Targeting a board seat? Here’s how to improve your LinkedIn profile

When you reach the later stages of your legal career, you might consider aiming for a paid seat on the board of directors. After all, you climbed into the C-suite and spent over a decade (or two decades) overseeing the legal department through multiple changes, including growth, turnaround, and restructuring. You have also spent time volunteering in your leadership efforts by serving on an array of nonprofit or community boards in an unpaid capacity.

You can first turn to updating your CV; however, a current LinkedIn profile will give you better visibility and networking opportunities with other board candidates, current board leaders, and even contacts with executive search and consulting firms. ‘administration. Here are some tips to help you improve your LinkedIn profile for a future board opportunity.

Create a board-focused title and summary

When it comes to creating your LinkedIn title for a board seat, you need to make sure it’s updated and optimized with language that specifically targets a board role. This means using the right keywords and details about your C-suite executive leadership, advisory boards, board interaction and relevant board leadership, and related industry experience. Risk management, corporate governance, ESG strategy, financial management and strategic planning are just some of the keywords (I recommend only three or four areas of expertise max for the LinkedIn title) that you’ll want to put in your LinkedIn title and summary, based on your strongest areas of expertise.

A key strategy I recommend for your LinkedIn summary if you already have board leadership experience is to list it with a header in your summary section titled “Board Leadership.” This will allow a reader to scroll through the LinkedIn summary and easily recognize the board leadership titles you hold without having to scroll through the entire profile. Typically, unpaid board seat roles will end up in the “volunteer” section of your LinkedIn profile, which is buried at the end of the profile.

Don’t overlook unpaid board leadership, including experience involving board leadership of nonprofits, charities, government boards, or even your local HOA. Serving as a volunteer leader on a board or in an advisory capacity gives you valuable skills that can still impress a prospective board’s nominating committee.

Make sure your executive leadership experience stands out

The details in your LinkedIn experience section should be short paragraphs, but should also focus on the key areas that make you a strong candidate for the board. These include strategic changes to businesses you have led, such as a major acquisition, leadership succession, turnaround management or leadership transition. Consider the areas of financial management you have performed (without disclosing non-public financial data) and the due diligence reports you have handled.

If you’ve been a general counsel or general counsel for a publicly traded company, consider leveraging any SEC filing experience you’ve been involved in as well as any shareholder reports. Don’t overlook any ESG strategy work you’ve been involved in and worked with within the C-suite. If you’ve managed both ESG strategy and ESG reporting, include that language in your experience section.

Another consideration is making sure your job titles match the targeted areas. If you’ve worked as a corporate secretary for a company, consider adding high-level skills that would be relevant to your corporate governance and board reporting. Don’t forget to give these details – they can be a great door opener.

Showcase your board skills

In the skills and endorsements section, your consulting skills should stand out, and your three most valued consulting skills should be pinned to the top of your LinkedIn profile. Here are some keywords you’ll want to consider in the skills and endorsements section of your LinkedIn profile: private equity and venture capital (especially if you’re targeting a venture capital or private equity board and you have this experience), board of directors, board relations, board governance, advisory boards, mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy, strategic planning, due diligence, fundraising, account management performance, risk management and corporate identity. Again, these are just a few of the important board skills to include.

If you’re a mid-level or senior corporate lawyer moving into an executive corporate counsel position and thinking about striving for a role on the board of directors, start earning leadership opportunities that are right for you. will help build your career toolkit for a future board seat. This means seeking volunteer advisory roles on boards to better understand the intricacies and dynamics. Consider following the company’s corporate secretary to learn more about the work they do or volunteer to help with a key corporate governance or ESG issue or project. The key is to be involved and to develop your experience, your knowledge and the relevance of the subject.

Have questions about writing a resume for a board or writing a LinkedIn profile for a board? I look forward to reading them.

Wendi Weiner is a lawyer, career expert and founder of The Writing Guru, an award-winning executive resume writing services company. Wendi creates powerful career and personal brands for lawyers, executives, and suite/board leaders for their job search and digital footprint. She also writes for major publications on alternative careers for lawyers, personal branding, LinkedIn storytelling, career strategy, and the job search process. You can reach her by email at [email protected]connect with her on LinkedInand follow her on Twitter @thewritingguru.

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