How Do I Become a Chief Business Officer?

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  • Written By: C. Webb
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 June 2018
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Chief business officers (CBOs) typically hold a position as a company's top executive. They work in fields across the spectrum of public and private sector industries. To become a chief business officer, you must have intimate knowledge of your field and of the institution or company that you wish to become a CBO for. The most common industries chief business officers work in include teaching medical centers, institutions of higher education, and large nonprofit organizations. Preparation for a chief business officer position includes education as well as experience.

An advanced education is a necessity to become a chief business officer, especially if you plan to work in academia. A minimum of a master's degree in business, finance, or public administration should be your goal. If possible, obtain a PhD in one of these areas to further your quest to become a chief business officer. The position encompasses all areas of business, including finances, administrative, and operations; therefore, you must fill your university experience with classes in those areas. Continue to earn certifications and complete seminars as you plan your strategy for becoming a CBO.


Build a resume geared toward a chief business officer position. Develop expertise in financial planning, operations management, and communication. In addition, you must develop general knowledge of facilities maintenance, working with a board of directors, and budgeting. Concentrate on working in areas that will help you develop these skills. Keep careful records of your accomplishments in each of these skills at your various positions.

Strengths to focus on while building your resume include being able to view the big picture and delegation of responsibilities. To become a chief business officer, you must be prepared to show several years of leadership qualities and experiences in past work performances. Developing a reputation for being a team player is also important. Incorporating ideas from others demonstrates your willingness to work with department heads and board members.

Build relationships with key players at the location you wish to become a chief business officer in. Develop relationships with management and make it known you would like to become the CBO of the organization. Once an opening occurs, send in your resume, along with letters of reference and recommendations from key players within the organization. Remember to showcase past accomplishments on your resume. When you secure the interview, dress well, have a positive attitude, and go get the job.



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