Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

What the #dressgate Furor Means for Your Executive Resume

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Mar 5, 2015 8:57:28 AM


Do you sometimes just scratch your head because you know you'd be great for the job and you think your resume communicated your qualifications but nobody on the other end "gets" it?

If the impassioned even embittered debate on Twitter and Facebook about whether the above dress is gold and white or blue and black tells us anything, it's that we don't all see the same reality.

I'm afraid this is a rather profound truth and is at the basis of many human misunderstandings. For instance, ISIS sees the world differently from your average Westerner. This ability to look at conditions in the world and perceive radically different things is surely tragic for humanity.

What about the typical spousal debate about money? It's obvious that legal tender is "seen" in different ways by different people. That's why studies show that having very different views of money is a very common cause of divorce.

It's worth pointing out here, though, that without this very human, built-in variety of perceptions we would have no great art, music, drama, or even cosmology to excite, awaken, inform, and inspire people. How often we "see" a new reality when confronted by great art!

So what does all this have to do with your resume? Well, if your resume evokes in the recruiter an entirely different picture of who you are professionally than you thought you were projecting, your candidacy in not apt to go any further.

Many people "perceive" that they are telling the hiring authority that they have the a,b, and c skills and experiences required for the job. But is the recruiter seeing that also? Usually not.

This dilemma is the reason why you as a job seeker need to throw away many of your personal preferences in writing your resume. Instead, follow these simple rules:

  • Weave the exact keywords or key phrases you find in the job ad into your resume's profile and the descriptions of your job responsibilities
  • Take the key skills the job ad specifies and, in addition to weaving them in, provide examples of using them in your jobs
  • Put information the recruiter wants to see in the expected places on the resume: Summary, Experience, Education

Yes, this means customizing every resume you send out to the exact key words and key phrases in the particular job ad.

If you folllow these rules and construct an ATS-friendly resume (see recent blog posts + free example), you will be in a good position to have your resume retrieved by the recruiter in a search.

So, if you don't want your "blue and black" dress to appear "gold and white" when the recruiter wants to see "blue and black," observe the above conventions!




Topics: executive resumes, executive resume writing, executive resume, applicant tracking systems, ATS systems, Executive Resume Writer Massachusetts

Don't Let Short Term Thinking Derail Your Career

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Oct 13, 2014 11:33:30 AM


Image attribution: ktla.com

Is this you? Do you find that the pressures of day-to-day work and home responsibilities keep you from doing what you need to do to get a good job fast in the future?

I think that would describe the vast majority of us. It's human nature to pay attention to what is front of us rather than what's down the road. It's also human to choose pleasures in the present (completing current projects) over pleasures down the road (getting a job fast when you want to leave your company or you get laid off).

This phenomenon is experienced by everyone who has ever tried to diet, eat more healthily, get in shape, buy less, save money for retirement, build job skills for the future, complete a degree etc.

I have no silver bullet to help us overcome this bias towards short term thinking and immediate rewards over long term planning and future benefits. What I do have is one way to approach working for rewards in the future that seems to help.

So let's shift our goal. We have to let go of expecting perfection in switching to long term thinking. A "good enough" outcome would be to make the changes you can and not to be discouraged if you don't make all the ones you know you should.

For example, let's list the "ideal" activities that will position you optimally to get your next job fast and the next one after that:

1. Build your network, always keeping your personal brand in mind.

  • Grow your LinkedIn connections to 750+
  • Post frequent status updates on your LIP (LinkedIn profile) with news, useful content, and positive comments on your connections' changes
  • Regularly make comments or start discussions on the most active LI groups you belong to
  • Get started on Twitter and tweet valuable content
  • Automate your tweets to post to LI and Facebook to help with SEO (search engine optimization) when your name is Googled or searched for
  • Start a blog on Wordpress.com to exercise and establish your thought leadership and add one post a week
  • Expand your blog into a personal website
  • Connect with alumni events and online forums
  • Make connections with people in any group you are a member of: religious organization, sports organization, clubs, networking groups, professional associations etc.
  • For every person you meet, consider it your goal to give back: find out what matters to them and how you can help them with a referral or a piece of content that might be helpful
  • Regularly communicate up, down, and across your organization about what you've been working on to promote your personal brand with future networking contacts; do this with vendors and clients and other contacts as well
  • Have frequent coffees or lunches with contacts
  • Use a contact management system that will cue you when you're due to reach out to an important contact; reach out on a regular basis, even if only by email, asking them how they're doing and perhaps including a helpful content link

