An executive CV is a document that acts as an alternative to a traditional resume. A typical CV includes everything a resume does, plus information on grants, fellowships, licenses, awards and more. An executive with a strong CV can communicate why they are the best fit for a role. In this article, we show you what an executive CV is, how to write one and provide a template and example for reference.
What is an executive CV?
Executives typically use CVs when they’re applying for a high-level executive position. Resumes are enough to describe your professional experience and skills, but sometimes an organization wants to know more about you as a person. They might look for things like:
- Awards you’ve received for your work
- Accomplishments or advancements you’ve achieved in your industry
- Special awards or recognitions that highlight your executive skills
Where resumes are more competency-based documents that show a person’s skills in their field, a CV is more credential-based.
How to write an executive CV
An executive CV is neatly organized and informative. Since you’re applying for an executive-level position, strive to bring an executive level of professionalism to your application and CV. You can follow these steps to create an executive CV:
1. List your contact information
At the top of your CV, include your first and last name. Under your name, write your contact information in bold font for better readability. You’ll want a prospective employer to know how to contact you right away. Contact information should be up-to-date and accurate. Use a professional email address over a personal one. This is a good place to include your location as well, including city and state.
2. Create a professional summary
A good professional summary can be short and concise, comprised of just a few sentences that capture your professional life and career highlights. Focus on executive skills and achievements that are relevant to the position for which you’re applying.
3. Describe your work experience
Next, you can list your past work experience as it relates to the role you’re seeking. You can include the name of each company and your executive duties as well as the amount of time you spent there. It’s helpful to include a month and year for a more specific date range. You can also include any skills you think helped you excel or any notable achievements.
4. Add education and qualifications
In the next sections, an executive CV will typically list the applicant’s education, any educational recognition or awards, qualifications and achievements outside of educational institutions and more. You can also list specific certifications here. This section can be brief to increase readability, but typically it contains the name of each institution you attended, your degree or certification and your date of graduation.
5. Highlight your board involvement
If you’ve served on a board of directors or in any other executive capacity, you can list your positions in this section. You can also include any volunteer work or other public positions you’ve held that might apply to the executive position you want to obtain. Employers may look closely at this section to verify your ability to provide active leadership in a variety of settings.
6. Identify key skills
Here you can review the skills that make you qualified for the position. Executive skills can include things like communication and leadership or technical skills that apply to the industry. For example, an executive at a marketing firm may have different industry skills compared to an executive at a retail brand, even if they have similar soft skills. Focus on the professional skills that make you unique and memorable.
When to use an executive CV
The purpose of a CV is to show that your leadership skills, industry experience and professional achievements qualify you for a leadership role. You can use a CV for high-level positions that often require the organization to conduct thorough research on each candidate. For example, if you’re applying for a CEO, CFO or COO position, you may use a CV.
Executive CV example
Here is an example of an executive CV for a CEO position at a large tech company:
Professional summary Dedicated CEO and IT professional with 20+ years experience in entrepreneurship, innovation and cutting-edge technology across multiple businesses.
- Over 20 years of experience leading two tech companies to Fortune 500 status
- Successful implementation of new leadership tactics to help transform business structure at two companies
- Aided in the design, implementation and widespread adaptation of the T-2200 network adapter
- Received the “Diversity in Tech” award three times
- Helped design and implement two new security systems in high-level government networks
President & Network Technology Systems Director
May 2010 – present
- Created women’s workspace initiative for empowering female tech professionals and granting education opportunities
- Helped design and implement the T-2200 network adapter for government systems
- Managed large teams of professionals and maintained civility in a growing company
- Helped facilitate Coldwall Technologies’ 220% growth in Q3 and Q4 of 2020
- Received third “Diversity in Tech” award for the T-2200 advancement
Chief Executive Officer
Vilworld Tech, Inc.
March 2000-May 2010
- Helped facilitate the growth of Vilworld to a multi-million dollar technology company via leadership and new technology
- Received the “Diversity in Tech” award twice for my work in technology and facilitating a more diverse workplace
- Oversaw development of several high-end network systems protection protocols, including a system adopted by the state government
West Pine University, Portland, OR
Master of Business Administration
South Arc College, Sacramento, CA
Bachelor of Arts in Business
- Certified systems administrator
- Certified ambassador for the Diversity in Tech congregation
President of the Diversity in Tech congregation
2013 – present
- Oversee community and company outreach to encourage diversity in the workplace
- Helped the organization double its membership in five years
- Experience with high-end network systems technology
- Proven track record of company growth
- Excellent interpersonal skills