A Non-Executive Director CV is different from an Executive CV
The skill-set required to be a successful Non-Executive Director is different from an Executive Director’s skill-set so it makes sense that your Non-Executive Director CV should be different from one you would use to obtain an Executive position.
A summary of the skills needed to become an effective Non-Executive Director can be found here. Your NED CV will need to demonstrate that you have these skills by drawing examples from your current and previous executive and non-executive roles.
Because of this need to provide more evidence about how you match up to the NED skills criteria there is some acceptance that the usual requirement for a strict 2 page CV can be relaxed and that a NED CV can be between 2 and 4 pages long. This is not universally accepted though and some recruiters will still demand a full chronological executive type CV with a 2-page limit.
Your NED CV should contain the following:
- Your contact details on the 1st page with your address, email and phone numbers. It is a good idea to have your e-mail and telephone number in the header or footer of the CV continuation pages.
You should have a LinkedIn profile and provide the address with your other contact details. It is important to make sure that your LinkedIn profile and your CV are consistent with each other – there should be nothing in your CV that is not in your profile and visa versa. The level of detail does not have to be the same though and your CV should be the more concise of the two.
- A candidate profile, summarising the key skills, or useful experience you have to offer to a Board as a Non-Executive Director or Chair. This should be less than 6 points and not more than 8 and should highlight areas of your experience which demonstrate that you have the required skills.
Recruiters will be looking for a mixture of NED boardroom skills such as ‘Strategic Evaluation’ or ‘Risk Management’ and some personal areas of expertise that a particular organisation may require for its Board such as ‘expertise in digital marketing’, ‘strong IT product development track-record’, ’10 years’ experience of luxury goods sector’, ‘Finance Director experienced in VC/EIS fundraising’, ‘NED with IPO and AIM-listed company experience’, ‘Experience of Chairing PE backed companies’.
The candidate profile is probably the most likely part of your CV that you will want to tailor when applying for a particular role.
- Your current and previous Board-level experience as an actual Chair, or Executive or Non-Executive Director. You can also include here any experience you may have had acting as a board-level consultant, Company Secretary, Trustee or Governor.
In particular, you should mention any formal Board subcommittees, such as Audit, Finance, Remuneration, Nominations or Governance that you have either Chaired or were a member of.
If your role was not as a Companies House registered director you will need to explain the nature of the Board and how the experience you gained in the role is relevant to being a Non-Executive Director.
You should also mention here any qualifications you may have such as Chartered Director from the Institute of Directors or the Financial Times NED diploma. If you have attended a course or workshop such as the Excellencia How to become a Non-Executive Director course. to prepare yourself for the role that is also worth mentioning.
- A complete and accurate career record with dates and a description of your major achievements and responsibilities in your more important roles. Minor/brief/early roles can simply be mentioned without descriptions. Career breaks are not a problem so do not try to hide them. The career record should not only say what you have done but also back up the skills and expertise you claimed in the first section. Again make sure everything is truthful and accurate.
- A summary of your relevant professional, educational and technical qualifications, especially any that would be relevant for a particular Board appointment or Board subcommittee – such as an accounting qualification for an Audit Committee.
You will often be asked to provide a CV in word format, if you are given the opportunity to provide one as a pdf, then take it as it ensures that your CV will be formatted and print out exactly as you intend it to be
As with all job applications there are no hard and fast rules covering the format and content of your CV. Try to see your CV with the eyes of someone who is wanting to make a Non-Executive Director appointment – think about what they are looking for and whether your CV has demonstrated that you have the knowledge, skills, background and experience to be an effective NED.