Writing your non-executive director CV is one of the steps to becoming a non-executive director, which aspiring and transitioning NEDs may underestimate. A good NED CV is a sales document, which outlines your unique value proposition for a board and demonstrates the skills, expertise and experience that a board is looking to recruit.
A well-written non-executive director CV will determine whether you receive a call for interviews with the chair, NEDs and the senior executive team and ultimately whether your application is successful.
What to include in your NED CV
The non-executive director CV (NED CV) is a special type of CV. The most effective NED CVs are a short and sharp document, often two pages in length. The more concise your non-executive director CV, the more likely decision-makers will review it in detail.
Highly experienced professionals may extend the length of their NED CV to three pages. Here are some of the qualities to consider when putting together your value proposition and career history. The most effective NED CV will emphasise these qualities throughout.
Non-executive director CV example skills
The following non-executive director skills form the basis of all the best NED CVs.
Diplomacy forms the basis for many actions and relationships as a NED. Political awareness and skill are a must for this job. Your non-executive director CV should demonstrate the times you used this attribute.
Leadership abilities are crucial because this job is about leading a business or organisation. Show how effective a leader you are on your NED CV.
Demonstrate in your non-executive director CV how you find new business opportunities, clients, institute change and keep a business going. Be specific in the size and nature of the businesses you have worked in.
Sound analytical skills
Your NED CV should also highlight your abilities to analyse data and other points of business, illustrating how you use this to make good business decisions.
Ensure your non-executive director CV shows how you handled situations when you needed to make choices to maintain your self-worth.
Showcase the abilities you have with interpersonal relationships in your NED CV. These might include public speaking, networking and memberships in associations.
The 5 blocks approach to a winning NED CV
Your non-executive director CV needs to start off with a block containing your personal contact information within the header. This should be easy to read and stand out on your NED CV.
The second block should include your NED profile with your background and value proposition. It is a general view of who you are, where you come from and where you want to go.
The next block of your non-executive director CV should include your previous board and current experience on or with company boards. Include acting as a Trustee, Governor, Company Secretary or other board level consultancy work. Experience as an executive at or near board level should be highlighted.
The fourth block of your NED CV includes a review of your career experience. This needs to be honest, but don’t worry about periods of time without a position. That is not important here. You should go back about 10 years or so, but include relevant jobs.
The last block should include education, certificates, memberships, any professional competencies, and whatever else you bring to the table. Keep the main qualifications in mind here. A membership with NEDonBoard, the UK professional body for non-executive directors and board members and the completion of a NEDonBoard training course, such as the NED Accelerator® Programme or the Modern Board Member Masterclass will demonstrate your commitment to a NED career and your preparedness.
Lastly, make sure your non-executive director CV is presented with good grammar, an edited appearance, and if printed, that it is on professional paper. These days CVs and applications are often in email or online form, so make sure that your NED CV is clearly laid out and reader friendly for viewing on a computer. Then make sure to diffuse it to the relevant decision maker(s).
Written by Elise Perraud, NEDonBoard Chief Operations Officer.
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