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Building your Board Portfolio - Responding to Ads: A fool’s game?

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Myth 2...It is not worth responding to advertisements or direct approaches for NED roles.

In talking with Directors there is often a weariness around responding to Ads and meeting Executive Recruiters...so is it worth it?

Many government roles have to be advertised…so when you see them being advertised you know there are roles to be filled and you should take the opportunity to respond to the Ad.

Not for Profits will often run advertisements. They are looking for directors willing to make an investment in their organisation and most often on a pro-bono basis. If you are aligned with the cause of that NFP…respond to the Ad.

Industry Associations will often advertise for independent directors…again, if you are aligned to the Association’s cause, respond to the Ad.

Listed companies will sometimes advertise a board role but more often than not will use a more targeted process either in-house, with the Remuneration Committee undertaking the work, or through a third party such as Watermark. If you are approached, start from the premise that there is a desire to go through a thorough process to select the best candidate for that board ...not to rubber stamp a predetermined outcome.

Responding to an approach, or advertisement, is only the first step and success is by no means guaranteed. However, what I do know with certainty is that not responding to an Ad for a NED role, or not responding to a direct approach, is guaranteed to succeed every time!

On a final note

It is only not worth responding to an Ad or approach if you do so without putting your best foot forward.

Tailor your CV to show what a good fit you are, be clear about the value you can add and do your homework on the organisation.

To build your portfolio apply the 4 Ps:

Pragmatic, Planned, Persistent and Professional.

In case you missed it, read the first article in the series.

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by Graham Willis