There's a lot of discussion of the role that keywords play in creating an effective, powerful, and compelling CIO resume. Many IT resume writers advise that keywords are absolutely necessary in any strong document—and that a CIO resume without those magic keywords will doom your hopes of getting an interview.
I don't agree with that position, and I'd like to present a few thoughts on keywords, to help you build an effective strategy for your executive resume and job search.
We've all seen one. The CIO resume that leads with "27 years of experience" in the first line of the resume summary on page one.
On the surface, that seems like a great strategy. It's apparently clear, and seems to give a sense of career level. Also, many job postings do start with number of years required for the position – so, it seems reasonable to address the issue of experience directly, at the very beginning of the resume.
I've blogged on this topic before - but I think that it's important - do to the amount of misinformation you'll find on the web.
It's a rare week that I don't see a career "expert" suggesting customizing IT Resumes for every job you apply for.
I've seen an interesting - but, I think, mistaken - trend over the last couple of months, on LinkedIn and various career blogs.
That's a tendency to ignore skills as a clear, necessary factor both in IT resumes, and in the broader job search. I've been seeing posts suggesting that people are hired because of motivation, cultural fit, dedication - but that skills just aren't important these days.
There are, of course, variations on this theme. "I've been trying to write my resume for weeks, and it's just not working." "I'm a good writer, but I have no idea how to get my career down on paper."
This list goes on.
As a professional resume writer, there are some issues that I see over and over again in the initial client IT resumes that cross my desk.
One of the most common is to see every job described in an almost identical number of words, the same number of bullets, the same visual space on the page - whether that job is current, or was a decade and a half ago.
The very few, specialized, IT Resume Writers like myself have access to some very interesting - and sometimes disturbing - trends within the IT industry.
One that I've been hearing a lot of lately, is IT professionals who may career the IT Manager title, but who's job description can ofter be little more than a senior system administrator.
I'd highly recommend the post; it's well worth reading. But I wanted to riff on Bob Evan's ideas a bit, and discuss some potentially career-suicidal - or at least strategically unwise - challenges in the creating a strong CIO resume and cover letter.