Five Tips for Writing a Killer CIO Resume

by Cummings, Jean Thursday, February 09, 2012
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The top technology authority in an organization can be the CIO (Chief Information Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer),VP of IT (Vice President of Information Technology) or one of the newer hybrid titles that emphasizes leadership in both the business and technology organizations.

What aspects of your role do you want to emphasize in your CIO resume? How much do you want to emphasize your technology credentials versus your business acumen? Is the job you are targeting looking for a CIO who is primarily an innovator, a business leader, or a technologist? What is the role of the CIO in your target company? A full business partner, a support to the business, someone who ensures business agility, someone who makes sure the networks work, or other?

It's important to customize your CIO resume to the particular position, given the wide variability in corporate expectations of the top technology leader. But whichever slant you take, you need to pay attention to the following when writing your CIO resume (or CTO resume or VP of IT resume).

1. Establish your leadership brand in the top third of page one and consistently reinforce it in the body of your executive resume. This is where you incorporate the answers to the questions above for the particular company.

2. Tie your accomplishments in technology to their impacts on the business as a whole; consider P&L and margin improvement, cost reduction, risk management / security, business process improvements, product innovation, providing a platform for high growth etc.

3. As the top technology authority, emphasize your ability to think and plan strategically about technology and the wider business.

4. Leave summary of your technology skills to the end of your executive resume or leave them off altogether; you will most likely, in companies larger than startups, be managing the managers of hands-on technologists.

5. For each position, give Challenge-Action-Results stories that demonstrate the mission-critical nature of the challenges you faced, how you strategized and exercised leadership, and what the results were in both technology and business terms.

Follow these tips and you will be a long way towards writing a great CIO resume.