A Board biography is a basis for landing a board…
A Board biography is a basis for landing a board seat in a company. It requires proper articulation of the value you could offer the company as a board member. Writing a board bio can be challenging, but with the board bio example in this guide, you’ll be able to write a brilliant one.
Board bios are not the same as executive bios. A board biography speaks to your specific skills about serving on a board. Let’s see a board bio example and how you can draft the perfect board biography.
What is a Board Biography?
A board biography is an account of your professional experience and skills. It is an overview of your career highlights, credentials, achievements, and value proposition that emphasizes the skills needed for board work.
Your board biography should include mentorship, leadership, and profit and loss responsibility. It should also include your governance knowledge, board exposure, and management experiences.
Some individuals include special experiences like human resources, marketing, e-commerce, and technology in their bio. The key is to make it concise and informative.
Preparing to Write the Perfect Board Biography
1. Reflect on your career
Before you begin drafting your biography, take some time to reflect on your career and decide what experiences you could share with the Board.
Focus your skills and expertise on 3-4 areas of your career that you’ll be considered an expert in by your colleagues and outsiders. This is more than just a list of typical corporate experiences.
Instead of writing just “leadership and strategy,” on your bio, display this expertise in your experiences. If you write “Transformational Leader” as your headline, provide details of how you achieved this.
Another vital highlight could be your international experience. Provide details about the countries and markets you have experience in and what roles you played.
2. Examine your passion and goals
Before you write your board bio, examine your passions, personal brand, and goals for joining a board.
Think about what you want out of your career, including how much satisfaction you want from the job. Here are some thought-provoking questions to answer before drafting your bio.
- What is your unique value proposition? Why do you stand out amongst other leaders?
- What kind of company Board would you like to join? i.e., Public vs. Private. Large vs. Small.
- What is your P & L experience? As part of a board, you’ll be required to review the company’s P&L at a meeting and make decisions about spending, salaries, and investments.
- What are you passionate about?
- Can you display effective leadership? What kind of guidance have you provided, or how have you helped shape your career? You might be required to proffer advice on the Board.
- What’s your reason for wanting to join a board? How does joining a board fit into your career plan?
Structuring the Perfect Board Biography
Unlike an executive bio where you list your skills, a board bio is tailored for the Board you wish to join. Your board biography must answer three standard questions:
- What exposure or experience have you had with boards and boardrooms?
- What is your role in your current reporting structure?
- What is your P & L experience?
Frame your most in-demand and relevant skills to fit the Board you want to join. For instance, a biography for a board seat at a technology startup should be different from a bio crafted for a national retailer.
Research the industry or companies you’re interested in. Find out their mission, the latest investments, and future goals.
Craft the narrative you wish to tell in line with the questions you’ve answered above and the board seat you aim to win.
Writing the Perfect Board Bio
After considering your reasons for joining a board, the next step is drafting your bio.
Your board bio should follow this order.
- Paragraph 1: Your unique value proposition (1-2 sentences).
- Paragraph 2: Your current position (2-3 sentences).
- Paragraph 3: Your career highlights (3-5 sentences).
- Paragraph 4: Your credentials, accomplishments, and skills (2-3 sentences).
Your board bio should be between 200 – 350 words and include your full name, current title, and professional headshot at the top. Also, include your contact information and educational background.
If you have been on a board before, you can display this information at the top of the bio to emphasize your board experience.
Things to Avoid
- If you have been on a board previously, don’t exaggerate your experience or portray yourself as an expert if you’re not.
- Avoid industry jargon and broad descriptors. Instead of simply stating that you were involved in policy setting, give details of what you did. Be deliberate and thoughtful when describing your experience, and avoid the use of jargon.
- Leave out details of your early career and minor roles you have had. Focus on experiences that are relevant to board work.
- There’s no need to state specific dates. You can include the years you held a role or the year you began and ended. But you don’t need to include the month and date.
Board Bio Example
Here’s a board bio example showing what the first paragraph of a board biography looks like.
Candidate Name, Title, Location
Jude is an accomplished business advisor of publicly traded global companies. With more than five years of experience in highly regulated industries, including [industry]. Jude has developed deep expertise in identifying, evaluating, and mitigating risks as a business advisor to the Board and senior management. And has a proven track record of leading compliance and legal functions and managing large teams across continents.
You might be nervous about writing your board biography, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You need to know what you want to accomplish with your board biography. With the tips and board bio example in this guide, you’ll be able to write your board biography the perfect way.