Writing a governance CV

A good CV is one that clearly and succinctly summarises your skills, experience and achievements.

Why do I need a governance CV?

CVs are required to gain most governance roles. A governance CV highlights different things than a management CV. You need a good governance CV to make sure it gives you the best possible chance of being considered for a board role.

Nominations services within organisations like the Ministry for Women also need your CV so they can include you in their search when appointing agencies seek board nominees from them. The appointing agency will use your CV as part of their selection process to assess your experience and achievements.

What do I need to include?

Use the headings below to develop your governance CV:

  • Personal information such as your contact details, date of birth, residency status, hapu/iwi affiliations, cultural/ethnic identity, languages, and any personal disabilities.
  • Professional summary
  • Employment history
  • Board appointments
  • Community service / volunteer service (governance roles and dates)
  • Professional memberships, awards or recognition 
  • Educational qualifications and accreditations
  • Awards received
  • Professional training and development activities

Tips for a great governance CV:

  • Include context where relevant.  Size and scale of achievements, size of organisation, international, national organisation, scale of project, risk, size of workforce, budget, turnover, savings achieved, change management involved and so forth.
  • Be succinct. A good CV is usually no more than five pages long. Include only the information that best reflects your skills, experience and achievements which are of relevance in a governance role.
  • Be honest but not unnecessarily modest. Your CV should be an accurate reflection of your skills and experience. Always be 100 percent truthful about your achievements and experience. Don’t embellish or exaggerate, but don’t be shy about stating the level of influence or leadership you had in a particular role, project or team.
  • Reflect your professionalism, not your personality. Remember that a CV is a professional document designed to summarise and reflect your professional skills, experience and attributes. It’s not an opportunity to display your personality or character traits. Keep it simple, straightforward and professional.

The Institute of Directors also has good advice on creating a governance CV.