Special Report: Board of Director Resumes
Why Your Executive Resume does not automatically work for Board of Director Positions
You have climbed the corporate ladder all the way to the top and held C-level positions for the last 20+ years. Now it is time for something new, and you want to shift more towards fulfilling and quite lucrative Board of Director positions.
For making this transition, you need to pay attention to the specific requirements for conquering the highly competitive Board of Directors market.
Besides your targeted networking efforts, you will want to use the special board practices websites that the majority of the big executive search firms run.
And that is where your current executive resumes, no matter how well it has served you over the years, it will need refocusing. In other words, an employment history focused document will not cut it.
Your Executive Resume
Your executive resume is, ideally, full of laser-focused and specific achievements and branding elements that highlight your capabilities to turn around struggling companies and optimize day-to-day business challenges, etc.
It might contain a lot of subject matters specific leadership bullets, and your value-add signature skills are geared towards marketing your C-level competencies.
This special C-level focus will however not position you in the best possible way for targeting board opportunities.
It is simply a given that you are outstanding in your everyday leadership business and the skillset the board will be looking for is quite different. So, contrary to your corporate resume, you will have to “zoom out” to showcase big picture director thinking abilities.
As an experienced executive with decades of experience, you will most likely have this skillset as well. It is usually just not stressed in your executive resume.
The Board of Director Resume – Prior Board Experience
If you do have prior board experience, it will usually already be listed at the very bottom of your executive resume. For your “everyday” executive resume, you will not have dedicated too much whitespace to this section.
Obviously, you will want to move this section to a more prominent position on your resume. I typically include it after the Core Competency section before your “bread and butter” Career Experience section.
You could use a simple headline, e.g., “BOARD LEADERSHIP & ORGANIZATIONS.”
Now it is time to add some meat to this section. Some aspects you might want to elaborate and outline:
- How many people were on each board you served?
- Did you serve as a chair of a committee?
- Were you a member of the audit, compensation, or committee?
- Were you involved in selecting, appointing, and reviewing a Chief Executive Officer?
- Did you approve budgets and formulate policies?
- What mutually beneficial relationships were you able to bring to the board?
- Did you bring any special expertise to the board: social media, cybersecurity, diversity, or strategy and risk oversight?
If you don’t have prior Board of Directors Experience
If you don’t have prior profit or non-profit Board of Director experience, your task will be inevitably harder but not impossible. In this case, address some of the following points in your Career Experience section:
- Prior exposure to dealing with company boards?
- Were you appointed to any special committees (JVs, negotiation task forces, etc.)?
- Highlight any governance experience.
- Focus on achievements that were true team efforts (vs. focusing on your individual contribution in your corporate executive resume).
- Highlight interpersonal skills, particularly consensus building ability to stress your boardroom fit. Are you a coalition builder?
- Any special skills that the current board might be lacking (e.g., current hot-button topics social media and cybersecurity, and technology in general where a lot of boards lack expertise).
- Any experience in determining compensation for top management?
- Community leadership and awards? (this is another section that you simply had no whitespace for on your corporate executive resume, but this can be valuable for your board of director resume to demonstrate cultural fit).
Last, but not least, address any expertise in the following: strategy review, sourcing of capital, M&A and merger integration, and evaluating strategic alliances.
Additional Points for Getting Your Resume Board Ready
Additional points and aspects that can boost your board of director resumes are board relevant memberships, affiliations, and training.
List if you are a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors or have completed a special board of directors training (e.g., the OnBoard Bootcamp).
Implementing the measures mentioned above will help to transform your corporate executive resume into a true contender for board opportunities.
Any questions about creating your board resume? Feel free to call me today: 740-417-9438