How to write a Non-Executive Director CV

February 5, 2014

A Non-Executive Director CV is different from an Executive CV

non-executive director cvThe skill-set required to be a successful Non-Executive Director is different from an Executive Director’s skill-set so it makes sense that your Non-Executive Director CV should be different from one you would use to obtain an Executive position.

A summary of the skills needed to become an effective Non-Executive Director can be found here. Your NED CV will need to demonstrate that you have these skills by drawing examples from your current and previous executive and non-executive roles.

Because of this need to provide more evidence about how you match up to the NED skills criteria there is some acceptance that the usual requirement for a strict 2 page CV can be relaxed and that a NED CV can be between 2 and 4 pages long. This is not universally accepted though and some recruiters will still demand a full chronological executive type CV with a 2-page limit.

Your NED CV should contain the following:

  1. Your contact details on the 1st page with your address, email and phone numbers. It is a good idea to have your e-mail and telephone number in the header or footer of the CV continuation pages.
    You should have a LinkedIn profile and provide the address with your other contact details. It is important to make sure that your LinkedIn profile and your CV are consistent with each other – there should be nothing in your CV that is not in your profile and visa versa. The level of detail does not have to be the same though and your CV should be the more concise of the two.
  2. A candidate profile, summarising the key skills, or useful experience you have to offer to a Board as a Non-Executive Director or Chair. This should be less than 6 points and not more than 8 and should highlight areas of your experience which demonstrate that you have the required skills.
    Recruiters will be looking for a mixture of NED boardroom skills such as ‘Strategic Evaluation’ or ‘Risk Management’ and some personal areas of expertise that a particular organisation may require for its Board such as ‘expertise in digital marketing’, ‘strong IT product development track-record’, ’10 years’ experience of luxury goods sector’, ‘Finance Director experienced in VC/EIS fundraising’, ‘NED with IPO and AIM-listed company experience’, ‘Experience of Chairing PE backed companies’.
    The candidate profile is probably the most likely part of your CV that you will want to tailor when applying for a particular role.
  3. Your current and previous Board-level experience as an actual Chair, or Executive or Non-Executive Director. You can also include here any experience you may have had acting as a board-level consultant, Company Secretary, Trustee or Governor.
    In particular, you should mention any formal Board subcommittees, such as Audit, Finance, Remuneration, Nominations or Governance that you have either Chaired or were a member of.
    If your role was not as a Companies House registered director you will need to explain the nature of the Board and how the experience you gained in the role is relevant to being a Non-Executive Director.
    You should also mention here any qualifications you may have such as Chartered Director from the Institute of Directors or the Financial Times NED diploma. If you have attended a course or workshop such as the Excellencia How to become a Non-Executive Director course. to prepare yourself for the role that is also worth mentioning.
  4. A complete and accurate career record with dates and a description of your major achievements and responsibilities in your more important roles. Minor/brief/early roles can simply be mentioned without descriptions. Career breaks are not a problem so do not try to hide them. The career record should not only say what you have done but also back up the skills and expertise you claimed in the first section. Again make sure everything is truthful and accurate.
  5. A summary of your relevant professional, educational and technical qualifications, especially any that would be relevant for a particular Board appointment or Board subcommittee – such as an accounting qualification for an Audit Committee.

Format

You will often be asked to provide a CV in word format, if you are given the opportunity to provide one as a pdf, then take it as it ensures that your CV will be formatted and print out exactly as you intend it to be


What skills do Non-Executive Directors need?

February 5, 2014

Use this check-list to see if you have the skills Non-Executive Directors need to be effective

non-executive directorsRegardless of any specialist expertise, Non-Executive Directors must be independent, have integrity and the respect of the other board members, be prepared and able to look at the business from a ‘big picture’ perspective, be well-informed and manage difficult decisions in a facilitative manner. The chemistry with other board members is vital. It is the Chairman’s responsibility to ensure that the Board functions as a team, with the NEDs functioning as a cohesive unit within the Board team.

NEDs should act in a mature and professional manner and be prepared to make a stand if they do not agree with the way the organisation is being run. Increasingly NEDs are obtaining professional qualifications such as the Institute of Directors’ Chartered Director qualification to demonstrate that they have the understanding and experience to undertake their non-executive duties in a thoroughly professional manner.

Examples of how you demonstrate the following skills are commonly asked for when applying for Non-Executive Director positions:

  • Integrity – high ethical standards
  • Sound judgement – willingness to challenge
  • Interpersonal skills – listening, persuasiveness, ability to communicate ideas, sensitivity, openness and awareness of non-verbal communication, co-operation and team-working, facilitation skills
  • Leadership and self-awareness, ability to gain respect and attention, confidence
  • Critical thinking, creativity and strategic awareness – the ability to take the wider, strategic view
  • Business acumen, ability to identify new business opportunities, embrace change and innovation
  • Ability to assimilate, assess and analyse information, especially financial information
  • Political astuteness, diplomatic, able to deal with conflict
  • Determination, with the tenacity and drive to succeed
  • Keenness to gain new knowledge and skills to develop competences further

MPs lambast ‘incoherent’ support for small firms

February 4, 2014

MPs criticised the management of the Treasury and Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme

A man walks past the Bank of England in the City of London
Philip Aldrick The Times
Last updated at 12:01AM, January 21 2014

Small businesses are being held back by the Government’s failure to manage properly the financial support that it offers the sector.

According to a leading committee of MPs, “ad hoc” oversight of state-backed loans and a lack of specific goals are holding back efforts to improve the supply of credit to the cash-starved sector and wasting taxpayer money.

The Public Accounts Committee has urged the Government to give the new “business bank” powers “to start managing the various schemes as a coherent programme”.

The committee said: “The Government spends a considerable amount of taxpayer-funded money promoting better access to finance for SMEs, but the departments could not demonstrate that their schemes have successfully addressed the market failures they were designed to correct.

“Far from encouraging more lending to SMEs, investment has declined.”

The Government has made helping small companies, which employ half of Britain’s 30 million-strong workforce, an economic priority. Since 2011, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has been running six schemes providing £2.85 billion of loan support.

The Treasury and Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme, established in August 2012, has handed banks and building societies a further £17.6 billion of cheap credit to pass on to small companies and households.

In addition, the department has launched the British Business Bank, with £1 billion of capital at its disposal. The efforts were supposed to stop banks pulling credit out of the sector.

However, Bank of England data shows that lending has shrunk by £16.8 billion since May 2011, when figures were first collected. The stock of loans in November was £167 billion, with banks withdrawing credit most months of last year.

In damning comments about the schemes’ management, the committee said that BIS and the Treasury “have not done enough to raise SMEs’ awareness of the financing options available”.

It added in its report, Improving Access to Finance for SMEs: “The departments have no common understanding about which parts of the sector generate the most growth, and where government support would therefore be most beneficial.”

The MPs urged the Government to hand oversight to the British Business Bank, which “is designed to better identify and fill gaps in the market for financing SMEs”. The Business Bank has financed £1.3 billion of loans and investments so far and will be spun out of BIS once its clears European Union state aid rules, expected later this year.

The committee’s report also demanded that the Government set clearer goals, reserving particular criticism for Funding for Lending. The Bank has committed to start publishing a breakdown of usage data by sector after the end of the month, when the scheme will become focused on the small business sector.

A Government spokesman said: “The PAC’s assessment does not reflect the reality, which is that credit conditions for SMEs are improving. But we want to do more, which is why the British Business Bank will be fully operational later this year.”


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