5 Board of Director Positions You Can Pursue

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 16, 2021 | Published March 1, 2021

Updated December 16, 2021

Published March 1, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Every business corporation, no matter the size, is required to have a board of directors to help the company succeed. Each individual who works on the board has an important role to play in the company's or organization's development. If you have experience in leadership and skills in certain fields of business, such as marketing or production, consider pursuing a position on a board of directors. In this article, we discuss what a board of directors is, how to get a job on a board and list five positions you can pursue on a board of directors.

What is a board of directors?

A board of directors is a group of individuals who use their skills and expertise to help run a corporation or non-profit organization. Each board member often oversees one or two company divisions such as marketing or human resources. Every board of directors also has written bylaws that their organization must follow when making important business decisions. These bylaws help companies and nonprofits follow important federal laws and help them efficiently conduct their business activities.

Board of director positions

Here is a list of five roles you can pursue on a board of directors:

1. Secretary

National average salary: $26,193 per year

Primary duties: The secretary is often in charge of taking detailed notes, called minutes, during board meetings. They are also responsible for communicating with individuals on behalf of the board and providing administrative assistance to board members when necessary. It's also important for secretaries to keep track of and understand important legal documents, such as the board's bylaws and articles of incorporation.

Read more: Learn About Being a Secretary

2. Committee member

National average salary: $67,097 per year

Primary duties: Committee members are other members of the board that attend meetings, make motions and vote on all board matters. They often volunteer to lead certain committees within the board's organization, including marketing, sales or research and development. It's also possible that certain committee members might represent geographical locations if they are a part of a large corporation or non-profit company. For example, one committee member might by in charge of northeast facilities and buildings while another is in charge of the southwest.

3. Treasurer

National average salary: $79,343 per year

Primary duties: The treasurer maintains and organizes the board's finances. They often keep track of important financial records, create the annual budget and approve organization purchases. Treasurers are also responsible for compiling and presenting financial reports to board members and completing the board's annual tax filing.

Read more: Learn About Being a Treasurer

4. Chairperson

National average salary: $114,746 per year

Primary duties: The chairperson, also known as the president of the board, leads all board meetings, creates different committees and performs any other actions described in the board's bylaws. They are also the main representative of the board of directors, often making public appearances at different functions and giving speeches at investor and fundraising events.

5. Vice president

National average salary: $149,446 per year

Primary duties: The vice president of the board is the position directly under the chairperson or president of the board. They fulfill all managerial and executive duties when the chairperson is absent and works with them to ensure the organization is successful. Sometimes, a board of directors may have multiple vice presidents serving as leaders of separate committees, such as the vice president of marketing or the vice president of business development.

How to get a job on a board of directors

Here are four steps you can follow to help you find a job on a board of directors:

1. Decide your mission or area of interest

It's important to decide your personal mission or area of interest before trying to find a board position, because both non-profit and for-profit companies have a board of directors. If you want to join a non-profit board, it can be helpful to find a specific mission that interests you. Picking out a specific non-profit affair can help you focus your job search, research and applications on those specific charity operations. For example, if you're passionate about ending world hunger, it can be helpful to research different organizations that work toward those efforts so you know how those non-profits operate.

However, if you're more interested in companies and corporations, it can also be helpful to direct your interests to a specific area of business, such as technology, food services or retail. Choosing a specific interest for corporations can have similar benefits to choosing a specific non-profit mission, and can also narrow your search to help you find a board of directors you can join more easily.

Related: Everything You Should Know About Working for a Nonprofit

2. Know your skills

Most often, board members at different organizations contribute to specific areas of a corporation or nonprofit, including marketing, business development, human resources and more. When searching for board of director positions, it can be beneficial to decide which areas of a company or organization you can apply your skills. This can help you tailor your resumes, applications and interviews toward a specific board role or committee member position.

For example, if you have sound skills in financing, you could try to position yourself on boards as an accounting committee leader, or even as the board treasurer. If you have skills in marketing, you could try to pursue the marketing or sales committee leadership position, or perhaps the fundraising committee leader for non-profit organizations.

Related: What Are Skills? (With Tips on How to Improve Them)

3. Find an opportunity

You can find possible board openings through job websites, or sometimes directly on a company's or organization's career page. It can be helpful to start your search using your chosen area of interest or charity mission. However, if you have trouble finding board openings, consider expanding your search to missions or areas of interest that closely resemble your chosen field. Any experience you can find on a board of directors can be incredibly influential to future board positions you pursue and can help you network with other board officials.

4. Apply or connect

Once you find an opportunity, research the company or organization thoroughly before applying. This can help you adjust your application toward that company's mission and activities. For example, if you find an open board position for a sports retail company, consider using your skills section to highlight your ability to increase retail sales and successfully market inventory to sports fans, players and enthusiasts.

If you're having trouble finding an open board position, consider reaching out to a current board member at a company of interest. Reaching out and forming a connection with current board members can you help you build professional relationships that can teach you valuable board member skills and possibly create opportunities for you to become a board member in the future.

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