Boards of Directors are always looking for strong candidates. Some Board positions, for local nonprofits, companies, or educational institutions may be by invitation or word of mouth. They may be easy to obtain because fewer people contend for a spot. But candidates for Board positions at major companies, institutions, or nonprofits must have a resume and must have a strong network because director positions are not advertised.
Those candidates must also be ready for a long-term commitment. Local Board positions may require a commitment of 3 years; major companies and nonprofits may require a 10-year commitment, as well as extensive travel.
The summary on your resume for Board positions should highlight not only your professional qualifications but the reasons for your interest in Board membership and the skills you will bring. Prior Board experience is important. You may also want to include a cover letter stating your objectives as a Board member.
Here are some of the topics you should cover in your resume for Board positions:
- Leadership and strategic thinking skills. Boards are set up to help companies move forward.
- Communication and facilitation skills. Boards require a collaborative mindset and a free exchange of ideas.
- Financial or fund-raising skills. Part of the obligation of Board membership is a commitment to keeping the company or nonprofit solvent or to orchestrate a successful exit.
- Experience with mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, startups, or other transitions.
- Industry experience. You should be bringing networking connections, industry knowledge, and a specific area of expertise to the table.
- Community involvement. Directors are representatives of the company, institution, or nonprofit. The Board needs to know that you are a valuable representative.
- Experience with diversity. Boards are becoming more sensitive to criticism about their diversity. Your resume should indicate if you offer Board diversity or experience in creating diversity.