“I’m a board member for such-as-such company or organisation.”
That does have a nice ring to it.
Indeed, landing a position as a board member, whether it’s for a company or non-profit organisation, is perhaps the most prestigious role you can get. Only an elite few can get the privilege to hold this title. Plus, it’s a testament to your leadership skills and expertise in the industry.
However, as that famous quote in the movie Spiderman goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
That’s pretty much the case among board members. They hold the fate of the entire company or organisation in their hands. One wrong decision could bring an entire company or non-profit organisation down.
It’s no wonder then why companies and non-profit organisations have stringent procedures choosing a board member.
The good news is that while it’s difficult, it’s not impossible to land a job as a board member.
Are you ready to take the challenge? If so, here are some tips that can help you out.
1: Do extensive research about the company or organisation.
Researching about a company or non-profit organisation you want to join as a board member is very different from when applying for a senior-level position.
That’s because besides learning about the company’s mission, history, and products, you’ll need to know about industry trends, their competitors, and socio-economic factors that directly or indirectly affect them.
Gathering these details will take time, but it’s worth it. Only by thoroughly understanding where they are and they want to go can you position yourself as someone who can help stir them to the right direction.
2: Have a board member worthy CV.
Make sure to craft a CV that will highlight the skills expected of a board member, specifically the following:
- Developing strategies that will make a profit
- Implementing performance management principles
- Applying governance as well as corporate and industry best practices
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Building trust relations with investors
- Leadership and management capabilities
Because of the fierce competition, many of those applying for a board member position would seek the help of a professional to write their CV for them.
That’s because CV writing firms like ExecutiveONE have years of experience writing CVs for senior-level and executive positions. They know exactly what recruiters and companies want to see in a potential board member’s CV, increasing your chances of getting short-listed.
3: Network, network, network.
Even in today’s digital age, don’t discount the power of word-of-mouth. It’s still the most effective way to market yourself and your skills.
Reach out to executives that you know, even if they’re not a board member with a company or non-profit organisation, and start building a relationship with them. Join local organisations within your area and actively participate in them. Not only will you grow your network, but also gain more experience that you can add to your CV.
Of course, let’s not forget LinkedIn, which is considered as the social network for business professionals. You can find several groups here that you can join and connect with board members, CEOs and other business executives. Just make sure that you have a stellar LinkedIn profile to get them to notice you.
One word of caution, though. Most–if not, all–of these executives can quickly tell if you’re genuinely trying to build a relationship with them or have some hidden motive. So make sure that you be genuine and sincere when connecting with them before asking for favours.
4: Don’t limit yourself.
Chances are you have your eyes on a specific company or non-profit organisation. The thing is, so are others.
If you don’t get chosen for the company or organisation, don’t let it be the end of the road. There are other companies and non-profit organisations that you can send your application to, so take advantage of these. Who knows? Later on, another opening will present itself. Only this time, you’ll be more experienced and more qualified than you were the first time around.
And if you need help crafting your CV and LinkedIn profile for a board member position, let us know. We’ll be happy to help.