5 Steps to Becoming a Corporate Director

5 Steps to Becoming a Corporate Director

If you’re a senior executive looking to take a big leap in your career, becoming a corporate director may be the perfect next step. 

Working and being in a room with other board of directors is incomparable. 

You can impact your community and help guide your organization’s future. As one of the leaders on the board, you will be responsible for overseeing critical company decisions and contributing insight into how these decisions will impact your organization’s future.

Becoming a corporate director can be challenging. But it can also be a rewarding and exciting experience if you are committed to making a difference.

Why Do Corporate Directors Need Mentoring?

We all understand the important roles board of directors play in helping companies achieve their mission and vision. 

But at the same time, governance demands are increasing. Organizations need to find new ways of supporting their directors.

At DBS Solutions, we offer you guidance on making strategic decisions through our ‘How to Become a (Paid) Corporate Director’ program. We help you understand the value you have and what you bring. You can make more informed decisions because you have all the tools you need to succeed in corporate governance.

We will help you:

  • Learn about your legal obligations as a director.
  • Prepare for a new role as a corporate director.
  • Understand the basics of corporate governance.
  • Learn how to make effective decisions.

I know you want to chart your progress. You need a realistic overview of what it takes to be a board member. 

Here are some tips for getting started:

Hone Your Brand and Reputation 

Once you’ve established a niche, develop a brand identity and promote your work. 

Publicize your work on social media, share it on LinkedIn, and give talks at professional meetings or conferences. 

No one else will promote you, so don’t sit back and hope for opportunities — look for them yourself.

Get in touch with magazine and newspaper editors of business and trade-specific publications. 

Offer quotes on the subject matter you are familiar with, then volunteer as a source for future content. Board search committees look at the media to see who is contributing to conversations and getting credit for doing so!

Prepare for Your Upcoming In-Person Interview

There are a few things you can do to ensure you’re well-prepared for every board interview. When meeting with interview panelists for the first time, it’s important to do basic research about each person.

  • Are they familiar with your work? 
  • What are their backgrounds and roles in the company? 
  • How is their experience different from yours?

Next, delve into the details. The board members will want to know about challenges or changes currently impacting the company. You should clearly understand these things before your interview starts. 

Having a good command of the facts will help you deal with unexpected questions.

Retune Your Mind and Work on That Resume

Before writing your resume, remember to focus on what the board will look for — a like-minded colleague. 

Your board resume is tailored for a specific audience. Think of it as a summation of what you want to offer. 

Don’t simply list every job you’ve ever had — you’ll overwhelm the search committee. Focus on quantifiable accomplishments that are most relevant to this position.

Use one or two pages to explain your professional experience and expertise. Focus on keywords that attract employers.

Most corporate resumes include the following sections:

  • Profile statement: A very brief overview of your leadership and strategy expertise.
  • List current or past board positions in a separate section, including the organization’s name, location, and dates.
  • Description of the job title, company name, and location where you held a position or project most relevant to your target employer.

Know What Questions to Ask

It’s common for job seekers to ask questions of potential employers during an interview. 

As a board member, you must ask the organization’s leadership detailed questions and use that information when making important decisions. 

The questions you ask during the job interview could help or hurt your chances of getting hired.

Go beyond the superficial. Do your best to understand what each board member does for the company.

  • Ask what kinds of performance evaluations the board conducts and how often.
  • Find out what makes the board tick, and how its members interact.
  • Ask the board members about their previous challenges and how they dealt with them.

Build Your Skills…Then Be the Best

Boards seek out experts to advise them. This means that experts are valued over well-rounded individuals. The best way to prepare for becoming a board member is by developing expertise in your field.

Whatever your passion or talent, embrace it. Know what you’re good at — and then find areas where you could improve.

Putting It All Together 

There is no one way to go about a board candidacy, recruitment, and preparation process. 

It takes time and a targeted plan. Honing your brand, preparing for your interview, and finetuning your resume, along with knowing what questions to ask and building your skill set can make all the difference for qualified candidates. 

DBS Solutions is here to help put you on the right path to becoming a corporate director. If you’re ready to take this next step in your career, contact us here to learn how to get started today.