Executives and new directors need a sound framework by which to rethink how to position their capabilities. Success in an executive role is a start, but more is required to compete with the high number of board candidates. It will take a strategic, well thought-out set of tactics, executed with foresight to meet the needs of nomination committees. The right board CV or director application becomes an investment with ongoing returns.

Key outcomes:

  • A board resume that builds your business case as a director candidate.
  • A more powerful statement as to why you should have a seat at the table.
  • Making it onto the short-list more often.
  • Being better prepared for a board nomination interview.
Resume writing is a very time intensive process that requires clarity of thought, interpretation of experience, the linking of capabilities to the requirements of the role and the ability to write in a concise manner. It is not easy.

Take a look at your current board CV and cover letter:

  1. Have you taken the right perspective to ensure the search firm or nominations committee can differentiate your application from other candidates?
  2. Does your board CV build the business case for your directorship?
  3. Does your board CV demonstrate that you can think and operate as a non-executive director? 
  4. Do the first few paragraphs of the resume position your value and set the themes for the remaining content?
  5. Are your achievements expressed in terms of the contribution that you will bring to the board and its sub-committees?
  6. Are the right key words used to signal director capability linked to the nominations criteria?
  7. Would those reading your resume and cover letter have a clear understanding of your strengths as a director candidate?
  8. Are your achievements clearly supported by meaningful evidence relevant to the board or the sector?
  9. Is your fit with the skills-matrix and potential committee role apparent?
  10. Does your board CV show you understand director duties and responsibilities?
  11. Is your resume reinforcing your brand – clear language and thought, logical structure, well organised page format and a professional presentation?

Next steps and investment choices:

You can select one of these options or design a service to suit your particular needs, including attending a Competing For Directorships mentoring circle or a Board Ready or Interview Ready coaching session.

Option 1. You complete your responses to a set of questions to identify your board relevant capabilities and experiences. Together with your current profile or resume, this is then reworked into a board CV. This process has the side-benefit of being highly valuable in helping you be clear on which of your capabilities matter and your point of difference for your target boards. The investment starts from $995. 

You can elect to add a telephone mentoring session, based on your needs, for an additional $350. The mentoring session includes a complementary copy of my e-booklet ’32 Mentoring Tips When Thinking Of Board Roles.

Option 2. In addition to developing your board CV, a 90 minute coaching session (face-to-face meeting or phone call) takes place to guide you through the framework and thinking needed to present your board-level capabilities, how to prepare for future interviews and design an action plan to get your board career path started. If you are transitioning to a board role, then board-ready coaching can ease the transition. You receive a set of handouts from ’Executives Aiming For The Boardroom’ which contains well developed content and practical exercises for the board-ready director. The investment starts from $1450.

Option 3. You are now applying for a specific director vacancy and would like to ensure you approach the nomination process in the best way. Together we review your cover letter and ensure the resume is a strong match with the selection criteria. You can elect to add a coaching discussion to prepare for the interview. The investment starts from $600.

Option 4. You have an existing board resume that you would like updated and reformatted into a two-page Board CV format using only the information contained in your current CV. If needed, notations are made where you should improve the content. The investment is $650.

Option 5. You have a well-developed board CV and would now like an independent review, objective opinion and constructive suggestions. You email your CV and we then set a time for a 45-minute phone call to discuss how you can fine-tune and improve the document. The investment is $350.

Option 6. Congratulations! You have made it onto the short-list and have been invited to attend an interview. We set a time for a one hour phone call to discuss how you can plan for the interview and be better prepared for the unexpected. We discuss what the nominations committee will look for, designing a clear narrative, identifying what matters most, signalling potential and dealing with gaps in the selection criteria, preparing answers to potential questions using a methodology that will give you greater flexibility in the actual interview. The investment starts from $450.

Option 7. Attend the next scheduled Mentoring Circle: Competing For Directorships

Option 8. Design a one-on-one Coaching Program agenda where well-developed coaching frameworks on board-readiness and director capability are used to guide the transition to non-executive board roles, be more astute with search tactics, improve your board resume, guide your approach to interview, assess your style in the boardroom and reduce the gaps in board-readiness.

Read Ten Stress Tests For Your Board CV that appeared in the Australian Institute Of Company Directors’ member publication The Boardroom Report.

You can view Dianne’s profile here.

What others say:

“No way in the world, I would have written a CV this way which is the reason why you do what you do. Old adage ‘one does not know what they don’t know’” (President and Group COO, Executive Director, Joint-Venture Chair and NED)

“I’m absolutely delighted with the output and so worth the investment and glad I asked you to do it … A couple of people who offered to help said I was in good hands when I mentioned you were doing my CV!” (Senior Strategy Executive, top 5 ASX Listed Company)

“Just thought I would pass on a little bit of positive feedback I received on my board CV. The board that I am about to join is conducting an evaluation of its board and I have been included as the evaluation team want to understand where the new board members will fit in. I was complemented on my excellent ‘capabilities based’ CV. Thought you should share the congratulations. Thanks again.” (Non-Executive Director)

“I am delighted to let you know that I have been offered a position on the board. They told me they were impressed with my written application when I arrived for my interview. Thanks so much for helping me with the written application and the interview tips!” (Non-Executive Director, Consultant and Executive Manager)

“I am thrilled with the work you did on my board CV.” (Partner, Major Consulting Firm)

“I have really enjoyed working with you. Your work is excellent and your approach very professional.” (CEO and Director)

“I’m absolutely delighted with the output and so worth the investment and glad I asked you to do it … A couple of people who offered help said I was in good hands when I mentioned you were doing my CV!” (Senior Strategy Executive, top 5 ASX Listed Company)

“I found Dianne to be utterly professional. She demonstrated a keen knowledge of the elements essential to be present in a board-ready CV and was able to guide me in the appropriate method of drafting that content. Dianne was enthusiastic and supportive and made a number of excellent recommendations that were not only practical but also sensible given my particular circumstances. I was delighted to have Dianne as my mentor and would be happy to endorse her to anyone seeking similar guidance and advice.” (Aspiring Non-Executive Director)

“While I was preparing myself for Board work I came across Dianne Jacobs who helped me build my Board CV and coached me around what Boards are looking for and how to prepare myself for it.  I found the process really challenged me to think about myself, and what I might bring in a very different (and helpful) way.  That reshaping has helped me now build my Board portfolio to 3 over a year.” (Partner Consulting Practice, Major Accounting Firm)

“Dianne was a great coach and I learnt a lot from her structured approach to the mentoring objectives. When starting out on this journey, being able to speak with someone who is knowledgeable of the expectations of boards is such an advantage. Working through an application was an extremely useful approach.“ (Aspiring Non-Executive Director)

“Thanks for a very interesting session. It was exactly what I need at this point and you provided some great structure for me to re-think how I present myself as well as concrete suggestions for next steps.” (Board Ready Mentoring Circle Participant)

“What a tremendously informative and insightful workshop you delivered to leading women executive members of Amcham Shanghai today – well done!” (Committee Co-Chair Women’s Executive Network for American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and Partner of Global Law Firm)

“Dianne was a fantastic facilitator making you feel at ease to participate and ask questions. Her method of teasing out your thinking as to what is required in your board resume was fantastic and has given me a lot to think about.” (Participant of an in-house mentoring circle run for an ASX top-5 corporate)

“Dianne was very engaging and pragmatic. She was thought provoking in a safe environment.” (Participant of an in-house mentoring circle run for an ASX top-5 corporate)