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Technical Resume Strategies for New IT Leaders

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 by J.M. Auron

The greatest change in the format, strategy, and approach of your technical resume comes at the transition from primarily hands-on work to a leadership role – often at the IT Manager or IT Director role. In writing a technical resume at this critical junction, it’s important to realize that the resume for an IT Manager or IT Director role contains different types of information than in a more hands-on role. The “look and feel” of the resume for a technical leadership resume will also be significantly different.

Here a few ideas I’ve used successfully in my technical resume writing service. At the earlier stages of a technical career, the actual technical competencies take center stage. As I’ve discussed in a previous post  (Technical Competencies in Your IT Resume: Part 1), it’s generally wise to list technical core competencies on the first page of the resume, right after the professional profile. When you’re moving into a management role, you’ll probably be better served moving your technical skills to the end of the resume (see Technical Competencies in Your IT Resume: Part 2), after education.

But the changes in the resume are more significant than simply rearranging a few sections. When you make the transition into IT leadership, your technical resume has to switch focus from (primarily) solving technical challenges, to utilizing technology to solve critical business challenges.

Of course, there’s overlap – but as you advance in your IT career, you need to focus more strongly and completely on the business value of technology – technology as a tool, rather than as an end in itself. It’s wise at this stage to start toning down the description of technologies and tools. You don’t want to eliminate your technical proficiencies, but it’s often a positive approach to underplay tech as you advance in your career.

Also, leadership becomes ever more important – so be certain to detail sizes of teams you’ve led, and any budgetary authority you’ve held. Those are crucial skills that hiring authorities are looking for in IT Manager and IT Director level candidates.

This approach extends to formatting, as well. In general, once you’ve made the leap to management, the resume needs a more polished, “executive” format to convey new responsibility and authority.

Sound complex? It’s not as bad as in seems. And the good news is that as you continue your career to become a senior technology leader or CIO, future resume revisions will be far less drastic than this one!

If you’re currently making this transition, and would like to discuss this further, contact me here.

Related posts:

  1. IT Resume Strategies for Technical Core Competencies: Part 2 – Strategies for Technical Leaders
  2. Technical Competencies in Your IT Resume: Part 1 – Strategies for Hands-On Technical Professionals
  3. Should You Include Legacy Technologies in your Technical Resume?
  4. 5 Resume Strategies to Help Mitigate the Risk of Age Discrimination
  5. Technical Resumes – Pros and Cons of Highlighted Achievements

Tagged: , , , , ,     Posted in category: IT and Technical Resumes

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