Board Seeks New CEO: How to Transform a CV into a Compelling Boardroom Presentation

How can top executives transform a lengthy CV into a compelling boardroom presentation?

After a longstanding career, it may be time for a senior executive to find a powerful alternative to the CV. With 20 years’ senior management experience and as a seasoned executive search consultant, Eelco van Eijck, Managing Partner, Amrop in the Netherlands, has devised a compelling way to help hiring organizations establish the right level of contact with the right candidates: the ‘Top Executive Presentation Deck.’

The Deck transmits in just a few ‘sheets’ the core message of who a candidate is and what he or she stands for. “It saves time, because it conveys a picture in the blink of an eye,” Eelco van Eijck explains. “It’s up to the Board to decide whether they want to entrust one candidate over another.That decision demands a business-oriented, visually compelling and fact-based executive summary. Executives unable to make their ‘business case’ risk immediately slipping through the net.”

Building the case for a Board-level discussion

The higher the stakes for a senior-level recruitment decision, the greater the need for a compelling human business case. Devise no more than 5 slides as follows:

1 – Where

Help the employer make connections.

Present the names of the companies for which you worked – and their sector/s

Example: A candidate comes from the consumer goods world and has international experience. “You immediately make connections.”

2 - Who

Help the employer understand who you are.

Summarize maximum 5 professional ‘identities’ supported by one-line illustrations

Example: A candidate is an international ‘somebody’, ideas person, team-builder, talent scout and consultant.

3 - How

Produce a powerful narrative

Present 2-3 ‘case studies’ following the STAR methodology:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

Example: A candidate ran the Italian operation of a multinational organisation, restructured the business and wiped out a plunging profit curve, transforming it into an upward trend.

With the Deck in hand, both Board and candidate can deepen their exploration of the material and of their mutual interests. Boards need to quickly establish how a candidate functions and how competently he or she is able to convey the business case of the company. “Candidates who can enter at this ‘level’ can really do something. That’s why I invite them to present two or three cases,” says Eelco van Eijck. This method enables both Board and candidate to deepen their exploration of the material, and of their mutual interests.  “It immediately takes discussions to a higher level.”

Candidates are also advised to talk to stakeholders outside the Head Office, visiting retail outlets, for example, or the factory floor.

“I’m not a psychologist,” says our author. “But I’m very capable of evaluating who someone is and how he or she functions. This advice, combined with a serious assessment, gives Boards a good insight into the kind of executive they are taking on.”

Author: Bert Koopman, Het Financeele Dagblad, based on an interview with Eelco van Eijck, Amrop Netherlands.

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