Executive resume expert Lisa Rangel shares her advice for writing a CV that separates you from the pack.
The IT leadership job market will be fiercely competitive in 2023. If there is a chance you will be a jobseeker, and you are working with a resume from as recently as two or three years ago, it will most likely need a serious update.
Your resume is a marketing document. It is a calling card to action, essentially, that, when put up against competing IT executives, should clearly identify you as the leader among leaders.
Ensure that your resume embodies all of these crucial points to place yourself at the top of the list.
1. Be specific about the job you want.
Begin your resume with a specific, targeted title reflecting the level and area of what you want in your next job. To most senior-level job seekers, it feels counter-intuitive to be specific. Many believe if they are broader in their title on their resume, they will generate a more robust response. But this isn’t the case.
Hiring managers and networking contacts can more easily wrap their heads around a specific request to figure out how to help you and where you fit. When a jobseeker says “I’m open to anything,” or has a very broad stance on their resume, the reader has to do all the work to figure out how to help or see where they job seekers fits in their company—and most won’t do that work, which means fewer responses.
2. Lead with recent achievements relevant to the job you want.
Whenever possible, the summary section of your resume should lead with one or two achievements that support your qualifications for the job title you have listed at the top of your resume. This confirms for the reader at that initial glance that you have what they need, and it motivates them to keep reading. The goal is to keep the reader reading to increase the chances of interesting them to reach out to learn more.
3. Show how you attract, develop, and retain high performers in IT.
You are only as good as the team you can build around you to cater to shareholder obligations, customer needs and employee health and productivity. Reflect in your document how you have hired, grown, and retained top talent and how that is reflected in promotions under your watch and succession plans created.
4. Showcase your abilities and achievements making business partners succeed faster using technology.
Making sure employees and customers are happy is the ultimate end game, and demonstrating how you have collaborated with other functions in your company using advanced and common technology concepts to improve the user experience is crucial to competing for today’s top position in IT.
Automation, AI, real time collaboration, hybrid work structures, ethical data mining, knowledge management and other technology evolutions make businesses run better. Show how your initiatives brought other non-technical leaders into the fold to make the organization improve overall
By Michael Brown
5. Highlight successful digital transformation and pioneering advancement initiatives.
Promote the wins and benefits your organization experienced the beneficiary of your first mover position with a particular idea or technology. Outline how you capitalized on this desired position, since it’s not assumed that first movers always win.
Not everyone is a first mover with a technology or within an industry, which is okay. But be sure to tell the story of how you capitalized on new technologies to accelerate goal completion and improve outcomes.
6. Entice the reader to reach out to you to learn more.
Using concise, persuasive wording formatted in visually breathable layouts will keep the reader reading your resume. When they keep reading, you increase the odds of them reaching out to you for a further chat or formal interview. Less is more in today’s job market.
7. Ask yourself, does this resume sell you competitively?
Many leaders approach writing a resume as creating a list of all the responsibilities they have had. They don’t usually think of their resume as a marketing document, the purpose of which is to make their background outshine that of others competing for the same jobs. Most CIOs and IT leaders have similar responsibilities, so listing responsibilities only will not set you apart. Depicting how well you did these responsibilities — and the measurable business results — sets you apart from competing IT leaders and sells you beyond the reaches of your reputation.