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)

A business coach, someone who has such an influential role in assisting you achieve your business goals, needs to take you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future.  Selecting a suitable business coach can be difficult, here are my top tips on what to look for in a suitable business coach for you.

1. Experience

Has he or she actually built a business? Have they accomplished what you want to accomplish? You should look for someone who has been successful and can share what they have learned from their real life business experiences. One example of such a popular business coach is Marie Forleo. She has gained an incredible amount of knowledge from her experience, a fact that makes her knowledgeable and her words and advice both reliable and trustworthy.

2. Willingness to Share

A good coach should be open to walking you through their own process. If they are evasive about how they achieved their success, or they only give you vague tips rather than concrete and specific advice, their coaching will only get you so far. You will get the most out of the coaching relationship when you team up with someone who is transparent. Trust is important. Knowing that your coach trusts you will serve as encouragement and motivation for you to listen and act more and focus on the program. Otherwise, you’ll feel confused and less motivated—even suspicious—negatively affecting your working relationship which could lead to wasted effort, money and sub-par results.

3. Connections

Another sign of a good business coach is having a broad range of relationships with people in relevant or related industries and can navigate you through government. A coach with a strong network of connections will really benefit you—connections that can result to more business introductions and open doors for you. As we know it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

4. Ability and Willingness to Teach

It’s crucial that your business coach isn’t just effective at what he or she does; he or she should also be adept at explaining it to another person, especially to a new business owner. If they are not able to break down the steps towards their success and teach those steps to you, it will be difficult for you to gain traction.

Is your business coach able to explain complex concepts to you in a way that you can grasp them? Or do they confuse you with jargons and overcomplicate things? Some of the most highly knowledgeable people might know a lot, but they are not good at passing on their knowledge to others.

A business coach should also be willing to share knowledge and experiences, not just for the sake of coaching but also because he or she really wants you to achieve business success through his or her advice. Do you feel that your business coach is holding back or is reluctant in teaching and coaching you? If you’re in this situation, it may be time to look for another option or another coach.

5. Passion

Last but not the least, look for a business coach who is passionate about what they do. A small difference in attitude makes a big difference in the relationship. You want your business coach to inspire and encourage you, not to discourage or make you feel worse about your business skills. A business coach with the right kind of passion will enjoy helping you achieve success and will be a cheerleader for you as well as a mentor and coach. That same passion might also affect you, getting you more motivated to listen and apply your coach’s teachings to your business.

These are just five of the important attributes that you should look for when you are choosing a business coach, so that you can get the most out of this professional relationship, hone your skills, and improve your business. Bottom Line can help guide you in your quest to look for the right business coach as well as provide you with useful insights, networking, and mentorship to help bring your business to the next level.


(originally posted on behind closed doors as 5 Things You Should Look For In A Business Coach)