If you are aiming for a senior leadership or company director role the first thing you have to do is to put together a board CV (Board Bio) – something that is quite different to your Career CV.

The Difference Between a Board CV and a Career CV

Your board CV has to demonstrate that you’re capable of adding value at the highest level. It should reflect a different context and has to be pitched at a strategic level. Your board CV should also highlight your leadership competencies and knowledge of the industry in which the board you’re applying to be a part of is involved.

As an applicant, you need to do extensive research on the organisation you’re applying to. Use your board CV to demonstrate the expertise you have in different areas. Treat it like a document that you’ll use to market yourself or your brand. Remember, generic CVs aren’t useful in getting you that board level role —they’re deemed as more basic and lengthy. As such, more detail and attention goes into creating a board CV.

You need to customise your board CV and tailor it to the requirements put forth by the board or the industry and make sure it’s no longer than two pages. If you want more specific tips, read on for our list of guidelines that will help you draft an outstanding board CV.

Essential Elements of an Effective Board CV

Create a clear value proposition

Study the company you’re applying to. Identify gaps in their board’s capabilities and clearly demonstrate how you can fill these gaps. You must also understand the value you’re going to bring to the industry or the organisation and present your brand consistently. Highlight your top three core values and make sure they’re in line with the board’s requirements. You may also wish to prepare your personal values and align with the organisations corporate and brand values ready for interview.

Work on your profile

Your profile should list your career experience, competencies and achievements. Build one that will showcase your board and committee experience both current and past roles. Create a separate heading for your list of achievements. Also, don’t forget to link to and work on your LinkedIn profile. Remember, your aim is to build a profile that will stand out from your competitors. Match your top three core values to your top three achievements.

List professional memberships

List any professional organisations you belong to. Organisations keep you up-to-date on technical information, and it makes a good impression when you list your participation in them on your CV. Also, having professional memberships gives of the idea that you’ve acquired lessons as well as experience in leadership.

Keep it clean and clear

When you’re creating a board CV, keep the tone clear and professional. It should be factual, straightforward and informative. Your board CV will act as your “representative” outside of the interview room, so it should give a good impression of your professional character.

Pay attention to your professional experience

Give an overview of your employment history over the last ten years and highlight your expertise if it’s relevant to the board you’re interested in being a part of.

Add tertiary qualifications

Reserve a section of your board CV for highlighting your tertiary qualifications, professional awards, and recognitions. Directors are known to give a lot of thought to an applicant’s professional development and credentials. If you’re serious about securing a board position, you need to complete the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Course.

Review your board CV 

Review your board CV as if reading it for the first time. Then, when satisfied, ask Board Chairs of Directors to give you their honest feedback.

Ask yourself the following questions

Is your board CV succinct and informative? Does the first page show a good fit? Are competencies and professional experience clearly documented? Do my competencies and value I add to an organisation demonstrate that I’m the best candidate for the position? Asking these important questions will guide you in making sure the right kind of content and information is on your board CV.

Writing a compelling board CV is no easy task. But with preparation and constructive feedback from other professionals, you’ll be able to create one that can increase your chances of getting the board position you seek. If you’re looking for additional help, Bottom Line can provide assistance. Contact us for a copy of our Board CV Template and find out more about joining the BoardDirect Register to take your Board Career to the next level.


(Originally published on behind closed doors website as Tips on Creating a Board CV)

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