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Selling yourself into an executive role

 November 05, 2013

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Job vacancies receive many applications - some perfect, some hopeful and some plainly irrelevant. In fact they always tend to fit into one of three categories: Perfect, Possible or Painful.

Recruiters are busy people and spend an average of six seconds before they make the initial ‘fit or no fit’ decision on candidates. Their study used a scientific technique called ”eye tracking” on 30 professional recruiters and examined their eye movements during a 10-week period to “record and analyse where and how long someone focuses when digesting a piece of information or completing a task.”

Recruiters, arguably like journalists, are time-pressured so by providing exactly what they need and making the links clear is essential. The corporate recruiters that wherewomenwork reports, while actively wanting to identify more female talent, do share our concern that while men generally quantify in their CVs the women tend to be less-tangible.  

Successful candidates take their vast international transferable skillset and mould it well in their application to highlight how relevant they are to the vacancy.

Candidate need to make clear links between their past experience and how their background provides greater breadth and opportunity than some of the more obvious career candidates. The skill applied to a candidate's resume can be impressive and professional. It is important to use tangible achievements (each pointed started with a past tense verb), and quantifiably and factually base your deliverables.

A two page CV, under 1,000 words, can most certainly provided a great sell on why the role is yours. 

So remember to tailor every aspect of your CV. Make your experience tangible and output based. Make strong obvious links why your experience value-adds to the role and the company.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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