2. Grow your professional capabilites in the direction of future job markets, to the extent you can discern it

  • Get the new hot certifications in your space
  • Work towards in-demand new degree
  • Volunteer to work on projects at work that will expand your skill set and knowledge base
  • Keep on top of trends and what's going on in your field by following the best blogs and following thought leaders on Twitter

3. Sharpen your marketing communications and keep them up to date: resume, LIP, cover letter, bio, etc.

  • Keep track of your achievements and projects on an ongoing basis for incorporation into your resume
  • Keep your resume and LI profile udated
  • Make sure you know what your personal brand is and have incorporated it into all your marketing communications

It certainly would be awesome to do all these things for your career! Doing them would without a doubt help you get a better job faster when the time comes. But sometimes looking at lists like these can seem so daunting that you end up doing nothing at all.

So is there a middle ground? Something between perfection and stagnation? Only you can define where that space is. It would go along with the concept of "good enough." You've probably heard it. It's a phrase that allows us be imperfect but still good. Statements like, "I'm a good enough worker, father, runner, golfer, person etc." takes away the perfectionism that can be paralyzing.

So, imagine with me what a "good enough" forward-looking career manager might look like:

  • Every week or so he goes onto his top social media sites and does one thing on each: an update on LI, a tweet on Twitter, a comment on Facebook, a comment in a LI group etc.
  • Every quarter he sends out an update with an offer to talk on the phone or help with referrals to the top people on his contact list
  • He takes a rainy Sunday afternoon soon to go to wordpress.com, set up a basic blog, and post his resume on one of the other pages
  • Then he picks up his personal website/blogsite project in a few weeks and adds another page, maybe a list of project highlights with quantified results
  • Once a month he reaches out to three people he remembers from college or from a certification course; maybe he calls a colleague that left the company awhile back, all with an eye to the idea of "givers gain"

Granted, these activities are not as broad-ranging and rich as the suggestions on the lists above. But they protect you from the despair that can happen when you fall short of perfectionistic expectations. And, doing some things, if not all of them, gives you the good feeling that you are moving ahead, not just staying in the present dreading the moment when the layoff is announced or when you get too fed-up to stay.

So start today in some small way to be a "good enough long term career planner," and give yourself credit and a reward! Food? Dinner out? Clothes? Night at a B&B? Good luck!






Topics: executive resumes

Killer Bees & Your Job Search: 5 Takeaways

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jun 10, 2013 10:57:00 AM

Killer Bees & Your Job Search

Been paying attention to the Survival of the Fittest going on before our very eyes in the case of bees? The very bees responsible for pollinating much of the world's crops? This is the current state of affairs: honey bees hives are failing in large numbers, so much so that many growers have to depend on trucked-in bees to pollinate their crops. In China, crops are being pollinated BY HAND!

What is the reason for this serious threat to our foodstocks? Scientists are not sure; some say perticides and herbicides, some say malnutrition (too much monoculture of low-nutrition crops). Still other scientists opine that honey bees have been bred for low aggression traits, so that handlers don't have to wear as much or any protective clothing.

In any case, there is a third option some growers are using: introducing African killer bees to pollinate their crops. This strain appears to be thriving in Texas and other states that have imported these aggressive bees. The danger of course is to humans and animals who can die from these stings. Killer bees sting readily in contrast to the domesticated honey bees. It appears that being highly protective of the honey correlates with robust hives.

I couldn't help but think about this lesson from nature and wonder if it is suggestive of what we are seeing in the new world of work. Not just how to get a job, but how to keep it and how to keep your career growing robustly. The recommendations below are based on commonly understood trends that currently prevail.

1. Keeping your job: Get aggressive about owning the results of your work; don't let someone else taka advantage of your less boastful personality and take the credit - and the promotion!

2. Keeping your job: Abandon the passive honey bee side of you, and fiercely hone your branded value proposition within the company. Get the word out by circulating project status memos, networking internally, and pushing to get on projects that will enhance your brand.

