Tag: CIO

4 CIO Leadership Tips to Propel Your Brand in the Executive Job Market

4 CIO Leadership Tips to Propel Your Brand in the Executive Job Market

CIOIn 2016, Nigel Travis, CEO of Dunkin’ Brands, spoke at the SIM Boston Technology Leadership Summit to a group of CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives. In case you didn’t know, Mr. Travis also served in leadership roles at Papa John’s, Burger King, and Blockbuster. Interestingly, his 4 CIO tips had nothing to do with technology directly. They all focused on leadership, and leadership tends to be the area that most CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives avoid when writing a resume or LinkedIn profile. So let’s take a look at the CIO tips, and then we’ll discuss how important each one is for the resume or candidate profile.

Invest in People
Recruiting, building, and retaining an elite team in IT is a constant challenge in today’s market. Most companies struggle to develop and retain their best people. Investing in training is important. Once you’ve identified the best people, it is cheaper to reward them financially than it is to replace them.

For the Resume: This is definitely important, as talent combined with good execution is really powerful in business. So what have you done from an organizational leadership perspective to win the day with the building and growth of your technical teams? Have you been able to get these people you’ve developed to stay and grow with you?

Effective Communication
An open and continual dialog with your team is critical. Travis cites his use of technology to stay in touch with his employees and leadership team; however, he also mentions that in-person discussions over coffee work well whenever possible.

For the Resume: Everyone knows that good communication skills are important. The problem is, if you just say “good communicator” or “excellent communication skills” on the resume, it comes across as trite. You’ll get a ho-hum response. What is an example of a communication program you’ve put into place or a business outcome that stemmed from excellent communications in your line of business?

Inspiration
You’ve got to overcome the dull, unexciting reputation that many IT leaders get pegged with. Sorry, but that’s the perception. Some of it has to do with the dominant personality trait that attracts people to technology to begin with: they prefer interfacing with the technology or solution more than with people. I get it, you can fix a broken gadget, enhance code, and come up with a more elegant solution to a problem…but when it comes to people, you can’t fix stupid, right?

For the Resume: As a technology leader, what have you done to inspire teams? Have you been able to steer the team in a common direction with a positive energy to deliver a solution?

Culture
Culture is the biggest buzzword of all these days, especially in technology organizations. Culture goes well beyond inspiration, which is great to get things kick-started. A culture is built over time and is something that requires continual maintenance. More importantly, culture is not something that can be faked.

For the Resume: Cultivating a vibrant culture is a huge deal! Technical deliverables are great too; however, I would contend that the IT organization that puts these four things together (Investment in People, Communications, Inspiration, and Culture) will deliver timely, high-quality, and innovative solutions.

Conclusion
A winning presentation today for a CIO, CTO, or IT executive must delve into what I call the “intangibles” like business and leadership skills, personal strengths, and management philosophy. That’s why providing a traditional resume with facts and figures is only a part of the picture, not the whole. Get out of that paradigm and discover what you can do to highlight your abilities to invest in and inspire people, communicate effectively, and build a winning culture. Think about it…don’t you want to be part of an organization that recruits you because they value these things highly as well?

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

CTOs and CIOs: Transitioning from Keeping the Lights On to Investing in Innovation and Disruptive Technologies

CTOs and CIOs: Transitioning from Keeping the Lights On to Investing in Innovation and Disruptive Technologies

realized-1238069When a senior technology executive (CIO, CTO, SVP of IT, Head of Development, etc.) talks to me, it’s because they are interested in making a job change or seeing what’s out there in the job market at the least. The overwhelming factor is the frustration they feel with their current company. After all, their passion is being able to leverage technologies to transform the business, revolutionize the customer experience, and deliver breakthrough capabilities that give the company a distinct competitive advantage. But many companies handcuff their CTOs and stifle innovation because they are not willing to invest or have assumed a completely risk-averse posture when it comes to technology. They’d rather do what everyone else in their field is doing and play catch-up, which reminds me of a story.

What’s Everyone Else Doing?

