December 21, 2000, 12:19 PM — Dear Mark: I have 28 years in the IT field serving in a variety of GM/director-level positions in software development, MIS and consultative sales. In addition, I have two years' experience in sales and marketing, and more recently I have moved into product marketing for a software development company.
I feel that my diversified IT experience, excellent and current technology expertise and solid business background-I started a phone company in the early '80s to compete with AT&T and took it public two years later-are the ideal qualifications for a CIO. However, in my career search over the past year, I've had no success in getting a job interview.
What are your thoughts on the ideal background for a CIO? What can I do to position myself better? My current salary is $120,000 with stock and bonus.
Dear Diversified Exec: You certainly seem to have a broad and varied background in technology. Nonetheless, software development, MIS, consultative sales and product marketing are very different career experiences with very different skill sets. Additionally, your experience starting a phone company will not map very well to the competency requirements of the typical corporate CIO.
Instead, stress your experience in applying technology to meet the strategic and tactical needs of the corporate enterprises where you have worked as well as at your client organizations. Alternatively, the brief description of your background sounds ideal for a chief operating officer role in an entrepreneurial technology venture or perhaps in a consulting company.
Dear Mark: In order to acquire a management position in the IT area, would you need to come up with a special resume?
Dear Resume Writer: I assume from your inquiry that either you are not yet in the ranks of IT management but are looking to move up the food chain, or you are now an IT manager writing a management resume for the first time. In either case, there are two major considerations for crafting an appropriate management-oriented curriculum vitae.
First, your document needs to reflect your view of the world at 10,000 or 20,000 feet rather than at sea level. Be sure to stress the top- and bottom-line impact resulting from your group's or department's projects and your collaborative efforts with your user community to leverage technology for the good of the business function. Second, I strongly suggest that you emphasize your skills and accomplishments in the areas of planning, leadership, staff development, creative thinking and problem solving that make you a good manager of people, projects and resources. Technology, specifically the alphabet-laden jargon of technology, should be addressed in this context only.