3. Getting a job: Forget waiting around for recruiters to get back to you about jobs you've applied to. Aggressively mine your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, college alumni, and professional groups to make contact with employees of your target company. More about this in other blog posts here.

4. Getting a job: ALWAYS be in the job market. Gone are the days of the "company man." you cannot count on an employer to have your career security as a goal. That's the honey bee way: "OK you took away my protect-the-hive response, now you have to take care of me, your employee." It's not happending. Now, you will be cut loose if it's financially beneficial for the firm. So get your branded value proposition out there internally and externally and get active!

5. Getting a job: Every day of your job search, pick something you can actively do to get in front of decision makers: build a company list, network into the companies, connect with employees, send a direct mail campaign, work your alumni and association member lists. In other words, leave the traditional passive job search in the past and aggressively go after unpublished and post opportunities. Even approach organizations with the idea of writing your own job description.

The work world of the past is the world of the honeybee. The hives are dying. Employers won't look out for you. So aggressively protect your work product from being poached just as the killer bees protect their honey. And aggressively pursue job search strategies that have a high success rate. You need to win in this world of hyper-competitive search and short duration jobs by channelling your inner killer bee!


Topics: job search, networking, personal branding, executive resumes, killer bees

7 Tips for a Recruiter-attracting LinkedIn Profile!

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

May 17, 2013 3:41:00 PM

Good LinkedIn Photo

 Photo courtesy of Mat Robinson of Enduring Images Studio

“If someone doesn’t have a photo of himself on his LinkedIn profile, I’m not inclined not to trust him,” a hiring manager said the other day. Many people feel this way. Whoa! This message is coming in loud and clear: If your goal on being on LI is to network and potentially be considered for job opportunities, get a photo up there, and make it a good one!

Have you noticed that the photos are bigger on the new LI profiles? LI is moving in a direction paved by other social media sites that know that visuals are HUGE in terms of impact and influence. You only have to look at the role visuals pay on Facebook and, of course, the explosive growth of YouTube. The new media button that is being rolled out by LI is further evidence that visuals – in this case slide shows, videos, and additional photos – are key to conveying individual and corporate brands.

With the new, larger LI photo, you have more of a chance to create a more personal connection with the employer or recruiter who views it, before they ever read a word about you. Your executive resume also will be read with more interest if the reader has a mental picture of you. A properly lit image of you, appropriately dressed, with an engaging expression, can enhance your written profile, invite trust, and provide an intimacy that words alone could never do! 

Think about what a friendly, open, constructive person looks like. Do you like the headshot of someone you’re connected to? You want your image to be professional but not stuffy.  Above all, you want to look approachable.

The good news is that you don’t have to win a beauty contest for your photo, just have a great expression.

Here are 7 valuable tips that can help you ensure that your photo will HELP YOU, not hurt you (remember, having no photo WILL hurt you), and even serve as a competitive advantage for you!

  1. Hire a portrait photographer to get a professional quality headshot of you facing into the camera. An angled picture can make you look sneaky. A profile picture doesn’t allow for eye contact. Sometimes your investment can be little more than $100 for a professional to help you out. Don’t use a Facebook-type picture of you partying with friends. If you can't afford a professional, then find a friend with a digital camera to take some pictures of you against a white background. Then pick the best shot.
  2. Use good lighting so that your photo gives a fair representation of what you look like and so that your face isn’t bathed in shadows.
  3. Use a white or neutral background. Some people use black. You don’t want to have a photo with a distracting background. Try to capture from the neck or shoulders up.  
  4. Dress for success. If you are applying for an executive or managerial position, dress for the role. A good rule of thumb is to dress the way your immediate superior does on the job. For a woman, avoid too much jewelry or busy patterns. For a man, keep your tie (if you are wearing one) from stealing the show.
  5. Have the photographer try to capture some of your personal brand attributes by conveying them in your expression. They may include one or more of the following: leader-like, sincere, assertive, strong, charismatic, steady, creative, humorous, outgoing, confident, etc. 
  6. If you are worried about age discrimination, then feel free to touch up the gray hairs and use a healthy layer of foundation for a youthful and energetic appearance. I recommend getting a professional makeup job done, for both men and women. There’s a reason why TV anchors look so great and why they have teams to make them look that way! Ask your local hair designer for a referral to someone good.
  1. Finally, try to look as up-to-date as possible. This means having your hairstyle and your clothing styles current, but not far-out trendy. Some of the larger stores have personal shoppers: Nordstrom, J Crew etc. Take advantage of their free guidance in selecting a suitable outfit.

