Careers advice

How to write a CV for a management position

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to write a good management CV, but there are a few things to get right.

A good management CV builds upon standard best practices, and should leave the reader with no doubt that you’re someone who can take the business forward.

In other words, it needs to be flawless, energetic and convincing. Concerned? Don’t be, we’ve got all the hacks you need to make your management CV one to remember.

What’s more, we’ve created three downloadable CV templates you can choose from, making the whole process a heck of a lot quicker.

Make sure your management CV ticks all the boxes.

Writing a CV for a management position: what to include

The good news is, you don’t need to make any huge formatting changes to turn a normal NZ style CV into one fit for a management application. It’s the content that matters, here’s what you need:

1. A list of specific management skills

Employers don’t just want to know that you’re a great employee, they want to know why you’ll be a great leader. There are a couple of places you can include this information:

  • In your personal statement.
  • In a dedicated section separate from the rest of your work experience.

But what are the most important management skills for your CV?

  • Organisation – of people, workloads, projects, budgets.
  • Business development – managers should always be on the lookout for ways to improve how the business operates, and help it reach its goals.
  • Critical thinking – you’ll need to have good decision making skills, and be able to weigh options carefully.
  • Presenting – you’ll also need to convey these ideas to your team, and senior management, so soft skills like presentation and communication are a must.
  • Negotiating – with different stakeholders making demands on you, you’ll have to balance who gets what they want, and who doesn’t.
  • Technical skills – would you apply to manage a restaurant if you’ve never worked in one before? Unlikely, that’s because it’s hard to manage people if you don’t understand at least a bit of what they do.
  • Interpersonal skills – you’d also struggle as a manager if no one likes you, so empathy and awareness that your team are more than just employees are key.
  • Project management – this means having oversight on every aspect of a project, from budgets and deadlines to personnel and collateral.

However, you can’t list these skills on your CV if you’ve got no evidence to back them up, which brings us on to our next point.

Soft skills are crucial for management CVs in NZ.

2. Keyword matching

A quick way to zero in on the best management skills for your CV is to compare the role requirements with your Trade Me Jobs Profile.

Read the job listing closely and cherry pick capabilities they’re looking for which match skills and experience you have. You can then use the info in your profile to bolster your claims with evidence. The more information you can give to support what you’re saying, the better. For example, showing you improved departmental productivity by 20% is preferable to just saying you improved departmental productivity.

By using exact keywords from the job description, you’ll also help your CV get past the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many organisations use to initially screen candidates.

3. A reduced education section

If this is your first management job application, we advise taking a look at the education section of your CV, and trimming it back from what you’ve previously included.

Why? Chances are, if you’re applying for a management position, you’ve been in the workforce for some time and proven yourself as an employee. While a hiring manager or recruiter might cast an eye over your education, they’re going to be much more interested in that mix of hard and soft skills we’ve already talked about. So give yourself room to go into more detail on that stuff, while not exceeding the recommended two page length for an New Zealand CV.

If you've been working in the sector for a while, consider reducing your education section and making the most of your experience.

4. Action verbs

Action verbs are great in any CV, but take on an even greater importance when applying for management roles. You need to show the reader that you’re a dynamic, intuitive and high energy individual who can get the best out of themselves, as well as those around you.

Some key action verbs for manager CVs include:

  • Devised.
  • Implemented.
  • Organised.
  • Coordinated.
  • Supervised.
  • Motivated.
  • Inspired.
  • Led.
  • Oversaw.

4. Specifics

We’ve already mentioned that employers love to read specifics in CVs. But detailed information on the following will be particularly beneficial on a management CV:

  • Team leadership – even if you’ve just taken the lead on specific projects, give information on how many people you supervised, and the success of the projects.
  • Budgeting – what you’ve had responsibility for, and any stand out success stories. In particular, if you’ve found ways of streamlining expenses, this stuff is music to employers’ ears.
  • Business improvement – implemented new processes, spearheaded company culture initiatives or improved collaboration and productivity? This is all great CV fodder, and will make great talking points in your interview.

5. Coaching and people management

There’s a difference between leading and coaching, and a good manager should be able to do both when interacting with their team.

Managing people is directive – delegating tasks and ensuring people are performing their assigned roles well. Coaching, however, is all about helping those under you develop knowledge and skills. This not only benefits the business, but also improves staff job satisfaction and morale – meaning talented employees are more likely to stick around.