Writing Your Board of Directors (BOD) Resume
Recruiters hiring for board-level candidates have requirements unique from recruiters filling a corporate executive-level role. Understanding the audience’s distinctive needs is imperative when building a board of directors resume.
Overlap in writing your resume for these two targets naturally will occur. However, the primary objective in writing for a board role will be nuanced toward the specific board of directors’ needs.
To help get to the essence of their needs, you must consider the size and scale of the organization; e.g., is it a small, mid-size or large organization, and how many locations does it operate? You also will need to know the industry scope, its areas of pain, growth goals, and much more. Moreover, is it publicly or privately held?
Answers to these questions will help determine what role you will be tasked with as a strategic advisor and member of their board.
Clarify the Specific Needs of the Target Organization When Writing Your Board of Directors Resume
When a COO-level client recently reached out to adapt her corporate-level executive resume to a board-level executive resume, her requirements were clear. A recruiter had approached her regarding a potential board candidacy for a large retailer. The board sought out my client to help them combat their struggle with the transition to digital.
And, my client’s current resume, while founded on retail with digital as an underpinning, no longer depended upon certain retail and digital phrasing the board of directors role deemed necessary. She had reached a level of executive competency and strategy that demanded we showcase different skill sets and gravitas for corporate roles.
To create a glove-like fit, therefore, for this specific organization’s (board of directors resume) needs, we made strategic adjustments.
For example, we modified the headline to read:
Own $XXB P&L as COO
Helming Commercial Model Transformation
Centered on Today’s Digital Realities
Addressed, head-on, the changing landscape of retail, using the shift to digital as the catalyst to redefine retail in a hyper-competitive environment.
Further descriptive language in the profile included:
- Develops Industry Leading Distribution with Strong Retail + Digital Expertise
- Curates Customer Journeys with Digital at the Core
Moreover, the strategic planning skills and experience that underpin many board roles: transformation leadership, financial expertise, M&A involvements and oversight, cost containment directives, corporate governance and regulatory compliance already were articulated well in her corporate-directed resume.
So, amending the content of her corporate-focused executive resume to adapt to the board opportunity became a strategic decision-making process of adding and subtracting information, while ensuring the overall storied flow remained intact.
In addition to revamping headlines and profile phrasing, your resume will require other strategic adjustments.
In addition to headlines and other key phrasing, you also will want to fuel the Profile/Summary section with any non-profit or for-profit board roles as well as committee involvements (as a member or chair) that you held or currently hold. Include metric-laced, overarching impacts, connecting the dots between what you’ve achieved in these roles with what the target board may find appealing.
The Body/Experience section of your executive resume may already align fairly well with a board opportunity. However, surgically striking the content with strategic achievements can further fortify the message.
Finally, be mindful to reinforce that you will avail a deep and wide strategic network to further cement your executive board-level value.
If you don’t have the benefit of a recruiter’s insights, you may need to dive a bit deeper on your own to find out the target company’s needs. You can conduct a variety of steps. For example:
- Google the organization, using a variety of keyword strings.
- Review the company’s key executive and board member LinkedIn profiles.
- Check the organization out on https://finance.yahoo.com//.
- Review their proxy statement (if they are a public organization).
- Inquire around your network.
I am a master resume writer with 20 years’ experience in the resume writing trenches. No insta-resume service here. I built my story from ground up, living and breathing resumes, full time, self-supporting, and not as a side gig. My clients hire me for the highly consultative, thoughtful approach to resume writing. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how I can help shape the story that will accompany you through your next career evolvement.