See how great a professional headshot can be by viewing the image above. If you are in the New Jersey/New York area, contact Mat. Otherwise, try to find a professional near you whose work you like. Your headshot on LinkedIn, done right, can be an immediate invitation to a recruiter or hiring authority to read on and find on-brand, written content and, hopefully, more visuals that cause them to contact YOU.




Topics: executive resumes, executive resume, LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn photo career management

Top 15 Resume Hurdles of IT Managers/CIOs/VPs of IT/IT Directors

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Apr 26, 2013 6:12:00 PM

Image hurdle

People come to an executive resume writer for a number of reasons. One or more of the following may sound familiar to you.

  1. "My resume is attracting lower level jobs that are too hands-on technical"
  2. "My resume doesn't communicate my true value"
  3. "My resume doesn't communicate anything beyond my technology skills, like my business skills"
  4. "I’m not sure what job titles I should apply to out there - my company uses titles no one else is using"
  5. "I’m not sure what my objective should be and what jobs I can get"
  6. "I got off track in a niche area of IT and don’t know how to get back into what I want to be doing"
  7. "I’m not being paid what I think others are for what I do"
  8. "I’ve done everything there is to do here, and I feel as though my career is getting stalled – I need more challenge"
  9. "I want to be making more money, and I'm not sure how to go about getting a higher salary"
  10. "I'm more of a generalist, so how do I go about getting a job where my skills are valued?"
  11. "I have a lot of skills and experience, but all the tech jobs, even the executive ones, want specific technology experience that I often don't have"
  12. "I want to change industries, but employers want you to have had experience in their industry; how do I break into a new sector?"
  13. "I don’t have the exact tech skills and experience with certain environments employers are looking for, but I know I can do the job – how do I convince them?"
  14. "I'm too senior for a lot of the tech jobs but too junior for the ones I know I can do and want to target; what do I do?"
  15. "My resume and LinkedIn profile are attracting the wrong kind of jobs"

If you can relate to any of these issues (there is some overlap), you are not alone. There are ways to overcome hurdles like these with a skillfully written (and strictly honest) resume and LinkedIn profile and some career and interview coaching. Don't be hesitant to reach out for help to someone in the careers community. It can make the difference between getting a great job and just settling. Good luck!



Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, IT job search, IT management job search, IT director jobs, CIO jobs, IT manager jobs

Executive Resumes & Personal Branding: What Is No One Talking About?

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Apr 9, 2013 10:36:00 AM

personal branding & living the life you were born to live

Every once in a while I get to step back and look at the work I do with my clients from a larger, more expansive perspective. Ordinarily, we are laser focused on developing a branded executive resume and LinkedIn profile that will attract interviews and job offers. But what is really at stake here?                

Nothing less than your life. I'm currently reading The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling by Stephen Cope, Director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the famed Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Western Massachusetts. I tell you I did a double-take! He's talking about personal branding using the vocabulary of yogic fulfillment!

Yet, the criticality of discovering who you are, who you are given to be in your life, is rarely mentioned in personal branding discussions. Personal branding sounds like it's "nice to have," optional, a smart thing to do for career advancement, for making more money, and achieving greater fulfillment, but - is it a tragedy if you don't do it, find it, live it out?

Steven Cope says it is. If people "miss the mark" by even a little - say, they're a priest when they reallly want to lead the choir - that person may well experience ill effects from boredom, depression, feeling out of sync with what they do with most of their waking hours. And the world will have an uncomfortable, conflicted priest instead of inspired sacred music making.

Another thing that happens is that people undervalue their gifts, and therefore continue to do what they do with a nagging sense of falling short of "the big thing" they should be doing.

This is the situation I see most often. Wiliam Arruda's Reach 360 Survey is a fabulous tool for helping my clients see the gifts that others see in them - that they are too close to to see - or that they discount because their gifts come so naturally to them.

