How to Write an Ideal Candidate Profile
You’ve got an incredible slate of candidates for your upcoming member organization election. Your team is enthusiastic about their qualifications, backgrounds and potential to be assets to the organization. But if you simply list their names on a ballot, your members aren’t likely to be as excited. You need to provide a way for your members to get to know the candidates like you have gotten to know them, but how?
Candidate bios are like a short, informative “elevator pitch” that summarizes each candidate and what they can do for the organization. Aim to keep candidate bios standardized and concise.
What to include:
- Professional history: employer, past board experience, past committee experience, etc.
- History with the organization: length of membership, previous volunteer roles, membership type (if relevant), awards, etc.
- One to two sentences about what they feel they can do for the organization if they were elected
Candidate statements are longer, more in-depth versions of bios. A candidate’s statement is their opportunity to expand on their background, history with the organization, beliefs and goals.
The candidate statement is the chance each person has to explain why they are the right person for the job, why voters should cast their ballots in favor of the candidate and what the candidate sees as the future of the organization.
A good candidate statement should inform voters and to inspire them to vote.
As thorough as candidate bios and statements can be at introducing voters to the slate of candidates on the ballot, not everyone will end up reading through those materials. That is where candidate videos become a valuable resource.
Candidate videos placed within the election website allow voters to see and hear candidates speak. It also provides candidates to share in their own words who they are, what their vision is for the organization, and how they hope to be part of that future.
In the past, “Meet the Candidate” events were a popular in-person activity for members to help boost engagement and election knowledge. However, moving your “Meet the Candidate” Q&A to a live virtual format between scheduling and transportation difficulties and the uncertainty around in-person meeting safety is a great alternative. It accomplishes the same goals – meeting the candidates and asking questions in real-time while opening up participation to members who cannot make it in person for whatever reason.
You can also easily record the event and make it a part of your election website, so potential voters who were not able to attend can take advantage of the information.
With an abundance of resources, your organization should also use all available communications methods to share your “Meet the Candidates” package: Email, social media, your organization’s website and more.
Well informed voters are likely to be more engaged in the election and invested in its outcome. Don’t make potential voters search for information on candidates or have to ask about it, serve it up easily to inform as many members as possible. Not only can this help increase election participation, but it will also shine a positive light on your organization’s governance and transparency practices.
Have questions about getting your “Meet the Candidates” package just right for your members? Contact us any time, we’re here to help.
Hannah assumed the role of Marketing Specialist at SBS in June of 2022. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Minnesota Duluth, with coursework in English literature complementing her skill set. Creating content for SBS, her contributions span from graphic design to crafting informative election resources, like blogs and eBooks. Hannah also manages email communications and is responsible for producing the SBS Newsletter, “The Ballot Box”.