1. Shift from tactical implementations to strategic resultsShowcase your corporate contributions to top line, expense line items, workflow productivity and the bottom line. Graduate from citing specific tactical skills and responsibilities common in a staff-level or middle management information technology resume to outlining initiatives where you have added value, and projects that you have led to achieve results. The key with a CIO resume, as with all C-level resumes is to include the long-range effects of your work in addition to the short-term results. You want to show how you can strategize on the big picture and cause movement with what is directly in front of you.
2. Emphasize your 'soft skills'Don’t lose readers in a list of systems, software, hardware and applications in which you have expertise. Your CIO executive resume will be read by technical and non-technical types and you must cater to both audiences. Highlight your soft skills, and how they they have enabled you to manage both technology and people to drive workflow productivity, revenues and additional profits for the business.
3. Show how you attract high quality talent and lead teamsEffective IT executives not only manage technology, but they manage people to manage technology to bring results. Successful CIOs negotiate deals, influence key decision makers, nurture vendor relationships, and attract and develop key talent. Highlight how your skills in team-building, communication and influence have contributed to your success.
4. Choose the appropriate context when communicating to prospective employersTalking about your biggest achievement is not always best. Reframing it to showcase your accomplishments in a way that is digestible for the prospective employer is always preferred. If you saved $20 million dollars on one initiative at a $1 billion dollar employer, but now you are applying to a $200 million firm, you may be perceived as being overqualified. Either choose achievements that are within the fiscal scope of the prospective company, or consider using percentages to outline your accomplishments.
5. Highlight achievements and downplay technical jargonOutline your technical and human capital achievements in universal language and not just technical jargon. Appeal to the many types of audiences by whom your resume will be read. You may be most comfortable speaking in acronyms or technical vernacular, but not all CEOs and executive hiring teams are aware of tech-speak. I suggest that you speak about technology in approachable and achievement-based terms to be understood by many types of executive management. This will demonstrate your ability to work with non-technical stakeholders.
6. Be what they want, but never lose yourself in your resumeThe content in your resume, social media profiles and communications should be congruent with your personality, beliefs and work style, while still meeting the needs of the prospective employer. Ensure your resume will be in line with the person who shows up for the interview - You. Always be who you are on paper, online and in person. The resume of a successful Chief Information Officer must not only demonstrate that you know the why and how behind the technology, but it also must tell a story on how you have communicated effectively with managers, lenders, shareholders, vendors and others key partners. The best CIOs will show how they identify and implement current technology that breeds financial benefits and improves the company’s position within its marketplace.
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