A guide to pitching for promotion

CV expert Emma Alkirwi gives some tips on how you can improve your chances of moving up the career ladder.


Are you one of the many professionals who know you are ready for the next step in your career, but have not yet managed to make that elusive move? It may be the opportunity has not presented itself or any time it does you miss out for some reason: “you don’t have the experience” or “other candidates have done the role before” or “it is not your time yet but soon” or the even more depressing excuse of “you are too important and we need you where you are”.

Any variation of these can be incredibly frustrating and de-motivating. I have set out some tips on how you could position yourself and your experience to demonstrate you are capable of working at that next level.

The benefit of achievements

Firstly, your CV needs to be clearly structured and provide insight into your capabilities and achievements. We have had so many clients that, when you read about their experience, it is bland and lacks impact, but when you speak to them, it is a totally different story.

A good recruiter will be able to understand your experience and should advise you to adjust your CV to accentuate your expertise and successes effectively. You should be able to articulate the scale and impact you have had with evidence. Providing a long list of your responsibilities doesn’t tell recruiters, HR personnel or hiring managers much and it is very likely someone else’s CV will be very similar.

To give the reader a real insight into your skills and expertise, you should make the best use of powerful key achievement sections throughout your CV. Look at the competencies that are required for the role so you can give relevant examples that you can showcase in your CV. There is no point in writing about experience that has nothing to do with the role.

Many of our clients struggle to identify what this might be so I have set up some of the key competencies expected and given you some examples of how your key achievements can be represented. The questions below are to guide you with what to think about when constructing your key achievements.


 Have you led your team through a change initiative and how did you ensure there were clear communication channels?
 Have you coached and mentored your staff to enhance their capabilities or created and delivered training?
 Been part of succession planning?


 What size of budgets are you responsible for?
 Have you increased revenue?
 Have you identified cost savings or delivered efficiency savings?

Projects or change management initiatives

 What projects or initiatives have you led and were they delivered on time and to budget?
 How long was the project and was it across multiple sites?
 Did you restructure teams or enhance the operating model of the organisation?


 What have you done to influence strategy?
 Did you gather data or conduct research to support a change?

 Did you identify inefficiency in key processes that gave the business an advantage over competitors?
 Did you differentiate the business in a way that generated financial profitability growth or improvements?
 How did you approach entering a new market or integrating an acquisition?


 Did you analyse Key Performance Indicators and performance and use this information to improve this further?
 Did you build a team or take on a new product or service line?

By highlighting examples of your achievements using the above as guidance you should significantly increase your chances of being offered an interview as the recruiter can now see how you will have a positive impact on the organisation. Remember to try and include figures and percentages where possible. Just remember, it is about what impact you had on the business or organisation, its people and its performance and why that is important for the role you are applying for or the career step you wish to make.

*Emma Alkirwi is the Managing Director of the CV Guru which is the leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters in the UK and they also provide specialist consultancy services.

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