A few weeks back I had written about my tryst with a CIO struggling to create a resume that would evince interest from headhunters, executive placement, or companies looking for one. After an unsuccessful struggle attempting to advise her to illustrate the business benefits of her interventions, I finally invited her over to collaboratively create a document that may interest someone looking for a CIO.
Together reading through the resume, I noticed she was passionate about her achievements and the impact they created, but had no words in her vocabulary to transform the bullets into business impact. So I decided to indulge in some role play and asked her to be the CEO of a company who wants to hire a CIO and read the document again. Every few minutes I stopped her to observe if it meant anything to the CEO. Her Oh I See moment stretched through until the second reading!
Take an example “16 years of experience in deployment of technology projects“, changing to “16 years of aligning business and IT consistently delivering to promise” or for that matter “Implemented FICO, SD, PP, MM, HR modules ….” which was replaced by “Optimized processes and improved business efficiency by up to 30% …., driven by SAP implementation”. The entire document underwent clinical surgery over two hours with the promise of post operative care to reduce the overall size to fewer than four pages, shedding almost 40% irrelevant content.
Everyone has a story to tell, but the story needs to catch the attention of the reader in the first 200 words or so. The risk of a boring or unintelligible document is real when the supply is higher than the demand. A large volume is less likely to be read compared to a concise one. Cater to the targeted audience and not a generic one. Research the target organization and change accordingly is a great way to at least make it to the shortlist. Talk to common friends or vendors if you are able to.
So is there an ideal format for a CIO resume, structure, content, layout? The answer is no, everyone is unique and has a different story to tell with their background, industries worked for, technologies deployed, and contributions made. Make sure that your headlines attract attention; the text that follows has conviction in what it portrays.
Finally, I think that what really matters is how you have contributed to the enterprise growth or savings, impacted customers (internal or external), what kind of influence you have within the industry you work for, the teams you have managed, the geographies and cultures that you understand, and contributions towards success of your peers. Isn’t this what a CIO or for that matter any CXO anyway expected to do?
Read CIO Resume: Part I