CIO/CTO Branding Strategies: 3 Primary Differentiators for the Executive IT Resume

Posted on April 23, 2012. Filed under: CIO, Resumes | Tags: , , , , |

executive IT resumeBy Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

For IT leaders looking to distinguish themselves in today’s job market to capture the attention of executive technical recruiters and CEOs, it’s important to communicate a personal brand. The personal brand must be several things:

1. It needs to communicate something of value
2. It must be specific and focused
3. It must resonate with your audience
4. It absolutely must be substantiated by your experience and accomplishments

I read a lot of articles from career services professionals talking about personal branding (whether you like the term “branding” or not, it simply means the manner in which you are positioning yourself in the job market). Most posts neglect to tell the reader about the importance of being able to put some meat behind your claims.

Personal branding is not a magic trick

Perception “seems” to be reality, but eventually frauds get exposed. So I don’t recommend trying to make yourself something you are not. Branding is about bringing out the unique you for people to see, not creating an illusion.

Let’s take a closer look at #1 listed above, as it’s effectiveness will drive #2 and #3 as well. For IT Directors, VPs, and Senior-Level Managers, you’re going to need to deliver a message that is not a 1:1 correlation with your present job duties. In all likelihood, you are now more “hands-on” than you will need to be in a CIO role. For current CIOs or CTOs, you’ve been removed from the “hands-on” stuff for a period of time. So the question is, how do you focus your resume or profile to communicate this value to the reader?

Personal branding focuses on solving real problems

You should have 3 main areas of focus in the following order of priority:

1. IT & Business Transformation
2. Revenue Growth
3. Productivity & Cost Savings

Leveraging technology systems, services, and new business models to fuel revenue growth and reduce operating costs is important too. There is a renewed focus on using technology to generate top-line growth, so projects with revenue generation at the core should be more important than cost-cutting solutions.

Transformation is the most difficult to achieve, as you must work across the enterprise to drive systemic change. If you’ve been involved in business transformation initiatives, you know that many are highly resistant to change, especially other senior leaders. Finding IT executives with this ability in abundance is rare, so if you have it, tout it! It’s the best approach you can take to build an effective brand image and prepare you for a competitive job market.

Stephen is the ITtechExec, a “Go To” Personal Branding Strategist for IT, engineering, manufacturing, telecommunications, call center, medical device, and other STEM/technical specialty professionals. By translating technical activities and leadership achievements into a clear, consistent message that’s meaningful to business executives and recruiters, Stephen generates at least a 5x return on investment on job seeker resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, bios, and other online platforms. The ITtechExec offers a proprietary job search lifecycle management approach to guide technical candidates through brand strategy development, documentation, interviewing preparation, job search strategy development, and online brand management. Contact Stephen today at (866) 755-9800,, or

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