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How to Write a Management CV / Manager CV

As a manager, you need to go further than most people when writing your management CV. The applications you submit will be for the top jobs that are hotly contested. Whichever industry you work in, you need to convey your knowledge of that sector as well as your generic management skills. It's almost as if you're writing two candidates' CVs in one.

In order to show you're a good manager, you also need to show that you're a good leader. The two are not the same. Good leaders are usually good managers, but a decent manager may still lack leadership qualities. Achievements are especially important on a Manager's CV, as they demonstrate how you lead a team to results.

It does take skill to describe yourself as the most suitable candidate for the job on your CV and to ensure you have included all the relevant details to successfully sell you to an employer. Using experienced CV Writing Services like Bradley CVs can significantly improve your chances of securing an interview.

Management CV Profile

By this stage in your career, you are probably familiar with what a Profile should be on a management CV. This is the 4 to 6 line summary that heads your CV, telling the recruiter or employer exactly why they should consider your application for management jobs, and why they should carefully read your CV.

The challenge is that in a couple of sentences, you need to highlight the experience knowledge, skills, abilities and personal strengths that make you an outstanding management prospect. If you fail to capture the employer's attention in these few lines, the rest of your management CV will not be read.

How well you write your manager CV profile also says something about your management skills. It must be professional and confident, conveying your personality and clarity of direction. You need to tailor it to each vacancy you apply for - there is no such thing as one profile suits all.

Responding to a job opening, you need to highlight your two or three most relevant areas of experience, your two or three strongest leadership and management skills, and your personal strengths. It's important to focus on what you can offer an employer rather than where you'd like to go next in your career.

Your aim with the profile is the same as with your entire management CV, except here it is more focused.

You have to leave no doubt as to your management knowledge in their industry, your understanding of their problems and issues, your resounding ability that has yielded results previously, and the fact that employing you represents a solid investment in their future. In other words, you need to show capability and vision.

First, state how many years' experience you have in the relevant industry and field of management. Use a job title for yourself that describes what you've done and where you're going, rather than the one that appeared on your last contract of employment.

Do you have a particular style or approach to leadership? If so, mention it here. And do mention if you have a management qualification from within the past five to six years, such as an MBA.

Hopefully, you're applying for management roles that are a strong match for the experience that you can offer, so next list your outstanding areas of expertise. These must be high on the job specifications list issued by the employer. Bring in your impressive personal strengths as well - these should contribute to strong leadership abilities.

As CV writers, we reckon that you might consider highlighting in your profile include: strategic planning, development of innovative solutions, industry-specific skills, financial planning, decision making, change management, motivating teams, communication and negotiations skills, research and analysis, etc.

Achievements on a Manager CV

It is all very well stating that you have experience, knowledge and skills, but an employer will be interested in what these amount to when put into practice. Achievements on a manager CV are all about showing tangible results that provide evidence that you can bring about positive results for an employer. Again, the more relevant these are, the stronger their effect.

Results that can be quantified numerically on a management CV are the most powerful when you are applying for manager jobs. Quantification can relate to increased profits or productivity, cost or time savings, take-overs and mergers, size of workforce or teams managed, number of sites, etc.

The more specific the information provided on a manager's CV, the better, as the employer will be better able to envisage you achieving a similar result for them. The use of active language, keywords and buzzwords will make the effect even more resounding.

Pursuing the Situation, Action and Result (SAR) approach to writing achievements is a good way to start - briefly outline the challenge, state what you did and describe the measurable outcome. However, play with the order of the phrasing, so that your sentences start off with verbs, which make for a more stimulating read.

An employer needs to know that you can view the whole picture, understand what is happening, identify the best route forwards and then steer the organisation or department on that route.

A particular strength is being able to do this in highly pressurised situations without losing the ability to think clearly. For this reason, minimising the negative impact of an adverse situation is equally valid as an achievement. It's important to outline the difficulty of the situation and how you were able to meet the challenge.

This section should contain five or six achievements, presented in the form of bullet pointed sentences. If you have more, you can include them in your career history. Prioritise the achievements according to the priorities of the job specification issued by the employer - again, this means tailoring your CV to each vacancy.

A management CV is a marketing document that sells you to employers. Its function is to gain you an interview. However, it also provides interviewers with material to raise at an interview.

Our executive CV writing company Bradley CVs can turn any management CV into a great CV that wins you the interviews you crave.

Career History on Your Management CV

The career history on a manager CV has to be so much more than a series of excerpts from your job descriptions.

As a manager, you should aim to write up your current and previous employment as a collection of achievements, each of which convinces the employer to an ever greater degree that they ought to offer you an interview.

Only positions from within the last 10 years need to be described in detail on a management CV. On one or two lines, give the employer's name, your position and inclusive dates of employment, with 5 to 6 descriptive points beneath each.

With jobs held earlier than 10 years ago, you only need to list the basic information. The exception might be if a position was extremely relevant, to the point where omitting it would weaken your CV.

Generally speaking, though, employers are only interested in more recent roles. Technology has changed the majority of industries beyond all recognition, so a management candidate really does need to be up to date with the latest developments.

Always describe what you actually did on your management CV, rather than what your job description said on paper. When you're unable to present information as an achievement, you can still make it powerful by always mentioning your strengths and abilities in relation to how you fulfilled areas of responsibility. Again, use a great deal of active language.

On a manager CV it is always advisable to avoid repetition wherever possible. Where tasks were duplicated in different jobs, aim to describe them in a different way by tying them to different situations. Again, list the most relevant first, followed by more general points.

Use the vacancy's job specification to guide you in which areas of management responsibility to highlight. Strategic planning is vital, as managers need to view every aspect of a situation and make contextual decisions. The financial implications of every decision must be understood, so your ability to analyse past performance and project future conditions is critical.

Sound decision-making based on analysis and evaluation is also central to business development, along with a strong understanding of that employer's marketplace (in public service or not-for-profits, accountability must be considered). In times of recession, confident decisions about reducing costs and expenditure are always going to be vital, particularly in manufacturing.

Innovation, creativity and the ability to inspire others with your ideas may be aspects of your leadership skill set that need including on your management CV. The ability to motivate others and communicate your ideas is always vital, as well as having the confidence to make unpopular decisions.

Qualifications and Training for a Manager CV

Your most recent qualifications should be listed first on your management CV.

Include the title of the qualification, the name of the educational establishment or training provider, and the date you attained the result (if it's within the past 10 years - if not, leave the date out).

This may be a postgraduate degree or qualification, or it may be a degree. If you've gained it within the past five years and it's relevant to the vacancy, include a line about your thesis or placement beneath the basic information.

Vocational certifications should also be included on a manager's CV, especially if they relate to your recent work at management level. It's not necessary to include every day or in-house training that you've completed, as such short courses aren't really significant enough at management level.

Do include membership of any associations, especially if membership is only through accredited examination. If your profession is a chartered profession, then this can be placed at the top of this section, or close to the top if you've undertaken further major qualifications more recently.

Pages a manager may wish to look at:


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