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!
A careerist said to me, “I need your help. I need to REBRAND my resume.”
I was expecting, “I need a resume like yesterday.” Perhaps, “What is resume branding?” But, an outright “rebrand?” Well, if I wasn’t already sitting…
Why a Rebrand?
You see, this careerist had developed a strong personal brand: earned a reputation as a ‘department savior.’ The problem? Most of the job offers he was attracting were coming from companies in need of an immediate and truly challenging rescue. It is a logical result. Don’t you think? So the branding strategy was working. The issue was that this careerist no longer wished to come in and organize chaos. Now, it wasn’t that this job seeker was not willing to “roll up his sleeves” and work hard. But that his most prominent qualifications, the brand that was exuding from resume shouted, “Give me your poorest, most chaotic department, with little or no employees, and non-existing resources—I like that!” The solution? A rebrand.
How would you feel if you possessed a nicely polished resume that projects and elevates your level of professionalism? More confident? More positive? I bet!
Crafting a dynamic resume that is also a great selling tool is more time-consuming than 60 minutes. Yet, with the following quick and easy visual and marketing ‘styleover’ tips, you will begin to distinguish yourself from the job search mob in half an hour! That sounds good. Doesn’t it?
Tip 1: Check spacing and make sure your page margins are set to at least 0.7 all around. This will not only ensure that your resume is inviting with enough white space but that it meets universal printing standards (abating printing issues).
Tip 2: Bold your name and enlarge the font to 16 pt. or 18 pt. Also, centering your name is a great way to make immediate impact.
Tip 3: Separate your personal contact information with a bullet or divider, providing great visual appeal and easy email and phone number identification. Include your LinkedIn link so that employers can read recommendations.
Tip 4: Add your target Job Title to introduce your Summary or Profile instead of the more common labels such as “Qualifications Profile or Summary.” This will help you add a great resume keyword right at the top and will lend to your expert image/ brand.
Tip 5: Edit your Summary or Profile, ensuring sentences end quickly; combine ideas and try to limit this introductory paragraph to five to six lines. This will help create a nice crisp look and you will deliver your marketing message more clearly.
Tip 6: Go through the rest of your resume and remove all orphan words (words left on a line by themselves). This just causes an unorganized look and it really isn’t necessary.
Tip 7: Bold resume sections (Employment, Education, etc.) and enlarge the font size to 14 pt. This will nicely separate the areas of your resume and guide readers through.
Tip 8: Group job accountabilities together in a paragraph form, separating from achievements. Keep the number of sentences to no more than six. People lose interest when paragraphs are long-winded. Plus, long sentences and paragraphs makes it easier for your message to become convoluted.
Tip 9: Separate your achievements (how you actually performed and the results you generated) from the job description. Bullet them; no more than five to six bullets. Any more than that will look too busy and unwelcoming to the reader.
Tip 11: Make sure all your bullets line up and match! Inconsistency screams sloppiness and conveys unprofessionalism. Use square bullets and get rid of those old round bullets! It is 2012, people! 🙂
Tip 12: Eliminate any hobbies or personal information (picture, marital status, age, religious associations). These do not belong on your resume.
Tip 13: Read the entire resume aloud to catch awkward phrases end errors. As you read aloud, analyze if what you have just read is relevant to your new career target, if not–remove it! You want to target your new job title/role.
Tip 14: If you have created a second page that is at least one third full. There is no excuse for a second page with just a few lines on it.
Tip 15: Remove the phrase, References Available Upon Request, this is very antiquated and unnecessary. Sure, perhaps in the past when locating wasn’t as easy as it is now with email, Google, mobile phones, etc.
Tip 16: For extra marketing power add a nice snippet of a recommendation letter! Works like a charm.
Now, get to work! 🙂 Invest time in preparing a resume that you have polished, in turn, fortifying your professional image.
Can you list a few of your favorite resume polishing tips?
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Unemployment can induce anxiety and depression! Especially with all the talk on the news about the high unemployment rate. Yet, taking some time off from job searching (and away from the nightly news) will help you sustain your sanity so you come back to your job-hunt campaign renewed and with a fresh perspective. A clear mindset and a positive attitude is as essential to your job search as your career marketing tools.
Allow me to suggest strategies to help you manage your time, mitigate anxiety, and conduct a more effective job search. If you have practices that can help others during this difficult time, please comment below. Healthy job searching everyone!
1. Schedule Your Job Search: managing the time you invest searching for employment is healthy and effective. Decide how many hours a day you will devote to job hunting. Yes, schedule it. Job searching is a job so you must schedule your day at work and plan activities around your new (temporary) job. Continue reading »