How to tailor your CV for a director-level HR role

Written by: Laura Slingo
Published on: 4 Apr 2018

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Laura Slingo at TopCV, the largest CV-writing service in the world, shares advice on how to tailor your human resources CV for a director-level position.


Tailoring your CV is essential as it’s the easiest way to create a strong application. The best part is, targeting your CV doesn’t involve a complete re-write, just a few adjustments here and there. If you’re applying for a director-level HR role, here’s how to go about tweaking your CV so that the right skills are prominent to the recruiter.

Read the job description carefully

To be able to tailor your CV, you first need to work out how you can signal you’re suitable for the role. The simplest way of doing this is by reading the job description thoroughly and identifying ways you’re a good fit.

Pay attention to the key requirements that are listed as they are non-negotiable qualities that the employer is seeking in their next hire. Also, consider the company culture – whether it’s a formal corporate or a more relaxed startup, for example – and ways you can show you’d fit in on your CV.

Once you have familiarised yourself with the type of candidate the employer is looking for, you can begin to tailor your CV.

Adjust your profile

Your personal profile is the first thing a recruiter will read, and so it’s incredibly important that it’s targeted. If the potential employer can’t easily see that you’re suitable, they’re unlikely to continue reading.

As you’re an HR professional, your profile will already be tailored towards an HR role. But each employer values certain qualities over others, especially when it comes to directorship. Therefore, make sure your profile addresses one or two of the key requirements from the job description, such as previously working in a senior hands-on position, or experience in organisation design and structure.

Address your core HR competencies

You also want to make your individual strengths immediately clear on your CV, especially when applying for a director-level position. Underneath your profile, consider introducing a ‘core HR competencies’ section that addresses not only your most impressive achievements, but also the experience the employer is looking for in a successful candidate.

Bullet point between five and 10 of your most relevant competencies to offer a snapshot of your senior-level experience. For a clear and concise read, avoid repeating this information later in your CV.

Cut irrelevant information

When applying for a senior role, the information you omit from your CV can be as equally important as the information you add. Your most recent role should host the most detail as it’s the high point of your career so far and showcases the most value.

Review your career history, and if older roles detail qualities and experiences that aren’t referenced in the job description, reduce the level of detail or consider removing the role completely.

As a general rule, we’d recommend deleting roles that are older than a decade as they simply aren’t relevant. Remember that your CV isn’t supposed to be an overview of your entire career history. It’s a document that explains why you’re a great fit for a vacancy by explaining your most recent highlights. And this is particularly pertinent when applying for a director-level role as your entry-level HR skills are practically redundant once you’ve climbed your way up the ladder.

TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly-written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your dream job.