Nine mistakes to avoid when submitting your NTCUE application


Pouring your heart and mind into your CUES® Next Top Credit Union Exec application, then making a mistake can be frustrating. It's like running a marathon, but tripping just as you are about to cross the finish line. Here are nine mistakes to avoid when putting together your NTCUE application.

1. Being older than 35
Let’s get this one out of the way first, and we’re sorry we have to do this. You must be 35 or younger at the time that the competition began (May 1, 2018). While we’re not prejudiced against those older than 35, this competition is targeted towards young credit professionals who have not yet reached the level of CEO.

2. Using a boring or non-descript project title
This is often the first thing that people look at when viewing your application. If you’re not excited about your project by giving it a unique, interesting or intriguing title, why should anyone else be? Ask your creative friends or your Marketing or Communications department to help you out if you get stuck for ideas.

3. Not posting a clear, concise one-sentence pitch
OK, your project title is intriguing, now let’s see what it’s all about. You’ve got one sentence to pitch us on reading more. Sum up in one sentence the gist of your idea. This is equivalent to your elevator pitch. Make it short(ish), punchy and most of all memorable!

4. Sending the wrong file
Before applying, did you upload your video to YouTube? Are you attaching the proper URL for your video? Sometimes we receive frantic calls or emails from people who realize they've sent in the wrong version of their video. Some keep tinkering with it after it's been submitted and want to send a tighter version. By then it's too late. We only accept one version of each entry for evaluation. Leave yourself plenty of time (at least 48 hours prior to the deadline) to ensure your video is ready to go, and uploaded properly to YouTube before applying.

5. Sending poor quality photos with your submission
We've seen it all: selfies, family portraits, with your pet, angled artistic shots, dramatic shots on a distant mountaintop…the list goes on. None of which gets posted with your submission. Our readers want to see you, so a standard head shot is just perfect. In fact, if you have one that’s on your corporate website, send that one. Please, focus on you, not your pets.

6. Not including your name on attached files
Sometimes a small thing can be a big thing. We haven’t met you yet, so we want to make sure we match your face to your name on the website. Help us help you, by using your name on your photo’s file name. And when we ask for a JPG version of your photo, we really mean it.

7. Missing the deadlines
Our timelines in the different phases are very strict. They’ve been discussed, reviewed, shared with partners and shared publically – they are set and non-negotiable. If you have any doubts or questions about meeting a deadline, please ask us well in advance for advice.

8. Not reading the rules and regulations
We know rules and regulations can seem long and boring. But if you have any questions about what you need to send, you'll find it there. And if you can't, email us

9. Submitting at the last minute
We know this one often can't be helped, but if you give yourself enough time it's unlikely you will make any errors when submitting your application. Things tend to be rushed at the last minute, then you forget to write a proper project explanation, or the sound in your video isn’t good quality or you make a typo, or you know, stuff happens. Sure, you can procrastinate, but not to the 11th hour. There’s no benefit to being the last one to post before the deadline.

We hope you can avoid one or all of these mistakes. Applying to become the Next Top Credit Union Exec is really not as onerous as it may sound, and the benefits are huge. Good luck with your application!