Many of my clients are at a place in their careers where they would like to be considered for board roles. But most approach the process with a resume that may be suited for operating roles, but falls flat for board seats. Today we will discuss how to write a resume to land your first board position.
Board Skills & Competencies
Boards are looking for candidates that are experienced in the competencies that are most frequently utilized in the role. They know that you have already proven yourself as a C-level executive in a finance, operations, sales, marketing, IT, or HR role.
Accomplishments concerning how you have contributed to business growth, streamlined costs, or new product launches are already assumed. Boards are trying to decipher if you have the ability to influence and collaborate on the issues surrounding the strategic objectives of the company and driving shareholder success.
But what do you do if you have never been on a board? The goal is to unearth accomplishments that showcase your engagement with the board or report on operating competencies that best mirror what would be expected of a board director.
Below are the competencies that are most relevant for a corporate board role and recommendations for how to position your accomplishments to match objectives.
If you have experience creating and executing strategic plans for the companies you have supported, your involvement in the process will be of interest to a board.
- Drove global digital transformation in response to board directive to build brand equity and optimize revenues. Nearly doubled brand value and increased revenues 55% in 7 years.
Experience creating performance management plans, identifying a new CEO, or supporting the board in filing board seats.
- Partnered with board to source new CEO to replace retiring leader. Ran process to identify recruiting firm, co-developed candidate profile with board, and currently vetting external candidates.
Accomplishments related to leading analysis of executive compensation to review bonus and stock components.
- Work directly with CEO and Compensation Committee Board Chair to strengthen executive compensation plans and expand commitment to equitable compensation. Amended bonus plan, issued 8-K, and engaged with ISS.
Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
Includes leading due diligence for acquisitions, participating in decision-making for divestitures, and activity related to JVs.
- Advised board on integration strategy following acquisition of XYZ Bank. Acquisition improved company’s position in the market as a bank and wealth management option.
Encompasses responsibilities involving adherence to ensures the firm is in compliance with its outside regulatory and legal requirements as well as internal policies and bylaws.
- Led board’s compliance directive, including policy development, alignment to corporate culture, and enterprise-wide training to achieve virtually 100% compliance across organization. Interacted directly with board’s audit committee chair and reported compliance goals at board’s quarterly committee meetings.
Responsibilities surrounding data security and privacy and governance.
- Actively engaged with Board of Directors, including their cybersecurity experts, to deliver strategy and progress of privacy and security programs.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
Execution on board-driven goals to expand DEI footprint across the company and the communities they serve.
- Led board initiative, Health Starts Here, to identify partners to help bridge the gap in health equity and bring services to communities in need.
Leading with a resume that is more oriented towards the needs of corporate boards will help you generate more meaningful conversations with decision makers and get you one step closer to landing that first board seat.
Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mary-southern