I recently published an article on LinkedIn about the critical need for CIOs to communicate value in the executive suite and the boardroom.

In that article, I focus on the need for today's transformational CIO to be bilingual - to communicate value to ensure enthusiastic stakeholder buyin - and to further ensure that IT is recognized as a value center, and not a cost center.

In this blog, I'd like to focus on one specific form of communication that many CIOs can find challenging.

CIO resumes.

CIO Resumes need to clearly convey business value
CIO Resumes need to clearly convey business value

Now, needless to say, as a professional executive resume writer and career coach, communicating value on the resume is something that is always very much top of mind for me.

And many great CIOs - who can clearly communicate the value they bring to executive peers and business stakeholders - may find the prospect of communicating that same value clearly and effectively within the confines of a 3-page resume to be more than a bit intimidating.

That's natural - resume writing is an extremely specialized form of communication. 

As I mentioned earlier most CIOs are "bilingual." But when it comes to writing the resume, it's too easy to default to one's first language. Technology.

And that means that there's just too much "tech" and not enough "executive." Too much discussion of technologies, tools, and initiatives - and not enough of the compelling story that demonstrates what you have - and can deliver.

That's the biggest - and most consistent - issue that I see in CIO resumes. Far too many don't present an executive career at an executive level.

That's not only CIO resumes, of course - far too many executive resumes across the C-suite are primarily focused on duties and responsibilities, and not on differentiators and accomplishments.

But the problem is greater for technology leaders. Because - while a bland CFO resume may be, well, bland, it's largely comprehensible.

For a technology executive? Not so much. If the resume defaults to acronyms, tools, certifications and other highly technical details, the reader may very well not "get" the resume - or the candidate's - value. At all. There's no way to differentiate one technology executive career from another if both CIO resumes are collections of slightly different acronyms.

And differentiation is the key job that the resume needs to do. Because the CEO needs to know that you're not only great - but a great fit to solve his problems. The best way to do that is to be certain that one uses technical jargon sparingly, and always in support of strategic business goals. Finding that balance takes time - but it's critical in creating a resume that clearly conveys what you bring to the table.

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