Investing time and thought in creating a Board CV is the single most important action you can take to be successful in your board ambitions. But it’s not just us. Here we gather comments and tips from others in our network on the importance of Board CVs.
We offer a range of support to our members in developing a Board CV – take a look to see what is right for you.
What Headhunters And Experienced NEDs Say About Board CVs
“NED CV’s matter. They are not career bios. No you will not get recruited purely on your CV but a good NED CV might result in you getting an interview with the head hunter or with a board member – It is the interview that really matters and the NED CV can be the enabler.”
Paul Drechsler CBE, Portfolio NED and Chair; former President of the CBI
“Writing a non-executive CV was a major breakthrough in my search … You need to re-brand yourself. You think ‘why do I need to change at this late stage of my career?’ – but you do. You definitely need to spend the time to develop a good Board CV.”
Francesca Ecsery, listed portfolio NED
“Get your CV right – Do not submit a generic one. Think of your audience and tailor your CV accordingly.
Make it look good but you don’t need to go too “jazzy”! Audeliss is starting to receive CVs that look more like gantt charts. A normal word document is fine. Always remember your audience and make it relevant to them.”
Suki Sandhu, founder and CEO of Audeliss (recruiter)
“For me the absolute game changing moment was going to the Women on Boards Board CV Masterclass. It wasn’t just the fact that you are surrounded by interesting people going through the same thing – that workshop allowed me to understand we have personal qualities that have value, as well as skills.”Anne Spackman, portfolio NED and former Executive Director at Times Newspapers
“I got fantastic support from Women on Boards. I always felt proud to send over my CV – which is very different to my banking CV.”
Alison McGregor, portfolio NED and former CEO, HSBC Scotland
“[Register] your CV with all the main search firms. This obviously leads to the importance of having an effective Board CV. It should be professional and it is worth spending time on an impactful biography – whether for the CV or a headhunters’ registration form.”
Karoline Vinsrygg, Head of UK Board Practice, Egon Zehnder (recruiter)
“My Board CV is a really strong CV. With guidance from Women on Boards, I gave it a totally different focus with totally different vocabulary for the non-executive arena.”
Nicolina Andall, public appointees, panel and advisory board member and trustee
“[It] should be about the last 24 years and not the last 24 months. You are not looking for a job, this is a business case for a board position, not a CV. Your NED bio has to show why you are qualified for a board and its various committees and explicitly that you are seeking a board position. Focus on what will qualify you for a board. “Jan Babiak, global listed Portfolio NED
“My advice to those looking to build a NED portfolio is to get your brand proposition right. What is the thing you can bring to the board?
I’ve honed it now, and it trips off the tongue, but it’s something I worked on at the start of my journey. I had a huge amount of help from Women on Boards, particularly the Board Value-Add Masterclass and talking to other members about their journeys.”
Zarin Patel, listed portfolio NED
“Provide clear, consistent information… A key piece of key information on a CV but not in your LinkedIn profile (or visa versa) is a red flag for recruiters. Ensure they are both optimised.”
Deborah Cooper, Partner and Head of Board Services at Miles Advisory (recruiter)
“Develop a board CV – which is very different to your executive CV. Take time to refine your pitch and understand what you can bring to a board.”
Celia Pronto, NED and Managing Director
Get support with your Board CV
Women on Boards offers a range of different types of support for developing a Board CV which does you justice as a candidate. The more competitive the boards you are targeting, the more in-depth support is available.
We also strongly recommend creating your Board CV before you find an opportunity to apply for. Roles can come along at fairly short notice. By creating your Board CV, you will also refine how you articulate what you can bring to the boardroom – which is vital to explain in networking with your contact and/or recruiters.