Misc Tips

Is Landing a Board of Directors Role Like Landing Any Other Executive Job?

Many c-suite and senior-level executives focus their job search efforts on touchdown a Board of Administrators function. They’re the form of candidates Boards usually covet.

Government job seekers typically ask me what they should do otherwise of their job search to land a Board function.

The Distinction Between the Two Primary Varieties of Boards of Administrators

FOR-Revenue Boards of Administrators:

As a result of these Boards serve profit-making firms, members of the Board are financially compensated for his or her roles, typically lucratively. High companies on common pay Board members salaries in extra of $200,000, and there could also be different monetary perks.

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It stands to motive that these plum Board roles are in demand by c-suite and top-level executives, so the competitors for them is fierce.

NON-Revenue Boards of Administrators:

These Board members are usually volunteers who aren’t compensated by the group. Moreover, they could be inspired, and even anticipated, to donate not solely their time, however monetary sources as effectively.

How To Land a Board of Administrators Position

The perfect job search technique to land a Board of Administrators function for both a for-profit firm or non-profit group is far the identical as for any government job:

Concentrating on and Analysis

Begin with targeting and research, to determine particular Boards that can be a mutual good match, what issues the businesses are dealing with proper now and what particular areas of experience you may have that the Boards are in search of.

Private Branding

Define your personal brand across the private attributes, values, passions and different {qualifications} you possess that may resonate with the Boards you’re concentrating on.

Job Search Content material Writing

Write content for your executive resume, biography, LinkedIn profile, and different job search supplies that may place you because the knowledgeable and/or drawback solver they want.

To enchantment to board recruiters and board nominating committees, Career Directors International (CDI) advises that your resume for a Board of Administrators function ought to give attention to company outcomes, metrics, and monetary outcomes, together with:

  • Huge-big image corresponding to impression available on the market and on the GDP of your state, your province, or your nation
  • Important P&L
  • The flexibility to critically learn and interpret the steadiness sheet
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Crises administration
  • Areas of experience, particularly rising points, together with cybersecurity and digital publicity
  • Scientific information and its subsequent commercialization
  • Mergers, acquisitions, and integrations
  • IPOs and your connection to capital markets
  • Creativity to provide distinctive capital buildings
  • Convention keynotes, panel participation, and media publicity

Additionally vital, spotlight any earlier Board expertise you’ve had, whether or not for a for-profit or non-profit group.

Your biography is especially vital for private branding. Robust bios depend on storytelling, which helps folks assessing you get a a lot better really feel on your persona and values, and the best way you use, than a resume does.

Your LinkedIn profile must align with the branding in your resume and bio.


Networking issues! Most Board roles are crammed by means of private connections. In response to (CDI),

“Boards rent administrators who’ve deep skilled networks, together with clients, regulators, shareholders, and potential traders.”

Use your robust network to network your way into Board of Directors roles by connecting with current Board members and people who know them, government recruiters specializing in Board recruitment, and others at Board firms. You’ll find lots of these folks on LinkedIn. Additionally, be part of teams (on LinkedIn and elsewhere) that concentrate on Board of Administrators.

FOR-profit Boards of Administrators search for various things in candidates than NON-profit Boards.

Semi-retirement coach Nancy Collamer laid out the excellence between necessities for non-profit vs. for-profit Boards. These are generalizations. Depend on your concentrating on and analysis work to pin this down extra particularly:

FOR-profit Boards need folks with:

“confirmed experience beginning, operating and rising profitable companies . . . and particular skill-sets, corresponding to monetary or authorized experience. Board members should weigh in on vital matters like succession planning, disaster administration and acquisitions, so the necessities for these positions are vital.”

NON-profit Boards need folks with:

“a variety of abilities. However they need individuals who can contribute experience in operating nonprofit packages, managing group relations and fundraising as effectively. Typically, the primary {qualifications} to serve on a nonprofit board are merely having a willingness to take action and a honest dedication to the group. If you happen to’re a well-connected group member who can function an envoy for the group, that’s an added bonus.”

She continues with tricks to land these Board of Administrators roles.

To land a FOR-Revenue Board job:

  • Serve on non-profit Boards first, to show your worth and capabilities.
  • Evaluation annual proxy statements for the Boards of publicly traded corporations.
  • Analysis the sitting Board members and community your method in direction of them.
  • Use LinkedIn for firm and Board member analysis.
  • Join BoardProspects.com, a web based platform for Board members.
  • Get entangled with related commerce {and professional} associations.
  • Get referrals to government recruiters specializing in Board roles, like Spencer Stuart and RSR Companions.

To Land a NON-profit Board job:

Select organizations you understand and/or causes which might be significant to you.

If you happen to’re already concerned with a corporation, you may have an in, and will know among the Board members. Current your self as a candidate.

If you understand nobody at a corporation you’re concentrating on, put some time in volunteering there, earlier than presenting your self to the Board.

When assessing organizations for good mutual match, reply these questions:

  • What are the values and targets of this Board? Do they align with mine?
  • Will my experience add worth to this group? In what methods?
  • Are this Board’s time and monetary commitments ones that I’m keen to speculate?

The Particular Challenges in Touchdown a FOR-Revenue Board of Administrators Position

As recommended earlier, with such fierce competitors, for-profit Board roles will be far more tough to land . . . and so they typically include a Catch-22.

These Boards are typically unique and conservative, and usually need candidates who’ve already confirmed themselves by serving on different Boards.

So, how do you get your foot within the door with for-profits?

Fred Hassan (managing director of PE agency Warburg Pincus) and Ken Banta (founding father of the Vanguard Discussion board) say for-profits choose members primarily based on two standards – capabilities and character:

“Begin with capabilities. Assess your self not solely as a sector knowledgeable but additionally as an government with particular competences and map these attributes in opposition to the market’s wants. What are your particular abilities – digital advertising and marketing know-how you realized in fast-moving shopper items? Or maybe experience in managing medical trials you realized in biopharma? Or is it your information of learn how to work with regulators in extremely regulated industries?”

Transferring on to the harder piece – character – they word the 5 character fundamentals it’s worthwhile to be robust on:

  • Judging others
  • Elevating questions
  • Collaborating
  • Incomes belief
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Be prepared for Boards’ due diligence

One vital warning from government profession strategist Michelle Dumas:

You’ll be vetted completely and due diligence can be deep. Take into account disclosing any potential negatives in your background early within the course of. They may virtually certainly discover them anyhow and your disclosure exhibits you might be forthcoming and helps you construct belief. Rigorously audit and clear up your social media presence. This WILL be reviewed when you find yourself being thought of as a board candidate. Irrespective of how non-public you assume your settings are, take away ALL unflattering photographs and controversial posts.”

Extra About Government Job Search

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Stop Tweaking Your Old-Fashioned Executive Resume To Death

How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Impacts Executive Job Search

The Online Safety and Privacy Dilemma in Executive Job Search

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