Crafting your CV

Writing a Non-Executive Director CV is often the best place to begin when considering your next or first board role. While there is no set template for what style or format your CV should take it must answer the central question any Chair/selection committee will want to know ‘Why should we appoint you?’ For this reason your Non-Executive Director resume must: demonstrate your successes; be succinct and above all be readable.

A standard Non-Executive Director resume is unlikely to run over 2 pages; but if it does, make sure that the information you are providing is relevant and speaks about what you can bring in terms of the additional skills and insight required to make the role a success.

What should you include?

Summary Profile Advice: The nature of the CV will change, especially if you are looking to break into the Non-Executive Director community and have no previous experience in these roles. This often means talking slightly more about achievements and what you can bring to Non-Executive Director positions in the summary profile. This sets the agenda and gets the person reading the CV interested and persuades them to read on. It is important to convey top-level credentials and achievements likely to stand out from others.

Career Progression: The emphasis will change by focusing on showing an exemplary track record of career progression in a clear summary, with job titles, employers and dates to make up for a lack of existing Non-Executive Director roles. Mention committee memberships or steering groups instead to make up for any perceived lack of formal Non-Executive Director experience.

Professional development: This is a good differentiator, so it is important to mention professional memberships, executive leadership programmes and specialist / industry-specific training, courses and accreditation. This adds considerable value and reinforces Non-Executive Director credentials.

Selling Current Role: Greater emphasis may be required in a Non-Executive Director CV for current and most previous roles to demonstrate clear credentials in strategic decision-making, leadership or consultancy expertise. Going into some extra detail may take the CV onto a second page, but it gives an opportunity to confidently sell credentials, achievements, skills, expertise, programme leadership and decision-making rationale using excellent examples.

Mentioning Previous Roles: For older roles it is not so important as recruiters are only interested in what candidates are doing now or in most recent roles. Keep it mainly to the current role, plus one previous role and then summarise the rest. Keep it simple, especially as a career and progression summary has already been outlined on the first page

And what if you are already have some Non-Executive Director experience?

Contact Details: make sure contact information is accurate and updated

Summary profile (1): needs to convey how candidates can benefit organisations in Non-Executive Director roles

Summary profile (2): include some top-level (outstanding) achievements to gain interest

Career History: list job titles, companies and dates to show a strong record of progression

Describe existing NED roles: often Non-Executive Directors have a portfolio of Non-Executive Director positions; describe these and the achievements / personal impact you have made on specific projects and programmes of work. If you are considering a Chair role, any experience you can give of leading a sub-committee or acting up for the Chair in other capacities would also be useful

Professional Development: key memberships, executive leadership programmes and courses

Outline current role: to give more details about responsibilities, achievements and expertise.

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