Characteristics Of An Effective CV From The Eyes Of A CEO

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We have included many tips on preparing an effective curriculum vitae. So, what do you want to learn from a CEO's point of view about what features an effective CV should have? Gary Burnison, CEO of Korn Ferry, a global consulting firm that enables companies to choose the best talents, describes the characteristics of the most remarkable CV he has ever encountered in his career:

“I've looked at thousands of resumes throughout my career and I can say that most resumes have similar problems in general. Either they're long enough to distract, or they're short enough to stop getting to know the person. Negative points such as typos, irregular appearance are already a general problem. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to review the most effective resume that he had ever seen in my 20 years of hiring and interviewing features. If you need some tips to update your CV, he has encountered those in five titles.

Easy to read

Line spacing, bold words, titles, explanations, in short everything was as it should be, and there was not a single spelling error. Instead of fancy fonts (many candidates do this), he preferred a simple, eye-catching font. (Calibri, Times New Roman, etc.)

Telling his story

He was telling a story about the candidate's career journey and everything was chronologically sorted. There was no contradiction between his statements. When I looked at the resume, many things about career life were rapidly shaped in my mind.

Not only responsibilities but achievements

It is really hard to get the attention of recruiters with the responsibilities made from copy and paste from job description lists. What employers really want to know is whether the candidate they interviewed is above the average that can deliver measurable results. At this point, it is best to emphasize responsibilities by elaborating achievements.

For example, in his resume; instead of “expanded operations to international markets”, he wrote “expanded operations to eight new countries in Latin America”.


The resume was consistent in itself. Everything was convincing and the numbers were not exaggerated. Even better, the resume includes links that allow me to access the website of the person's portfolio.

No cliché

He had no claim to be creative, hardworking, result-oriented, excellent communicator. For example; instead of “excellent communicator” he told that “spoke at customer meetings or events”. Instead of “very creative” he said “designed and implemented a new global application monitoring platform”.

We suggest you to review your resume before a job interview. You should also look at the points that need to be corrected in terms of these topics. For those who wonder whether the candidate was hired: Yes, he was!

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