Being on the board of directors of any organization is a matter of honor. Also, it signifies a position of responsibility and authority. Not any member of a company can suddenly become a member of the board of directors. They must have sufficient skills, expertise, and knowledge to become a member of the executive board.
Hence, if you have ever been a board of directors member, mentioning that in your resume can help you secure a higher position when looking for your next job. Needless to say, only a senior member of the organization is included in the board. So that means you already have many professional years of experience behind you.
Combined with the fact that you have sufficient experience in your area of work, this could increase your chances of getting the job and your desired pay scale. Your resume will stand out from the other candidates, and you will have a definite advantage.
Being a board member of an organization means that you have experience handling high-level matters of the organization. Leveraging this for your career growth is the primary reason for listing this on your resume.
What is Membership in a Board of Directors?
A board of directors is called an advisory board or an executive board. The predominant purpose of creating the board is to oversee crucial decision-making procedures in the organization.
The board members decide the strategies that can be implemented for the company’s growth. New board members are often invited into the board by the existing members in advisory capacities. Being a board member can be paid or voluntary.
A board member offers valuable input to improve the company’s daily activities, address problems plaguing the organization, and offer solutions that align with the company’s and employees’ best interests.
Benefits of Including a Board of Directors Membership in Your Resume
Being a board member not only sounds impressive but increases your value as a prospective employee for the following reasons:
1. Proves Your Ability
Not just anyone can become a board member. The existing members must have noticed your outstanding qualities to have invited you to be a board member.
That alone demonstrates that you are a capable professional who was able to garner the approval of the pre-existing board members. It highlights your professional abilities manifold.
2. Demonstrates Leadership Skills
By being a board member, you become a leader of the organization. It’s far greater than any regular managerial position. You must possess the required leadership skills for everyone to listen to your ideas and engage with your vision.
Making people listen to and believe in your ideas is challenging. You will also need to engage with others for problem-solving scenarios. It will increase your viability as an employee when listed on your resume.
3. Dedication to a Cause
Being a board member requires dedication, especially if you are on the board of directors in a non-profit organization. You often don’t get paid for this role. Your only reason for being there is your dedication to the cause.
It’s something that your prospective employers are going to admire because it shows you are selfless when it comes to the betterment of the organization. You don’t just offer your expertise in return for good pay, but you are naturally devoted to your work. They would appreciate someone like you in their company.
4. Demonstrating Business Skills
Being a board member means maneuvering through complex problems to help the business thrive. Only some professionals have the knowledge and foresight to take good business to the next level.
Regular employees will do just what they are told, nothing beyond that. However, as a business leader, you will have to tackle financial problems and issues plaguing the industry, comply with regulations, satisfy all stakeholders, invite investments, and look into the well-being of the employees, apart from other roles.
Listing your board membership would mean your employers will understand that you have these key business skills.
Points to Remember while Listing Board of Directors Membership on Your Resume
Recruiters usually see applicants’ education on resumes and professional backgrounds to determine their candidacy. Adding a board member will add an extra feather to your cap because it adds another layer of professional experience.
By following these steps, you can make the most of it while listing the board of director’s membership on your resume:
1. Establish The Necessity
While including your board of directors membership, it is important to establish that mentioning the membership on your resume is worth mentioning. Do not mention it in a way that looks like you are mentioning it just for the sake of it.
Try to make it look meaningful and ensure it adds value to your resume.
2. Talk About Your Roles
Speaking about your roles and responsibilities as a board member is the best way to show why you have included it in your resume. You can be on multiple boards as well.
In that case, you can include a separate sub-head in your resume citing “Board Membership Responsibilities” and talk about the work you had to do as a board member. It will help you relate it to your work experience and enhance your resume.
3. Format it Correctly
While mentioning your board membership, it is important to align it properly with the rest of the resume. Include the subheading closest to sections like “work experience” or near your “voluntary services” section in the case of a non-profit.
That will allow you to establish the relevance of the membership even more. Your employers will feel that you have not mentioned it just for the sake of it but that it was a major part of your work life or community service program.
4. Add Details
It’s the most crucial aspect of listing the board of director membership on your resume. And be accurate while doing so. Spend time listing the details and responsibilities you handled as a board member.
Write about the significance of your role and how did it help bring about positive changes in the company. Suppose you have been a member of multiple executive boards. In that case, you can use bullet points to discuss each separately. You can highlight some of the major achievements during this phase of your career.
Some Tips to Help You List Board of Directors Membership
Here are some tips to help you list the board of directors’ membership during the hiring process:
1. Expect Questions About Your Membership
Once you have listed the board of directors membership on your resume, it will stand out in the sea of applications. You can be quite sure about getting a call for the interview because of it.
Hence, be prepared to answer questions on your role as a member. You may be asked deeper questions about your role based on what you have already mentioned in your resume.
You can also prepare answers on how you plan to use your leadership skills as a board member for the betterment of the organization you have applied to.
2. Talk About Profit And Non-Profit
Based on whether you were a board member in a for-profit or a non-profit organization, talk a bit about the role your company plays in bringing about change. If you were part of a non-profit, explain your organization’s community work.
Similarly, the opposite is also true. It’s especially important if you were in a for-profit organization first and you are trying to make a change now, and vice versa.
Things to Avoid While Including Board Membership in Your Resume
Here are some points to remember while including a board membership in your resume:
- Try to briefly explain your responsibilities if you already have substantial content for your resume regarding skills and prior work experience that are more relevant to the job.
- Please refrain from mentioning that you were a board member if you are applying for a lower-level job, as it could make you seem overqualified. Some employers might even consider it a mark of desperation.
- If you were a board member for a political or religious organization that might clash with the ideals of the company you are applying to, don’t mention it on your resume.
- Suppose your board membership for a particular company is unrelated to the industry or company you are applying to. Consider leaving it out in that case, especially if you have other information to provide.
Example of Listing Board Membership in Your Resume
Here is an example of listing board membership in your resume. Keep in mind that you need to create a separate subheading for it.
I have been on the Board of Directors for Orchid International Pvt. Ltd. (a for-profit fintech organization located in Brooklyn, New York) in an advisory capacity from October 2020 to December 2022.
Roles and Responsibilities as a Board Member:
- Oversaw the financial aspects of the organization and suggested new strategies for budgeting.
- Spoke to investors to generate ideas about creating more funds.
- Researching new technologies that help optimize costs of production.
Being a board member is a very responsible role; only some can handle it well. Hence, if you have been a board member for some time or have been a part of multiple boards, including it in your resume will immediately change the recruiter’s perception of you.
However, they will also come to expect more from you, so you should prepare yourself accordingly. If you sail through the subsequent phases of the recruiting process, you will land your dream job.