment Challenges

Putting your employer value proposition at the heart of your recruitment strategy can set you up for long and short term success.

Read more Read more
4 Ways to Have a Positive Mindset in Your Role

In the workplace and as a leader, a positive mindset is important not just for job satisfaction, but for being effective and driving change.

ed&i knowledge session transport
Read more Read more
Become an ED&I Agent of Change

Practical resources to help you drive change and opportunity for diverse talent in transport.

Read more Read more
Unveiling the 90 Day Accelerator Programme

Nina and Founder and Director of Metisblue Laurent Bouvier introduce the exclusive and focused 90 Day Accelerator Programme.

Blog Title Card: Nina on Inspirational Women in Recruitment
Read more Read more
Hear Nina on the Inspirational Women in Recruitment Podcast

Nina recently featured on the Inspirational Women in Recruitment podcast, revealing her approach to attracting and engaging talent and more.

Skills for the transport sector
Read more Read more
How to Match Transport Candidates Beyond the Job Description

Whether recruiting as an internal team or with a Talent Consultancy, our tips can help you match high-level roles with the best in transport.

Blog Title Card: Transport Diversity and Inclusion
Read more Read more
Can Diversity and Inclusion Tackle Transport’s Challenges?

Diversity of thought, perspective and experience allows innovation to thrive, and for the best ideas to win. Discover how in our infographic.

Blog Title Card: In-Demand Skills for Transport
Read more Read more
5 Key Transferable and Desirable Skills for the Transport Sector

Discover the top five in-demand transferable skills relevant to high-level roles in the transport sector, based on feedback from our clients.