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How to Become a Board Member for a Company or Organisation

“I am a board member of such-and-such company or organisation.”

That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Indeed, landing a position as a board member for a company or organisation is a prestigious achievement.  It means that your peers have high regard for your industry expertise and leadership skills.

But as that popular quote from the movie Spiderman goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.” That couldn’t be more true than when you get chosen to become a board member.

That’s because board members hold the fate of the company or organisation in their hands. The right decision can catapult a company or organisation to success. On the other hand, one wrong decision can lead the company down a dangerous spiral, resulting to bankrupcy and even legal action.

It’s for this very reason why companies and organisations are very picky about who they choose to become part of their board.

Sadly, a lengthy work experience is not enough to make you a viable candidate as a board member. There are other things they consider. What these greatly differ from one company to another.

Despite this, there are ways on how you can increase your chances of being considered to become a board member. So if you’re ready to take on the challenge, take note of these following tips.

1: Do extensive research.

Whether you’re applying as a board member for a company or non-profit organisation, you need to show you have extensive knowledge about their products, mission, vision, competitors, and challenges. That way, you’ll be able to show how you can make a significant contribution to them to grow and reach their goals.

2: Expand your network.

A company or non-profit organisation’s board tends to have an exclusive klout surrounding them. So if you want to increase your chances of getting hired as a board member, you need to form and develop the right connections.

One of the easiest ways to do this is through LinkedIn. Unlike other social media networks, LinkedIn’s users are mostly executives looking to grow their professional network. Many of them have been successful in forging strong business relationships with leaders in their industry.

Another is to join professional organisations and groups, particularly those that you want to work for a

Getting on to an organisation’s board is no mean feat. As mentioned earlier, it is the highest level of authority in an organisation’s management team. For starters, in order to be considered eligible for such a prestigious position, you have to be visible among industry leaders. Attending networking events and meetings, staying connected with members in your community and maintaining a high profile on social media is definitely necessary in order to be in the reckoning for such an important role. In short, stay visible.

2: Apply for several board of management positions

Given that there are several organisations that need reputed and skilled board of management members, there’s no dearth of positions available. If you have worked for several years in any industry in varying roles, you have to begin applying for positions that suit your profile. Be prepared to wait for the ideal position to open up, though. It might take a while. Still, it is best to consider applying for a number of board of management positions available until you find that perfect position that will use your work experience and views suitably.

3: Acquire a diverse skill set

Apart from acquiring work experience in a particular industry, it doesn’t hurt to also work towards a skill set that is diverse and that can prove to be more than handy in such a prestigious position. While this might require you to spend more hours building a successful career, possessing a diverse skill set will ensure that you are considered for such a position when the time is right. This is for the reason that most suitable candidates for board of management positions have spent years accumulating a diverse skill set but also work experience in a variety of roles.

4: Prepare a CV that reflects varied work experience

Last but definitely not the least, it’s important to prepare a CV that positions you as a suitable candidate for a board of management position. As mentioned earlier, having a diverse skill set apart from varied work experience can be most useful to showcase when applying for such a position. Hence, the ideal way by which you can do this is by preparing your CV to highlight these aspects for such a position. It’s wise to remember that this type of CV is different from the usual management CVs that are prepared. This is because diversity is appreciated much more than the responsibilities of specific and relevant management roles when preparing a board of management CV.