| Author's Name: Mark Schultz
Date: Fri 23 Jun 2017
People wish to join a Board of an organisation for many reasons, and unless you are actually invited to take up such a position, you will be required to participate in a recruitment and selection process, not unlike that of an internal role in a business.
This article will provide you with some useful tips on how to secure a board role and start your journey of contributing to the mission and sustainability of organisations in the non-profit sector.
There are 2 separate stages in the Director appointment process, namely the Application stage and the Interview stage. Irrespective of how much experience, knowledge and capability you think you might have, unless your Application connects with the Selection Panel (SP), you will not be given the opportunity to move to the next stage. So, this article addresses these 2 stages ( whilst this may appear elementary, I am currently participating in such a Director appointment process and I have been dismayed at the quality and content of applications from very experienced and knowledgeable business people, both male and female, hence this article!)
Suggestions to improve your chances of being selected to progress to the Interview stage:
If possible, make contact with the Chairman or person leading the SP. This will not only demonstrate your interest in the position but more than likely provide you with some useful insights into the organisation, what is being looked for, what is important, all of which you can incorporate into your application. You will be surprised with what you will learn from this approach and this will place you ahead of all those applicants who didn’t bother to undertake this very simple but effective task.
Letter of application: your cover letter is your best opportunity to gain the attention of the SP. Our advice here is, in no more than 2 pages, you should provide evidence /demonstrate:
When confronted with many applications for a board vacancy, you should enhance your chances of moving to the next stage by following these simple guidelines.
Suggestions to assist in this stage of the selection process include:
In summary, the Interview stage will provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate that by selecting you as the successful candidate, the organisation will be in a better position to continue its Mission. Remember it’s not just about you; it’s about aligning your skills, and experience and what you can contribute with the current needs of the board of the organisation. Demonstrate that you will be a good cultural fit, that you can add real value to the organisation and that you are genuine in your desire to contribute – do all this and you should greatly enhance your chances of selection.