CIO and CTO: Executive IT Resume Writing Tips

The CIO – CTO Resume Challenge

The biggest challenge most executive-level IT candidates are confronted with when creating a resume is in what approach to take. The CIO or CTO is not really a technical role. It is a strategic role. So how do you structure the resume in a manner that positions you well for these technology leadership positions?

CIO Resume Strategy

The fundamental questions to ask and answer are “who is my target audience?” and “what information will they review to make a decision as to which candidates to interview?” Your response to the questions will dictate the approach you take. Inevitably, the answer to the second question boils down to how you were able to create business value.

Resume Tip: Communicating Business Value

Conveying the value you and your IT teams brought to an organization is not impossible, but it does require some thought and perhaps some data mining on your part. Some of the things you want to keep in scope when trying to define business value include:

  • Revenue Growth – Most companies direct the IT function to cut costs, but more and more are realizing that technology can help to fuel top-line growth. The ROI is typically much stronger for these types of technology initiatives. In addition, there is usually more data from which you can pull.
  • Cost Reduction– Cutting costs is usually the first value-added item folks think of when talking about how IT helped a business. Any time you can reference hard-dollar cost savings or a percentage savings on the resume, that will be a benefit.
  • Productivity Gains– The idea of technology is to enable the business to perform at a higher level, right? So for many of the technological advancements in a company, there should be some type of efficiency gain for the employees doing the work. These gains should enable a reduction in headcount or the transitioning of resources to other value-added activities.
  • Process Improvement– Many people often overlook simple things like reductions in cycle time, process improvement, or automation through integration of enterprise systems. Don’t sell these short on your resume.
  • Leadership Development– Although you may not be able to quantify leadership development, it is important to communicate the success of those in the IT organization that you have mentored to leadership or up-and-coming types of roles. After all, without the right team members in the right place, a CIO or CTO is limited in the success they can personally achieve.

The CIO – CTO Personal Brand

Finally, you want to wrap all of these great value drivers up and summarize it by crafting a strong, consistent brand message. This brand should be constant across all traditional and social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, a blog site, or any other forum in which you participate