Identifying Key Strengths (and Weaknesses) for Executive CV

Strengths are key selling points for executives they need to convey to potential employers. Identifying strengths is an important part of creating an effective marketing document (CV), so forming a critical element of the candidate selection process and helping to stand out from other candidates. It is also likely candidates will be asked about strengths (and weaknesses) at interview, thus giving an extra need to identify core strengths in an executive resume and for the ‘elevator sales pitch’.

Strengths in CV

The backbone of a resume revolves around the need to identify core strengths. These underpin any CV. Key strengths are normally synonymous with unique selling points (USPs), comprising skills, qualities, experience or expertise adding considerable value to employers. The idea is to convey main  benefits, features and solutions to problems that would appeal to potential employers, whilst also targeting the resume towards specific employer and job description requirements.

Selecting CV Strengths

Job descriptions give important clues about what to include in a resume. Targeted resumes usually yield best results, so identifying the right blend of core strengths based on skills, qualities, experience and expertise is critical. Listing strengths is not going to really add enough value to resumes, unless they are applied within a wider context by showing how strengths have been applied to examples, achievements and different scenarios within the CV.

Feedback on Strengths

Trusted people, fellow executives or associates can give important feedback on relative strengths and weaknesses. Keeping a career record, documenting achievements, self-evaluation and professional development can also help substantiate core strengths and give examples.

Strengths as Key Differentiators

Focusing on strengths can reveal key differentiators to help make executives stand out from others. Place main strengths in the context of unique selling points (USPs) and really think carefully about best examples, how these strengths have been applied in a wider context and situations where executives have excelled most. It may be that a combination of skills, experience, qualities and expertise combine to create a blend of core strengths or main USP.

Assisting Interview Preparation

Evaluating core strengths for resumes often helps shape interview preparation. For instance, selecting key strengths for the executive CV can also help underpin interview strategy. Firstly, this helps candidates to focus on evaluating best examples, achievements, skills, qualities, experience, expertise and professional development that need to be conveyed to employers at interview (and ‘elevator sales pitch’). Secondly, nearly all interviewers will ask about top three strengths, so giving an opportunity to sell credentials. Thirdly, by assessing key strengths, candidates should naturally pick up on weaknesses in anticipation of an interview question asking about relative weaknesses.

CV Strengths: Conclusion

Knowing core strengths makes executives more assured and certain about what they can offer a potential employer and how they can fit in. Standing out from the competition, offering something unique and having a clear strategy are what makes candidates more effective at being noticed. Some useful examples of personal strengths and weaknesses to consider.

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