There are critical differences between a “typical” executive resume and the information you’ll need to target this step in your career.
Whether you’ve already served in this capacity or you’re seeking your first opportunity to sit on a board, your Board resume must concisely convey your influence as a strategic advisor with progressive leadership and business acumen – ready to expand value to shareholders and inspire trust among the executive team.
Keep these considerations in mind when writing a resume to pursue a Board seat:
1 – Keep it short.
It might sound easy to produce either a single or 2-page summary resume for Board readers, but writing for a tight, condensed space is anything but simple.
You’ll need to incorporate a short snapshot of leadership abilities, preferably summarized from your last several executive positions, in order to drive reader interest. This leadership summary should reflect turnarounds, strategic direction, change, and new profit initiatives you’ve led during the high points of your career.
Condense your executive career into relevant, concise descriptions of successes, focusing on your fiscal authority and impact of strategic decisions. These could include new partnerships, industry affiliations, turnarounds, and other profitable ventures.
Remember – your typical executive resume may be longer and provide more context, depending upon your career goal. As shown in this example of a Board resume, you’ll need to ruthlessly trim or summarize irrelevant information from your Board resume by only selecting data that shows readiness for Board leadership.
2 – Add examples of leadership success and business insight.
How you achieve results is often as important as the results themselves!
You’ll need to show your leadership style and culture fit, especially if you’re seeking a Board seat in a company undergoing significant transformation.
If you’ve taken part in whole-company change, including M&A, consolidations, company exits, capital raising, and strategic planning, these items need to be featured on your Board resume. Include the business case and consensus-building efforts required to influence and shape buy-in at all levels.
Of course, previous Board experience should also be featured, as well as leadership roles in professional or civic organizations. These should be more prominent than otherwise featured on your executive resume.
3 – Focus on bottom-line and scalable growth results.
The scope of your work is important to a Board, particularly where it applies to your skills in differently scaled environments (startup, Fortune 500, growth, and other situations). If you have handled large teams, built greenfield businesses, led global sites, boosted cash flow, or planned for worldwide growth requirements, these details need to make their way onto your resume.
Your Board resume should also mention specific metrics illustrating a pattern of margin improvement, cost savings, new revenue streams, competitive market share growth, and the impact of product or market strategy. In addition, your awareness of new digital transformation and technology trends should be highlighted.
While these details should also appear on your executive resume, you’ll need to ensure they are succinctly condensed and highlighted on your Board resume.
To summarize, writing a Board resume requires a unique and strategic focus on your perspective, industry insights, leadership skill, and fiscal results – with a straightforward and detailed story of impact at the corporate level.