Learning that others DON'T usually have their particular gifts and that they turn to them for their gifts is a real eye-opener. The process helps my clients achieve a new sense of themselves as highly valued for their unique, natural-to-them ways that they do their work and interact with others.

What does the world lose by inidividuals not valuing themselves for their intrinsic personal brand? A person on fire with their passions and coming from a place of inner alignment with the greatest life that they can have - who does his work skillfully and with joy.

So, when you come to write your executive resume, be sure to let employers and recruiters know who you are - someone no one can duplicate - along with why the company needs someone like you. Get your personal brand out there - and give the world a chance to be benefited by you, living out your greatest life.




Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, LinkedIn Profiles

"Transferable Skills" Fallacy: When is too late to change industries?

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Aug 29, 2012 7:53:00 AM


Executive at a crossroads

Executive at a crossroads

Let’s call him Jesse. His story is a hypothetical example, but one that is not uncommon. Jesse has done all kinds of great things. Wonderful quantifiable achievements. And in several industries – IT, Manufacturing, Consulting. Clearly, he’s loaded with talent.

So, he’s 45 or thereabouts. And he wants to apply at the VP level for positions that might come up in any of those fields. The trouble is, is it too late for that?

When is he deemed to be too far along in his career (code for too old) to capture a senior management position in any of those fields?

Talk of  “ transferable skills” is everywhere in media stories about job search. This idea is offered as a panacea for how to get a job in a different field than the one you're experienced in.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m a believer that many people could successfully cross industries and even be more effective because they are deeply familiar with more than one sector.

But that’s the truth from the individual’s point of view.

The truth is the common faith in the transferable skills idea most likely isn’t going to hold any water from the perspective of the hiring authority or recruiter any more, at the executive level. And this is, in part, because the whole world of candidate selection has changed.

Before 2009 or so, the candidate pool was pretty much limited to the recruiter’s contacts, referrals, and perhaps people who had posted their resumes on a job board or corporate website.

But, since LinkedIn has become a premier database of professionals, recruiters now have access to profiles of both unemployed and employed executives. And I have heard recruiters in two panel discussions say that they are now able to hire candidates who possess 10 out of 10 of their requirements. The old, pre-LinkedIn number was 7 out of 10.

What this means for Jesse is clear. If the recruiter can find someone who has 25 years of experience in one industry, and probably is even more narrowly specialized in the desired industry niche, that person is going to be selected over the executive who has 7 years in 3 different industries.

So, if you are 35 and thinking about your next job, know that the industry where you land may well determine the industry you will reside in professionally for decades to come. It will simply be too difficult to switch industries at the more senior levels.

This is not to say that it’s impossible. If you are able to tap exceptionally strong, well-placed personal connections or if you are a well-known superstar you may be able to make such a move at 35 or even 45.

But I encourage my clients to commit to an industry as soon as they are able. Ideally 30, 35. If an executive is 45 and has split experience between 3 sectors, I encourage that individual to strengthen his presentation of his most recent experience and go after positions in that field. And this is the advice I would give to Jesse.

So the word to the wise today is: play the field if you want to in your twenties, but settle down in your 30s. Don’t count on your skills transferring to get you a job. Develop the core, desired skills that recruiters will be requiring. Keep your eye on your goal a couple years down the road and manage your career accordingly.


Topics: executive resumes, career management, career planning, executive job search, career brand, transferable skills, switching careers

5 Ways NOT to Let Your Network Know about Your Job Search

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

May 8, 2012 2:46:00 PM


Avoid these easy but unhelpful ways to let folks know you are in job search mode:

1. Send out a mass email.

2. Only put an update on LinkedIn

3. Tell them you are looking for a job and ask can they help

4. Use a plain vanilla message

5. Close your email without offering to help them in their networking

So, what IS the best way to tell your network you are in the job market? Ask a Manager blogs about this subject and has some useful things to say.

I would like to add to the suggestions there and advise job seekers to contact each person in your network personally by email or phone with a message that is interesting and that they can act on.

1. Tell them as specifically as possible what you are looking for: your preferred job title, mission, industry, and geographical location. For example, “I am looking for a position as a sales executive selling SaaS (software as a service) for a small to medium-sized software company in the Boston area.”

