Writing A Board-Level Resume
Thinking of throwing your name into the hat for a coveted Board-level seat? Great! First, make sure your resume is Board-level ready! Yes, there is a difference between you corporate executive resume and your Board CV. To compete with other Board nominees, you must consider—and promote—the contributions your candidacy will bring as a member of the Board and not just the accomplishments you have delivered thus far for your corporate employers.
The following is a partial list of key value drivers you must weave into your Board worthy CV/resume.
- What is your unique value offer as a Board candidate?
- List committee and Board experience first.
- History delivering value to shareholders and describe the improvement.
- Share soft/people skills such as relationship building, decision making, consensus creation.
- Create a highlight section with high-stakes and top-level collaborations and results from strategic advisement.
- Promote your industry expertise by referencing speaking engagements, community involvement, and mentions in publications.
- Speak to your experience driving company vision, shaping corporate identity, risk management, and protecting/strengthening company brand.
- Delineate career progressions with concise strategic initiatives.
- Note breadth of leadership through transformations, M&As, restructurings, exits, turnarounds, consolidations, rebranding efforts, etc.
- Quantify ROI: EBITDA growth, stock value, etc.
Bottom-line: You must brand yourself as a Board Director. You need to help them visualize you in a Board setting as a valuable, strategic member for that specific opportunity. Here are two great videos I sourced for you on this topic. Good luck!
If you are ready to job search with a FANTASTIC executive resume, you have to strategize beyond functions, skills, and accomplishments. Yes, beyond achievements, because at the executive level EVERY candidate is competent and successful.
As a leader, you are not hired as a ‘cog in the wheel’ but to re-invent, fix, or upgrade the machine! Wouldn’t you agree? Therefore, you must decide to become the hero in your executive resume and paint that picture — make your mark! Are you a miracle worker? An innovator? A change agent? A turnaround artist? An all-star coach?
WRITING YOUR EXECUTIVE RESUME WITH POWER
1. Tagline: What is your promise to your future employer? Make them care!
2. Personal brand statement: No, it is not the same as a tagline. A tagline is your hook — a branding statement is a mini-preview of what is to unfold in your unmatched, superhero tale.
Ingredients for an ROI-driven brand:
Passion + Specialty + Legacy + Your distinct signature (why you and not someone else?) + Value Offer = SUPER BRAND!
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16 BURNING QUESTIONS YOUR 2016 EXECUTIVE RESUME MUST ANSWER
2016 is around the corner. (I can’t believe it!) January is the busiest time in the career services industry. Every year resumes that flood my inquiry inbox fail to address critical points employers and hiring managers want you to answer. I am sharing the top 16 with you today, so you get off to a great start! You’re welcome!
1. What is your new career goal? Be very specific about the function and industry. A title would be great but not necessary. What is essential is that you are transparent (and sure) about the type of role you seek. Are you looking to assume an executive position in operations? Finance? Sales? Business Development? Technology Implementation? Even if you have worn many hats – one hat per resume!
2. What is your specialty? Bottom-line: what do you do well? Being result-driven is great (and expected), but to what end? What type of results? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT! 🙂
Are you great at creating opportunities for growth? Identifying top talent? Operationalizing? Reducing costs? Innovating? GREAT! How much? How often? Why? How?
3. What is in it for them? Your resume is about you, but it is not for you! You need to speak to your audience and heal those pain points.
We are not looking for this –> “You will hire someone who is hardworking, dedicated, and wonderful.” [Eye roll] We are looking for palpable, quantifiable, and bankable accomplishments.
4. Are you on LinkedIn? There are several ways you can answer this on your executive resume; one method is to include your LinkedIn URL in your executive resume’s header. (Please be sure to customize your LinkedIn URL). And, please make sure your LinkedIn profile is not a rehash of your executive resume.
5. What is your reputation/personal brand? This is important because it will evolve and strengthen your executive resume’s persuasive power by marketing beyond qualifications to promoting differentiation. (i.e., Unmatched talent that only you can offer.)
6. Where are you now? It is surprising how many times I come across an executive resume that has not been even slightly updated. If you don’t know what to write right now, the least you can do is add your current job title and employer. Yes? As a matter of fact, please do that right now! Thank you.
7. How did you exploit the role they assigned to you? This is critical. It is great to step into a role and perform an excellent job, but it is competition-outdistancing to reinvent it and exceed stakeholders’ expectations.
8. What change did you drive or what impact did you make? Is your governance the type that calls others to action or rallies diversified stakeholders behind a common goal?
9. How do you measure you were effective? Even if you are not in a metric driven role, I assure you there is a way to tie your contributions to quantifiable success (perhaps indirectly). What influence did your leadership have on top and bottom-line?
10. Did you have P&L responsibility? How much? How did you strengthen P&L Management? Quantify.
11. Did you have direct reports? How many and at what level? Global? National? Regional?
12. Did you assume different positions within the company? Please list them all and if they were lateral moves or promotions.
13. Were you asked to take on special projects? If so, what was the goal? What was the value? What resulted?
14. Was this a first-time role or did you replace someone? Tell us what happened.
15. What major challenges did you need to overcome? Set the stage. Create contrast.
16. Who did you report to or work with directly? This is important, especially if the leader you most paired efforts with is in a position you are now seeking.
I could go on, but I think this is enough fodder to get you going with a 2016 executive resume revamp. Your executive resume must be clear, targeted, and rich with specifics that will set you apart.
Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW)
Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)
Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW)
Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC)
“Marketing is the art of meaningful differentiation.”
A career-altering executive resume is not engineered by just narrating your employment history—but by way of persuasive storytelling and strategic road-mapping!
I realize you’ve probably heard this before and I bet you wondered how you can convert your executive resume into a six-figure, job-interview magnet. Well, there are several strategies but we don’t have time for a workshop right now; therefore, allow me to help you mount a resume turnaround by first attempting to pivot your thinking. (That’s where it always begins!)
Answer the following questions and carefully weave those answers into your resume. Then reap the benefits of shifting from a passive and boring MS Word doc into a high-impact, influential marketing dossier that even you will enjoy reading over and over again!
INTROSPECTIVE QUESTIONS THAT WILL INSTANTLY DIFFERENTIATE YOU
DESTINY: Where is this resume taking you?
PURPOSE: Why do you want to go there?
TARGET: Who needs your services and why?
VALUE OFFER: What services do you offer and what problem(s) does it solve?
RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI): What is in it for them? Let me try again… What is your bottom-line promise?
BRAND: What is unique about how you approach your job?
DISTINCTION: Why are you good at it and how is it unmatched?
PROVE IT: How do you know you are really that good?
REINFORCE IT: How do you measure/quantify how good you really are?
Answering the preceding questions isn’t and shouldn’t be easy. An active executive resume connects the dots for your future employer or customers. Establish yourself as a ‘wanted’ leader by not taking a laid-back approach in the writing of your career tale, because that only results in a very lifeless document. To influence and enhance the quality of interview invitations you attract, you must strategically and progressively draw in your audience by unraveling your meaningful ROI-driven story and enlightening them as to why they need YOU!
Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
Certified Master Resume Writer
Award-Winning Resume Writing Services