What contributes to a winning non-executive CV? In Touch expert CV writer, Brendan Gurrie, shares his top tips and tricks
When you’ve been in one position or one industry for a long time, your CV develops to reflect that field. But if you’re seeking to broaden your horizons with a NED portfolio that spans multiple sectors, then your CV needs to be broadened as well.
The CV is a crucial tool in your NED job search, as in many cases it will serve as your introduction to a company, particularly if that company operates in an industry in which your network might not be as strong.
That means the CV has to communicate exactly who you are, what you do and how you can add value to an organisation in a targeted, succinct document that will jump out of the pile to engage the reader.
But it might be the case that you haven’t needed a CV for some time, or perhaps it’s currently more tailored to executive or operational roles. There are some intricate but important differences between an ordinary CV and one intended for NED positions.
Do you know your personal brand?
A NED CV is broader than an ordinary CV, so it can be easy to dilute your value message when adapting to the former. Look at yourself as a product on the candidate market, and the recruiter as the buyer. What’s your USP, and how will this be of use to organisations in need of an NED? Deciding this at the outset will not only focus the rest of the CV, it will allow you to more powerfully articulate the value you can add beyond the document as well.
What are your biggest achievements?
Describing your duties and responsibilities will only tell a recruiter that you do what’s expected of you. Instead, you want to highlight your biggest accomplishments in each role, explaining what you did and what the benefits were. By showcasing transferable, tangible achievements, you’ll demonstrate how you can deliver similar success in a new organisation or industry.
Are your achievements relevant as a NED?
Spearheading projects and championing change are all well and good, but because the NED position is advisory, you’ll need to demonstrate how you can act as a ‘guide on the side’ for businesses, influencing and supporting rather than leading or doing. Do you have achievements that present these skills? Maybe you’ve influenced in ways you haven’t considered until now.
Can you balance the professional with the personal?
Professional experience and accomplishments are important, but as the NED role requires high levels of communication and engagement, you’ll have to explain how you interact with others. However, the CV is primarily a fact-based document, so don’t fall into the trap of focusing too much on your dynamic, energetic, empathetic communications style.
Once you’ve written your NED CV, you should have a better idea of what you can bring to the table as a NED. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re communicating the same value message across other platforms, for example your LinkedIn profile and covering letters.