I have a close friend that is the head of technology for a mid-sized company providing professional services in the financial sector. He is a forward thinker and very strategic in the way he approaches technology acquisition. But he understands how the business leadership thinks, so he’s extremely pragmatic in what he recommends and presents for his technology roadmap. Even so, the rest of the executive team thwarts any attempt to be a leader with innovation. Many years ago, he delivered a detailed strategy to consolidate and virtualize their data center environment and to create a private Cloud for their business applications. No dice! But, three years later, when their buddies who were executives at competing firms talked about their plan to go to a virtual data center and put their applications in the Cloud, it was suddenly a top priority.

You’ve Heard This Story Before

Sound familiar? I thought so.

It’s time to do it right and find an organization that doesn’t just talk innovation but actually puts their money where their mouth is and invests in emerging technologies. Don’t get me wrong, running an IT operation that’s lean and stable is an admirable thing, but is that why you got into this business? To run a cost center with a shrinking budget, zero ability to contribute to the growth of the organization, and the scapegoat for most of the problems in the company?

You’ve come too far and have too much yet to give to simply sit back and just make sure that you keep the lights on in IT. There are plenty of aggressive up-and-comers at the next level down who are willing to take on these types of roles until they’ve arrived and been-there-done-that long enough to realize they’re not doing what they love either.

Protect Your Legacy

To protect what you’ve built in your career so far and to continue to fuel your passion until you retire, you deserve to discover the opportunities that are available. Despite what it seems, there are companies out there that are market leaders and willing to invest in the development or early adoption of disruptive technologies. It takes a focused effort to identify them, engage them, and present a brand image that is appealing to them.

Build Your Support Team

To be successful in this endeavor, enlisting a team of experts to collaborate with you and support you is a great approach. This includes building your brand message and articulating it effectively in your Executive Resume, LinkedIn Profile, Executive Bio, and other materials. But it’s more than that. These market leaders are going to be highly selective, so developing viable channels or inroads into these companies is vital.

 

About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. Some people just write résumés; he cares about the whole job search. Servings as a Job Search Recruiting Agent, he provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and innovation leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy. Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreedeTo see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, text “STUCK” to 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR click on the calendar below to schedule a free 30-minute résumé assessment:


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Technical Recruiting Demystified

Technical Recruiting Demystified

tech job search cartoonIf you’re confused about the whole recruiting scene, this will help provide a little clarity. On 10/3, David Graziano, technical recruiter for GE, joined us for a weekly #TCFchat on twitter at 3pm ET.

Dave and our panel discussed the difference between external recruiters and internal recruiters as well as internal recruiters and HR. We also chatted about how candidates should approach the resume and job search differently based on the type of recruiter that’s in place. In addition, much discussion centered around the role of social media in the recruiting process. This included the use of social media from the perspective of the job seeker as well as the technical recruiter.

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to the Storify recap or to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

Tech Recruiter: Ask the Expert

Tech Recruiter: Ask the Expert

IT resume writer advice for winning the job 3If you have trouble understanding what role recruiters play in the job search, this is the forum for you. When it comes to recruiters, there are so many unanswered questions. Get the answers this Wednesday 10/3 at 3pm ET on twitter at #TCFchat. GE technical recruiter Dave Graziano will be our special guest star.

Dave will be talking about technical recruiting, resume, job search, interview, and other related topics.

Join the discussion (Wednesday 10/3 on Twitter at 3pm Eastern). Simply follow and use the hashtag #TCFchat to be a part of it all.

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

CIO & IT Team Inspiration Innovation

CIO & IT Team Inspiration Innovation

how to start a career in IT cartoon 2On Wednesday, 9/26 an “expert” panel convened on Twitter at #TCFchat to discuss the topic of IT leadership effectively motivating their technical teams.

We initially questioned the apparent ineffectiveness of “canned” HR programs with technical professionals. Why do these programs fall flat?

We also debated the role of HR, HR leadership, and the CIO in the ongoing motivation and performance of the IT team.

