Creating a governance CV

If you are registering with the DirectorSearch database, or updating an old CV, please use these guidelines to create a CV which is appropriate for directorship opportunities.

Many CVs could be improved to better reflect a candidate’s governance experience and achievements. Some relatively simple changes can be made to great effect.

In particular, does your CV:

  • Clearly detail your experience of working with boards – either as a director, a chief executive reporting to a board or as a senior manager who understands the governance process?
  • Adequately describe the size and type of organisations you’ve been involved with?
  • Concisely list your governance, then your work history.

A governance CV is a different proposition from an executive CV. Governance skills, experience, training and relevant memberships should be prominent to demonstrate you are a governance professional.

Aim to keep your CV to 4-5 pages maximum. Use a plain clear font – do not reduce text size to make your CV appear shorter. Remember that sophisticated or highly aesthetic CV’s may impress, but should not detract from the data you would like to get across.

Have you considered a governance statement? This is a paragraph or two at the beginning of the CV that acts like an executive summary of your governance experience, and indicates your board room style and strengths.

It is useful to note your behavioural/emotional intelligence skills. Boards are looking for a person with the capabilities of a team player, who can also hold robust, independent views around a board table where respect is valued.

We recommend tailoring the CV by highlighting aspects of your experience that will stand out to a recruiting Chair and/or appointments committee. Remember that the ‘stated’ experience should be in proportion to the real experience, but make sure if you have the skills that fit the bill that you make these prominent.

Your CV is just one step in the appointment process, but it is important to get it right.