If you're conducting a management-level job search, it's time to update your CV to fit the part

When you first graduated from university, the chances are that someone from careers services provided you with a standard CV format to use as you prepared to secure your first position in the "real world." Now that you have a few years of solid work experience in your field of choice and are pursuing manager-level positions, it's time to update your CV from its entry-level format to something that properly showcases the management skills and abilities you've worked so hard to obtain.   

Get started by requesting a free CV evaluation, to find out if your CV is positioning you for a manager-level job ‒ or selling you short. With a CV review from TopCV, you'll receive confidential, objective feedback on your CV with personalised recommendations. Often, a few small changes can make a big impact on how your CV is received by employers.

Manager CV example

Take a look at our manager CV example below to get a better understanding of what employers are looking for, and read on to learn what you can do to make your manager CV a more effective job-search tool.

This manager CV example and infographic, provided by TopCV, explains how to update your CV to market your management abilities during the job search.

1. Highlight credentials at the top

If you've graduated from university, earned an advanced degree or completed another type of certification that is considered to be a valuable qualification for the role you're pursuing, add the post-nominals for these credentials to the top of the CV, just after your name. By placing this important information towards the top of your CV, you're ensuring that HR managers don't accidentally overlook this valuable selling point during their initial review.

2. Include links to relevant sites with contact information

If you work in a creative field (e.g. filmmaking, music production, advertising, writing, product development, design, photography, and other arts) where the fruits of your labours are best presented with audio or visual aides, consider creating a blog, portfolio or other online gallery to showcase your talents. Then, include the URL to this website at the top of your CV, near your other contact information. If you work in a field that's not as creative, simply include a customised link to your LinkedIn profile.

3. Optimise your CV with keywords

Many organisations use software known as applicant tracking systems (ATS) to pre-screen online applications, sort them, and store them in a digital database. Recruiters can then search this database using keywords such as specific skills, qualifications, or job titles to create a shortlist of applicants. If you want to ensure your CV receives proper consideration for the manager role you're targeting, it's important to optimise your entire CV with the right keywords. Pay particular attention to the information you include within the top third of your CV, such as your personal profile and your areas of emphasis. Not only will the keywords you place in these sections help to make your CV more searchable, but it will also catch recruiters' eyes early on.

Related: How to customise your CV for a specific vacancy

4. Begin each bullet point with an action verb

In essence, your CV's job is to convince recruiters to progress your application to the next stage by showcasing your relevant skills, knowledge, and achievements. Using action verbs in the bulleted sections of your work history can help you to achieve this goal. When chosen carefully, action verbs on a CV can describe your capabilities and accomplishments in a powerful, results-driven way. They demonstrate the confidence you have in your management skills – without coming across as arrogant – and allow you to take ownership of your achievements. Replace some of the overused, boring CV verbs such as "managed" with stronger action verbs such as "facilitated," "cultivated," or "guided" to paint a more colourful picture of your career story.

5. Group consulting together

If you've worked as an independent consultant or freelance professional for a period of time, it can be difficult to condense your CV down to the two-page length most employers favour. One way to accomplish this goal is to group contract work together under one job title. Give yourself a job title that reflects the nature of your freelance work, provide a summary of the services you rendered as a concise paragraph, and then use the bullet points to highlight particular projects or clients that demonstrate your marketable skills.

6. Separate each role into responsibilities and achievements

Now that you're no longer an entry-level professional, employers expect to see more than a list of tasks associated with each of your previous positions. Under each job title in your recent work history, create a short description that explains the management responsibilities you held whilst performing that role. Then, use bullet points to highlight your most relevant and noteworthy contributions. Quantify your work, wherever possible, to provide further context for the reader.

Related: How to brag about yourself on your CV without sounding arrogant

7. Feature education at the end

Once you've been working for a few years, it's time to shift the education section of your CV to the end of your document. When you first graduated from university, your new degree was one of your strongest selling points. As a result, this information was placed towards the top of your CV where it was sure to receive proper attention from recruiters. However, now that you've been in the workforce for a while, your recent experience and the management skills and abilities you've developed during that time should take centre stage.

Ready to take your management CV to the next level? Learn more about TopCV's professional CV writing services.

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