Finally, we talked about what strategies a CIO could employ to inspire his or her team. Missing were some of the convoluted incentives many corporate workers often hear about. The focus was centered on leaders being, well, leaders…setting a sound strategy, providing the teams with the proper tools and training, managing people firmly but fairly, and doing what they say they’re going to do. This isn’t revolutionary stuff here, but it may well be “innovative” in the sense that so few companies focus on these fundamentals.

If you were unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments or to the Storify recap of the chat.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

CIO & IT Leader Strategies for Motivating Tech Pros

CIO & IT Leader Strategies for Motivating Tech Pros

IT job search sites helpful or hurtfulThe canned HR programs that companies put into place may work fine for most corporate employees, but they don’t seem to have much effect on IT and technical professionals. I know from experience that most techies–whether in IT, engineering, telecommunications, call center, or any other technical discipline–are a skeptical bunch. But still, aren’t they excited about “Jeans Day?” I mean, really, who wouldn’t be =)

So what gives?

Well, let’s talk about the why along with what IT leadership can do to change this trend. Join the discussion (Wednesday 9/26 on Twitter at 3pm Eastern). Simply follow and use the hashtag #TCFchat to be a part of it all.

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

Ageism and Generation Gap Issues in the IT Resume and Job Search

Ageism and Generation Gap Issues in the IT Resume and Job Search

IT manager resume cartoonIn the IT field, many people feel that it is the “evolutionary” cycle for the old to give way to the young. In today’s world, sometimes it happens prematurely and other times not soon enough. Companies should evaluate each individual based on the work they do and the value they provide for internal opportunities and based on their capabilities for external opportunities, regardless of age. When we boil it all down, we live in a meritocracy, which is a good thing. But human nature being, well, human nature, people in positions of authority don’t always make the wisest decisions. Sometimes those poor decisions hurt the older worker and assist the younger worker, and sometimes the opposite is true.

On Wednesday 9/19, our expert panel convened on Twitter’s #TCFchat to discuss this topic. Our contributors recognized that this situation is indeed a reality today. They also offered some sage advice to help candidates overcome these issues on their resume, in the job search, and in their career development.

If you were unable to join us for the live chat, you can see the Storify recap and go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments. I’d also suggest viewing the 3-minute video blog included here.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmr0rmPBKpk]

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

#IT Job Trends and IT Employment Trends: Age/Generation Gap

#IT Job Trends and IT Employment Trends: Age/Generation Gap

IT job trends and the IT job search and tech job search

Do IT job trends and IT employment trends show an age and generation gap?

Many feel that there is a glaring difference between older and younger workers in the technology arena. At the two ends of the extreme you have:

a) Younger workers wanting to get an opportunity to prove themselves, helping their overall marketability for new positions in the IT job market and good pay increases.

b) Older workers knowing that they have proven themselves but concerned about their IT job security and their marketability in this challenging business climate and IT job market.

Either way, both groups are anxious about how they appeal to companies and the technical hiring executives during their IT job search or tech job search.

Join the discussion (Wednesday 9/19 on Twitter at 3pm Eastern). Simply follow and use the hashtag #TCFchat to be a part of it all.

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

IT Resume Tips: IT Candidates Need to Highlight Team Experience

IT Resume Tips: IT Candidates Need to Highlight Team Experience

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

IT Team Environments

IT job search sites helpful or hurtful 3The business landscape has changed dramatically for IT over the past few years. The days of IT folks or departments operating in a vacuum are gone, never to return. Although this is a good development for business as a whole, it has required a change to the way IT works.

IT professionals must have the ability to directly engage business leaders, users, and process owners. This direct interaction is designed to eliminate the gaps in communicating needs and requirements that have plagued the business in the past.

The IT Resume

IT candidates must be able to communicate their ability to work well in collaborative team environments on the resume. Employers and recruiters today expect IT professionals to possess this skill. But simply stating that you’re a “team player” is not good enough. Everyone says that. They want the candidate to prove it in the meat of the resume.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).