As an IT Executive Resume Writer, one challenge my clients often face is the maze of titles that can be used to define "top-of-the-food-chain" IT executives.

Shakespeare said "What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

A rose is a rose. But is a CIO Resume always a CIO Resume?

That may be true.

But in a CIO resume, a title can help make - or break - your chances for landing an interview.  

The problem is two-fold. Even in 2013, too many organizations still don't see IT as a critical, integral piece of the business - so they're hesitant to give a C-level title to the head of IT. My clients who work for these organizations are often frustrated because they're spending too much of their time on routine tasks, without the opportunity to leverage their strategic business skills to help the company grow.

These clients often feel overworked, under-appreciated, and under-compensated.

When I talk with clients in this sort of position, they're often looking to break into a role with larger scope, greater responsibility, greater appreciation - and often, significantly better pay.

But they're hampered by an IT Manager or IT Director title.

On the other end of the spectrum, I also talk with clients who carry the CIO title - but may not carry the responsibilities that go with that title in 2013.

In this excellent article, Allie Coyne talks about how "clinging to the CIO title could lose you a better job." Allie says that "A desire to cling to the prestige of the CIO title means such IT professionals are limiting their scope and, combined with a market which is yet to recover from the global financial crisis, forcing the former CIO into lengthy unemployment."

There's certainly much truth to that. In some SMEs, an IT Manager may be given the CIO title out of appreciation for contributions made, loyalty, dedication, or for any number of other reasons - when the title isn't necessarily a great fit.

But the issue becomes even more complex.

A candidate titled at CIO often won't be considered for an IT Manager role - because it looks like too much of a step down - even if the responsibilities remain very similar.

As Allie writes, "An SME will assume that a former CIO is 'going to be too expensive to hire', so they continue the cycle by 'hiring an IT manager to promote later.'"

How do I help craft IT Executive Resumes that mitigate these challenges?

  1. I work closely with my clients to determine what their current role really entails - and then work to develop a functional title that best encapsulates those responsibilities.
  2. I coach my clients to help determine realistic next steps in their career - where they want to be in 6 months, 2 years, 5 years - and craft an IT Executive Resume to best support those short- and long-term objectives.
  3. I help my clients discover their own, unique brand, what they do better, differently than the competition - to help them stand out from the hundreds of resumes that cross a hiring manager's desk for every senior IT position - whether IT Manager, IT Director, or CIO / CTO.
  4. I focus on accomplishments - because the value a candidate has delivered for their current organization is the best indicator for what they can deliver to a future employer.
  5. I balance and focus the career data my client gives to help ensure that the resume best targets a realistic next step.

The bottom line?

Think about whether your current title really defines your current job. And think carefully about how your career so far supports your next step - and your long-term career goals.

Finally? Think about whether the advice of a leading IT Resume Writer can help you bring your current and future career into focus. Feel free to contact me to discuss.