Writing your NED CV is one of the steps to become 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 demonstrate the skills, expertise and experience that a board is looking to recruit. It 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. Most CVs should be limited to two pages but the NED CV often runs 2-4 pages because of the unique requirements of the position. These positions have some unique qualities and require a different kind of experience. Here are some of the qualities to consider when putting together your history. The most effective non-exec CV will emphasise these qualities throughout the CV.
Skills needed for the non-executive director position
- Diplomacy – this ability forms the basis for many actions and relationships as a NED. Political savvy and skill are a must for this job. Your CV should demonstrate the times you used this attribute.
- Leadership abilities – this job is about leading a business or organisation. Show how effective a leader you are on your CV.
- Business acumen – point out 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 – Include your abilities to analyse data and other points of business and use this to make good business decisions.
- Integrity – show how you handled situations when you needed to make choices to maintain your self-worth.
- Interpersonal skills – showcase the abilities you have with interpersonal relationships – such as public speaking, networking and memberships in associations.
The 5 blocks approach
Your NED 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 the CV.
The second block should include a candidate profile with your background. This is not the same as a résumé, it is a general view of who you are, where you come from and where you want to go.
The next block 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 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 your attendance at one of the NEDonBoard courses will demonstrate your motivation and commitment to a NED career.
Lastly, make sure your non-exec 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 the CV is clearly laid out and reader friendly for viewing on a computer. Then make sure to diffuse it to the relevant decision maker.
NEDonBoard offers a NED CV service to NEDonBoard members. The CV is writing by a professional CV writer, following preparatory work and a 2-hour 1:1 session. If you are not a member, join our community today (Standard Membership or Event Membership) and unlock the resources available to NEDonBoard members.
On behalf of NEDonBoard, Elise Perraud