CV Achievements and Responsibilities for Executive Roles
Executives sometimes raise concerns about overselling CV achievements and boasting about accomplishments too much. At Executive Career Solutions, we look to carefully highlight credentials, achievements and where executives have excelled using a number of considerations. Depending on the strategy used, it can be useful to include a separate executive CV achievements section or integrate achievements throughout the CV. The most important thing is to identify key achievements first and then fit the strategy around them afterwards.
Selling Executive CV Credentials
Creating Executive CVs that stand up to scrutiny
As a result, it is important to create CVs that come across in an assured and assertive way that ensures strong credibility, backs-up achievements with hard facts and avoids any need for exaggeration. So the overall objective is to write a credible, well-balanced and informative executive CV that will also stand up to scrutiny at interview when asked questions about CV achievements.
Executive CVs: Defining Credible Achievements
When writing executive CVs, the first thing to establish is whether achievements are credible, quantifiable and verifiable. Being able to substantiate achievements through quantifiable outcomes, credible evidence and relevant examples is important for highlighting how candidates can add value to organisations, impact the wider business and help differentiate candidates from one another.
Quantifiable outcomes can include sales figures, growth, cost savings and efficiency gains for example. Also, giving an idea about the scope out nature, scale and scope of achievements/initiatives can overcome less quantifiable aspects of the executive CV.
Executive CVs – Taking credit for achievements
It is also important to consider what is an individual achievement and on what basis do people take credit for something. The general rule is to claim for any initiative that the candidate has personally implemented, delivered or managed to conclusion, particularly if leading or sponsoring projects.
It is also important to acknowledge the part played in delivering an initiative if not fully leading or sponsoring projects by mentioning a significant or integral role and specifying areas of responsibility or contribution if part of a wider team. Working in expert teams across international boundaries in common place these days.
Executive CVs – Avoiding the Americanised Approach
Avoid getting drawn-in to using the Americanised approach. Essentially, this comprises a one-page CV crammed with information and achievements as opposed to a nicely-balanced two / three page CV showcasing achievements in a more reader-friendly and credible way.
The American approach has a number of limitations, often leading to candidates over-selling achievements, exaggerating information and perhaps falsely claiming for things to make an immediate impression.
Often, the focus is on trying to quantifying CV achievements at the expense of other core areas like expertise, decision-making skills and overall responsibilities to back-up experiences. As a result, important information can easily be missed out of the CV by focusing on a one-page CV solution. Consider how can a longstanding track record in business be summarised in less than one-page, whilst expressing key responsibilities and achievements in an effective manner.
Executive CV Achievements Section – Conclusion
Overall, it is necessary to quantify executive CV achievements where possible, but it is also important to avoid claiming for wrong things, over-exaggerating achievements and stating wrong facts/figures. Executive Career Solutions can help develop your proposition by creating an effective CV to stand out from other candidates.