2. Give them a reason why their network should be interested in helping you or hiring you: “What I do best is close high-dollar sales of complex, cutting edge software solutions and exceed aggressive quotas, like the $8M I sold on a $7.5M goal in 2011.” BTW, this is a key part of your personal / career brand!

3. Tell them exactly how they can best help you in your search: “I would be very appreciative if you could give me the names of two people you may know who work in software companies in the Boston area.” And then, when you talk to those people, ask them in turn for two more names, conveying the same message about the value – your ROI – that you bring to the table. 

Once you’ve got your message and your method right, develop a good way to keep track of your contacts, the contacts they refer you to, next steps, to-do items, etc. Jason Alba’s Jibber Jobber is a great tool for that.

Then be meticulous about following up with a thank-you email or note letting your contact know you appreciated their interest and help. Then tell them you’ll keep them updated on your progress. That gives you a chance to stay top-of-mind with them when you check in again in a month or two. And, of course, when you accept a job offer, be sure to celebrate your success by thanking your network personally.

Jean Cummings:  http://www.aResumeForToday.com

This post was first published on http://www.GetHired.com


Topics: job search, networking, executive resumes

Job Search Tip! Five Sites Where Recruiters Could Be Looking for YOU

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 26, 2012 8:05:00 AM

 Sites recruiters search

Job search today is bewildering to many. Social media. Job boards. Recruiters. Networking. Should you have your resume out on the Web? Or not? How do you get on recruiters' radar?

Today I'm only going to talk about one piece of the picture: the free sites recruiters visit to source candidates and, therefore, the sites on which you may well want to build out a presence.

1. LinkedIn Groups. Everyone by now knows that LI is a top resource for recruiters. But they may not just be doing keyword searches to pull up candidate profiles. They may also be joining groups where they look for the right kind of candidates. So join prominent groups in your industry and function. Also try to link with recruiters. And grow your network. If you're up for it, become a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) to exponentially expand your network so that your chances of being found in a recruiter search go up.

2. Twitter. "Rapidly becoming a search engine in its own right," Nick Leigh-Morgan says in his post on "Free Hiring: the secret to $0 cost per hire." Now is the time to think seriously about developing a Twitter profile and starting to tweet on interesting ideas and resources in your field and function. Recruiters ARE searching Twitter for job titles, industries and functions in the hope of turning up interesting candidates. Can you afford NOT to be where they are looking?

3. Jigsaw.com & ZoomInfo.com. Like LinkedIn, these sites allow you to set up your profile with the career brand you want recruiters to see. Recruiters will be sourcing candidates here, so don't pass up this easy way to be found onlilne. Also, being on these sites will improve your searchability. Because recruiters also Google search candidate names, it pays to be on the Web on multiple properties.

4. Blogs. A great way to be more visible to recruiters is to comment on some of the top blogs in your field or function. If you use gmail, use Reader to identify those blogs and interact with them. Also, consider starting one yourself if you are willing to post once or twice a week.

5. Facebook. This one is a little trickier. The melding of personal and professional is sometimes happening and sometimes not. BeKnown, Monster's creature, is making inroads in this area. Another issue is that Facebook is often used by recruiters to rule people out not in. But, all that said, Facebook is HUGE and will assume a larger share of recruiter attention as time goes on. If you think you can maintain a Facebook presence that references your line of work while using it to keep in touch with friends (never veering off into areas you don't want the world to see), then by all means start now.

Of course, if you're not a senior executive and you want to post your profile on job boards, there are dozens where recruiters may be looking. Don't neglect the niche job boards.

But for everyone, take seriously the need to build a presence across most if not all of the five websites above. Just a few years ago, these five sites weren't prime recruiting grounds. Now they are. Just a heads up for savvy job seekers!



Topics: job search, personal branding, executive resumes, executive recruiters, retained recruiters, executive search, using recruiters

Five Tips for Writing a Killer CIO Resume

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Jan 20, 2012 8:30:00 AM

Thanks to CIO Magazine for the logo.CIO resumes

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. For general tips on what makes for a great technology executive resume, click here.


Topics: executive resumes, executive resume, IT executive resume, CIO resume, CTO resume, VP of IT resume, technology executive resume

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Tyrone Norwood