The Board of Directors Resume: Tips for Landing a Board Seat

board resume board of directors resume

board resume board of directors resumeLooking to pivot from the executive leadership team or C-suite into a boardroom seat? As a board resume writer, I will tell you with total transparency that your board of directors resume must be different than your executive resume. That means emphasizing different skill sets, different functional areas, and different accomplishments in a board member resume. Additionally, a board bio is a must when applying for a board seat as part of the board resume submission. It will be commonly asked as part of the application and background process.

Moving into the Boardroom

Board seats are extremely lucrative and many C-suite and senior executive leaders are venturing into them. If you’re an attorney, there’s even more reason to leverage your legal and business acumen in this area. In 2020, almost 90% of my clients seeking board of director roles had a legal background at the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel level. Most often, they also maintained a direct line to the boardroom by serving as the organization’s Corporate Secretary, a key role that requires extensive interfacing with the board in keeping meeting minutes and corporate documents. Another required area of experience for board leaders is financial leadership. This is why you will often see CFOs and other senior finance executives heading into the board room.

Board of Directors Resume

In a recent article for the Ladders, I discuss three things your board resume needs to attain a seat in the boardroom. I explain the reasoning behind a focus on high-level executive leadership, interest or experience in board membership, corporate governance, corporate identity, connected mission to the organization, and value-add growth. Other areas of importance for a board resume include contracts, media/public image, financial growth/turnaround, and stakeholder engagement.

In the Ladders article linked above, I take you through important key insights from Spencer Stuart’s 2020 Board Index Highlights about the board governance practices of the S&P 500. Diversity is clearly on the rise with 59% of new independent directors hitting the diversity mark. Another key statistic is that CEO experience is not required — 23% of board leaders in 2020 had experience at the SVP or EVP level.

As a result, your resume for a board of directors role must parlay these skills that are separate and distinct from traditional job functions in a sales leadership or business operations targeted role. You must show how you are intersecting between the boardroom and the business infrastructure, and consider points of success.

Looking to have your board resume written by an expert board resume writer? Feel free to book a consult with me to discuss how to pivot your career into the boardroom.

In the informational items and resources below, I provide a link to a prior article I’ve written about executive bios and how to make them powerful and effective when considering writing a board bio.

Informational items and resources:

Want a seat in the boardroom? Here are three things your resume needs

Tips for writing an effective executive bio