If you’ve gotten to that point in your career where you feel you’re ready for that all important step up to a management role, you’ll need to impress in your CV and show the employer that you have what it takes.
But it’s not just your CV that you need to focus on, and there are other factors to consider. Here are some great tips to help you plan and write a great management CV, as well as some tips for your interview.
Why do you want to become a manager?
A management role brings with it a huge amount of additional responsibility
Before you decide to create your CV and apply for the manager role you need to ask yourself why you want to be a manager. Is it because of the money? Are you sick and tired of being told what to do?
There may be lots of different reasons why you decide the time is right for applying to become a manager, but before you do so we would recommend taking a little time to think about whether or not this is the right step to take.
We are not for one second making the assumption that you may not be ready, but before you take the leap you need to consider all of your reasons as this will not only help you ensure the decision is a right one, but may also help you with your planning and execution.
Becoming a manager, depending on the role, is typically a huge step up in responsibility. So if your main reason for wanting to apply is the pay rise, then it may be a good idea to re-think your motives and consider whether or not this is right for you. Sure, you’d expect to be paid more for becoming a manager of a team or department, but moving up in your career isn’t just about money.
Job satisfaction is more important to most (and at the very least equal) than pay, and if you are only focused on the money then you may find that it wasn’t worth it in the end if you are unhappy in a management role. Your reasons for stepping up also have to include your personal development, as well as work related skills and qualifications.
A manager has to lead a team and be a shining example of how to act and perform in the workplace. A manager who is only interested in the money is a bad manager, and will often fail very quickly.
What makes a great manager?
A good manager listens to the team as well as individuals and recognises their ideas and skills
There are many different aspects that fall into this category, but in a nutshell it comes down to recognising your own strengths and weaknesses. Becoming a manager for the first time doesn’t mean that you instantly know more than the team you’re leading, and listening to what others have to say is paramount if you want to be a successful manager.
If you were a manager in the 80s you’d probably be expected to boss people around and act like you know everything, and everyone has to do what you say or they’ll be fired! But times have changed and we’ve moved on from this outdated management style onto something far more exciting and innovative.
An example of a great manager is someone who acts as a role model for their team, as well as an ambassador for the company. Someone who can play on their strengths, but also isn’t afraid to ask for help or advice and can easily recognise their weaknesses and use other people to compensate. Someone who listens to the team as well as individuals and recognises their ideas and skills. Someone who also recognises that they don’t know everything, and isn’t afraid to admit it and ask for help.
Sure, hitting company targets and achieving great results is also vital to the management role, but you won’t get the results if you don’t have the foundations in the first place. Driving your team forward as a well oiled machine is only possible if everyone is on the same page working towards the same goal.
“Treat people how you yourself would want to be treated. Always remember that people are the lifeblood and engine room of any business.”
~ Peter Jones
Do you have the right stuff?
Communication will be the biggest aspect of your role as a manager
If you have any doubts about whether or not you’d make a great manager, then you’d only be human. Ask any manager how they felt before they were promoted and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t nervous, anxious, worried, doubtful, lacking in confidence etc.
Check back over everything we’ve covered so far and ask yourself some very important questions:
- Are you able to easily recognise your own strengths and weaknesses?
- Are you or have you been striving to build on your strengths and improve on those weaknesses?
- Are you applying for the role for the sole purpose of a pay rise?
- Are you aware of what’s involved within the management role and what’s expected?
Communication will be the biggest aspect of your role as a manager, and you’ll need to consider if you’re ready to handle this new responsibility. For example, you may often find yourself chairing a presentation or meeting, and standing up in front of your team or even the entire company to discuss important issues.
You’ll also find yourself in the position of having to deal with difficult situations that arise from time to time, like disciplinaries or customer complaints. For example, if a member of your team is not performing to the standards expected, then this falls on your shoulders to help this individual improve and to make them aware of the situation that has arisen. Do they need to go on a performance plan, or do they just need to be made aware of the issue? Is it more serious and do they need a verbal or written warning, or even more severe?
Stepping out of your comfort zone as a manager is a daily occurrence and something you need to be prepared for!
“People need leadership and a sense of direction. Then leave them to get on with it! Be as honest as you can with your staff, encourage them and treat them well, they’re going to allow you to make this happen. Remember though, to be a successful leader you also have to prepared to be the bad guy sometimes.”
~ Deborah Meaden
Planning for management
The voluntary sector can be a good place to gain management experience
If you’ve never had any experience as a manager before then now’s the time to consider how you will gain this vital experience before you actually become one. There may be opportunities in your current role to take on more responsibility, for example a team leader or supervisory role. This would be a great first step to consider before becoming a manager, as you not only gain some fantastic experience but you also have experience to add to your CV.
Are there any training courses that your company offers? If you are setting your sights on a management position within your current place of employment, then it may be a good idea to speak to either your manager or other managers within the business to gain their insights into how you can plan for such a role. Alongside this you could make your manager aware of your ambitions and if you are able to take on more responsibility.
In order to become a manager you need to act like one – which often means you look outside of your own role and view the bigger picture when making everyday decisions. You can always spot a potential manager within a team as they are someone who follows the companies vision very closely. They are always helping other people without being asked, as well as achieving great results as an individual and as part of a team.
Potential managers are outgoing, confident, helpful, and a great role model for anyone new joining the company. These people are often called upon to help train new team members and are also sometimes asked for their help with ideas, system processes, and sometimes invited to meetings for their input also.
Do you see yourself when reading the above?
How to write a management CV
Your CV needs to highlight past experience relating to management tasks, roles or responsibilities
Your original CV needs a complete overhaul if you want it to represent someone who is ready for a management position. Your academic achievements for example will probably need to be scaled back, and your work experience and achievements brought to the forefront. However, any professional training and qualifications relating to the role or management should be highlighted.
Your management CV should always be tailored to the role you are applying for, and we cannot stress how important this is for a management role. However, you need to include and highlight all of your past experience relating to any kind of management task, role or responsibility, as well as targets achieved and any outstanding results.
A management CV doesn’t simply state work history, skills and tasks, responsibilities etc. It has to include and highlight what was achieved in those roles, how you changed and improved system processes, any outstanding results, presentations given, ideas you generated which helped the company, and anything else you can include that clearly shows that you acted like a manager during your previous role. It also needs to let your personality and qualities shine through.
An employer will see that you haven’t been a manager before, so they want to instantly recognise from your CV that you could potentially become one. Don’t worry if you don’t have formal management qualifications – this won’t necessarily bar you from getting the role you want. Recruiters want to see someone who thinks outside the box, generates ideas that drive the company forward, and is company focused and achieves outstanding results.
“A person who has multiple degrees in your field isn’t always better than someone with broad experience and a wonderful personality.”
~ Sir Richard Branson
What to expect during the interview
Be ready to give examples of when you’ve acted like a manager in your previous roles
Your management interview will be much more in depth than you’ve ever had before. Questions will be harder and you’ll be tested constantly during the interview to see if you can handle pressure and how you react to difficult questions and situations.
The interviewer will ask questions relating to management tasks and experience. For example, have you ever delegated work to an individual or a team, and what was it? Have you ever an individual or team before? Have you ever taken on any projects?
The interviewer will constantly be looking for instances in the past where you’ve acted like a manager, so be prepared to research all of this information before the interview. Use your completed CV as examples when questioned about past experiences, as the interviewer will most likely use your CV anyway to build there questions from. So having a great knowledge of your own CV before you go into the interview is the key to answering any difficult questions.