Tips Highlighting Technical Skills in Executive CV
Skills are what employers are looking for as it shows capabilities for performing in any given role. Chances are a perceived lack of skills within a CV will undermine any potential shortlisting for interview. Employers needs to see clear evidence of skills, capabilities and expertise to give insights into how candidates would potentially benefit companies going forward. For executives, employers require specialist skills or expertise that will add considerable value to a company and so will pay a premium to secure those skills. Evidence of how candidates apply such skills is required in the CV to show how they took decisions, impacted the wider business and delivered tangible outcomes in the form of achievements.
Technical Skills for Executive CV
Technical skills in a CV often imply advanced skills or specialist expertise. Executives have usually accumulated industry knowledge, insights and contacts over an extended period of time, often out performing their peers to achieve career advancement. Specialist expertise may come in the form of very specific skills, technical understanding or scarce capabilities executives can offer to give a competitive advantage over nearest candidates. This expertise needs to be conveyed effectively in a resume, often referred to as unique selling points (USPs). The reason for identifying core expertise and USPs is that they are excellent differentiators for candidates and employers will pay a premium for talented individuals and / or specialist skills. Think ‘out of the box’ to help define unique selling proposition and skills.
Niche Employment Sectors
Operating in a niche sector or highly technical domain like engineering, research or technology gives a stronger propensity for skills specialisation. Equally, executives may develop advanced skills that add considerable value, including exceptional leadership, strategic awareness, business development, change management and understanding key drivers within a particular sector. This often requires high-level strategic decision-making as well as an ability to drill down to very precise details requiring technical knowledge or market expertise.
Highlighting Technical Skills
Providing specialist expertise is often synonymous with identifying technical skills for use in a CV to showcase where candidates add most value to prospective employers. Therefore, it is necessary to identify these ‘technical skills’ and make sure they are included in the CV. For advanced skills and precise technical expertise, this really needs to be emphasised in the CV Summary Profile rather than further down the CV where employers may never find them. Make sure that any ‘CV- critical’ technical skills integral to the job application are towards the top of the CV to get the message across, get the recruiter interested and persuade them to read on in the CV.
Skills & Professional Development
Furthermore, advanced skills and technical knowledge may have been gained through professional development such as through executive leadership programmes, MBAs and specialist skills courses designed for executives and technical roles. Such courses must be featured on the CV as they can add considerable value, demonstrate an excellent track record and help differentiate candidates. Keep a record to document courses and any related professional memberships for future reference.
Technology / IT Skills CV
Another aspect is including Technology / IT Skills in a CV. The best way to address this is to group together similar skills on the CV. Standard computing skills can be simply included at the bottom of the CV alongside other general skills that need to be mentioned.
For technology, accountancy or engineering professions, there is often a requirement for professional development and gaining formal accreditation for skills. For those skills with a stronger professional development focus, these need to be featured more prominently on the CV under a distinct heading and often require a separate section because these are directly relevant to the profession. Include any relevant courses, certification and professional memberships as these demonstrate a strong career focus and often provide a good differentiator from other candidates.
Technical Skills CV: Conclusion
Conveying relevant technical skills and industry expertise is massively important. First of all, capture those advanced skills and expertise likely to add most value to the CV. Secondly, develop a clear message to get across those ‘CV-critical’ skills at the top of your CV. Finally, group together and even feature top-level skills to make an impression with employers.