Getting the basis of your Board CV right

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In our last ‘Board Thoughts’ article I wrote about getting your board profile right remembering that, above all, it should answer the question ‘Why should you be appointed to this board?’

Today I want to focus on the basis for writing a ‘board-ready’ CV. Whilst not all board appointments require a dedicated board CV, it is important to have one should one be requested from you. Furthermore, the process of writing this document can be invaluable in getting your message right and the content can be used in any future interviews.

In a recent study, eye tracking technology showed that decision-makers spent as little as six seconds(!) on their initial “fit/no fit” decision when viewing CVs. With this in mind, it is essential to effectively prioritise information and to not clutter your CV or have poor formatting.

The results of the study also revealed that decision-makers were able to easily find and focus on the important information if they were looking at a professional board CV much faster than regular resumes or an online profile. So, using a professional template where your skills, experience and attributes are clearly visible will positively affect the way your application is received.

Finally, the study found that recruiters tended to focus on pictures for the simple reason that pictures naturally draw the eye. As a result, it found that pictures often hampered the readers from locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience. For this reason, and many others, I never recommend including a picture on your board CV.

In my experience, a good ‘board-ready’ CV is often between one and three pages long. While there is no set template for what style or format your CV should be in, it must answer the central questions any Chair will want to know which are ‘Why should we appoint you?’ and ‘What value can you offer the board?’.

Board Direction has written hundreds of board-ready CVs for its members as part of the Board Access Plus package.

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