Your Executive-Level IT Resume: 3 Ways to Translate Bits and Bytes into Business Value

According to The Harvard Business Review, CIOs can be perceived as “interpersonally awkward and out of steIT_resume_buck_the_ceo_stereotypep with the business.” Your executive IT resume should buck that stereotype.

Yes, you are passionate about technology, but in service to the business. Save the certifications and acronyms for your engineering team and put your leadership and communications skills front and center.

As a CIO, CTO, or rising technology star, your work adds tremendous business value. The key to persuading your next CEO, president, and board of directors that you’re the right person to head IT strategy is making it clear that you will add valuable insight to the business planning discussion.

The purpose of this article is to hone that focus and give you a taste how to write an IT resume that expresses your leadership acumen.


As a CIO, CTO, or IT director candidate, your resume should focus on:

► Your ability to put business first. You’re more than a technologist. You’re a counselor, helping business teams look past shiny programs and equipment to find the most practical solutions to the challenges they lay at your feet.

► Your proactive approach to making your company—and possibly the world—a better place. You don’t wait for problems to arise. You’re a savvy business person who can recognize an unmet need that technology can fill. You conceive strategies that business units would never think of, but they’re sure glad you did!

► Your understanding of budgets and ROI. You know how to advocate for a significant IT investment when needed and when to creatively hack a workable solution when the money isn’t there or the return on investment doesn’t justify the outlay.


Here are 3 ways to bring out these qualities your resume:

  1. Lead with a succinct description of your brand, work style, and key accomplishments in terms of business results, not technology acronyms and catch phrases. This establishes you as a fellow business strategist, rather than a glorified engineer.



  1. Go beyond bullet points. Add context and strategy so that your work style and the impact of your accomplishments is clearly understood.


  1. Make your resume easy for the human eye to scan. The first review of a resume lasts just a few seconds. Be sure it’s easy for the reader to find the most important information at a glance. If they like what they see, they’ll go back and read in more detail. Use colors, callout boxes, and other visual elements to highlight key points.



If you’d like to speak about your how executive IT resume, LinkedIn profile, or other communications can help you land more quickly, profitably, and joyfully, I would welcome your contact!

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