Ask ON Series: Ep 03 – How to Craft a Compelling Board Biography?

May 13, 2024

In episode 03 of our “Ask ON” series, Shawn Oglesbee provides four quick tips for building an effective board biography for future board appointments.


Ask ON

In Episode 03 of the Ask ON series, Shawn Oglesbee, co-founder and partner at ON Partners specializing in executive search and board services, shares four quick tips to the question we often receive: “How do I craft a compelling board biography?”

Oglesbee, speaking from the low country of Charleston, South Carolina, addresses the four main aspects needed to structure and build a board biography for future board appointments.

{Related topic: View Ep 01 of the “Ask ON” series discussing four tips to securing your first board position}

Don’t have time to watch the full video? Here’s a quick summary.


Shawn Oglesbee spells out four quick tips for crafting a compelling board biography below:

First, you need to understand the distinction between a board biography and an executive resume. A board bio is not a distilled version of your resume or professional bio. Rather, it is a structured tool designed to explain your suitability and expertise specifically for board service.

Secondly, focus on pertinent skills. Your board bio should underscore P&L responsbilities. 80% of sitting CEOs and Board Directors crave more people who lead businesses. Highlight governance knowledge and prior board experience. Emphasize leadership experiences in specific domains such as digital transformation. Boards do look for functional experts.

The third key point involves highlighting expertise. List boards you have been on without embellishment. Concentrate on your professional experience from the last decade. Include any board readiness training programs recently completed. Define your role in your current reporting structure and current exposure to boards. This goes a long way in validating your familiarity with board processes, expectations and behaviour.

The final point is focused on additional tips to consider such as be concise and succinct. Include a professional photo and contact information for easy reference.

Crafting a board biography requires thoughtful reflection on the skills you bring to the future board role. By adhering to these guidelines and tailoring your narrative to reflect your suitability for board service, you enhance the chances of securing one of these coveted board appointments.

Want more board service advice and expertise from ON Partners? Visit our board services resource center.

{Related topic: View Ep 02 of the “Ask ON” series with four quick tips to write an executive resume}

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