IT professionals are not only critical for the value and impact they provide to a company, but at the director level they often own multiple cross-functional workflows.
In the job market, IT directors are some of the most sought after candidates in the industry.
IT directors have a uniquely positioned skillset separating them from other professionals, including those within a similar field. An IT director must seamlessly integrate a combination of technical faculties with strategic acumen and managerial experience.
Striking an effective balance to execute and ensure a technologically agile operation, while concurrently improving the performance of a team is a difficult place to reach. The ability to walk the line between the two, to speak both languages so to say, in not a talent learned overnight. Similarly, it is not easy to communicate that, but candidates who do significantly enhance their competitive positioning against others.
How to Write Experience on an IT Director CV
How you arrange the varying aspects of the resume to tell a clear story, while making a compelling case for your candidacy is crucial. The likelihood is that you will have several years of experience to illustrate, along with supplementary qualifications such as certifications, degrees, development, and technical skills.
So, what goes first?
Well, the top of any CV should begin with the header that includes name, general location, phone number and email.
Do not include certification titles in your header. This is a common misconception for many, and it is incorrect. Including a certification—despite its significance—can negatively impact Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and databases parsing resumes for contact information. There are other areas to convey certifications, but the header is not one of them.
Creating an Impactful Professional Summary
For an IT director specifically, the professional summary is going to be an integral tool to telling a story of how you integrate and seamlessly employ both your technical profile with your leadership style. Moreover, strategic communications both verbally and written are important for a professional at this level to coordinate with stakeholders internally and externally, ensuring mission alignment and fostering a cohesive operation.
This is why the professional summary matters—it is an extension of your ability to lead, and your ability to engage.
Now, nailing down what matters is an entirely different challenge. However, always begin with the basics in a topline overview spanning the first sentence that conveys your current title (OR the title you are hoping to achieve), years of experience, and experience and accomplishments most pertinent to your success.
While you can include quantitative information in the summary, this is really more about establishing your professional brand, so it can often be more valuable to develop this from a more strategic, topline perspective. The rest of the CV will incorporate critical numeric and statistical data that effectively show scope of impact for initiatives you have led.
Additionally, good things to focus on in a professional summary are going to be leadership style and opportunities to focus on culture building, in addition to process-driven achievements. It is important to capture not only the value you bring to an organization, but how you do so and what strategies you employ. Highlighting the methodologies and approach that contribute to your success is what will make you stand out as a candidate.
Technical Skills Section
There are a variety of meaningful ways to represent your technical profile and skills across different hardware and software. However, it is crucial that find a way to include this information, without taking up too much room on a page.
Often times, IT directors, or IT professionals more general, think it is imperative to include everything they have ever come into contact with, but this strategy can prove a detriment if there are so many areas and systems that the information is not easy to glean for those reviewing the resume.
A good rule of thumb is to include the most notable skills, software, and hardware, or those most pertinent to the type of role you are looking for. You can always expound on these skills in an interview setting.
With that being said, now we have to figure out how and where to list this information. For someone at the director level, the bottom third of the resume will likely be the most beneficial spot for this type of information, especially if you have included additional qualifying information at the top of the resume, such as education and certifications.
Below are two different examples of how you might list such skills:
You can see both versions offer benefits. The top option provides a more concise overview of the technical skills, while the secondary option segments the skills and systems accordingly.
Evaluate the space you have on the resume, and make the decision based on if you will be utilizing a one or two-page document, and how much area you want to dedicate to this section.
For someone at the direct level, technical skills and proficiencies more often than not, can afford to be streamlined in service of a more accomplishment-oriented CV.
How to Effectively Develop IT Director CV Experience
An IT director will juggle a lot of different responsibilities, and an impactful resume will clearly articulate not only the ability to do this, but to thrive in these situations. Experience for each role should focus on achievements and big wins, cross-functional collaborations and leadership, process improvements, and quantitative support for these areas where applicable.
Additionally, areas that will often be key for an IT director will be team development and oversight, vendor management, technical initiative execution.
Now, while these are some of the key areas, a place where many IT directors often struggle to distinguish themselves from the pack is by lacking examples of relationship building and management with either internal or external stakeholders.
It can often be difficult to foster these key relations, especially with technical staff, but being able to highlight instances of this, and possessing the skills to drive mission alignment can be a major highlight on a resume in a technically-driven document. Interpersonal skills also offer a respite from a rigid and strictly quantitative CV, offering small flashes of personality and leadership style remind the reader they are assessing a candidate, not just a document. Finally, these added supplements don’t just inject some life into the resume, but further develop your professional brand.
These bullet points below offer a structure idea of what a proactive and results-driven resume look like:
Further, as discussed above, these achievements are more than just quantitative measures of success, but demonstrate an ability to drive collaboration, and create context to better understand the accomplishments.
These bullets show a comfortability with interpersonal relationship building, technical acumen and leadership, and a dedication to continuous improvement within an organization.
IT Executive Resume Format
Now, would there be a major difference between a director-level role and an executive position? The real shift here is in deciding what is significant.
As you move upward in your career, it is crucial to ensure the CV reflects that. Focus more on topline achievements, strategic planning, and oversight, rather than daily activities.
Consider a “Select Accomplishments” section that includes two or three major wins in your career to show the impact you can bring to an organization.
This section can also really make the top of the resume section stand out for someone reading through the resume between the Professional Summary or Technical Profile, Select Accomplishments, and Areas of Expertise. Within the first section of the resume you have already demonstrated key skillsets, professional brand, and big wins.
How to List IT Director CV Education
Plenty of discussions revolved around the notion of how to design and appropriately list education on a standard CV. There are certainly a variety of approaches that can be taken, but there are also something things a candidate should avoid when listing their degree.
Here are some recommendations to create a concise education section that provides the necessary information.
Education Section of a Resume – 5 Key Tips
Employ these industry best practices the best way to list your degree on a resume:
- Include the key information necessary: official degree title, major, minor if applicable, and university attended.
- List the highest education completed at the top.
- Do NOT include the year of attainment, unless you returned to school well into your professional career. It is not necessary to date your education in one way or another, what matters is the degree.
- If you have graduated from college, delete high school education.
- Do not overcrowd the section. Adding too many additional aspects such as scholarships, GPA, extracurriculars, etc. can make the section a bit dense. Let the degrees stand by themselves, as someone at the director level does not need to be worried about these other subjects.
How to List IT Director CV Certifications
Certifications, similar to education, should be thought of primarily as supplements, or qualifiers for a certain role. They are a great way to show your commitment to professional development, and keeping abreast of what matters in the industry.
That being said, they do not necessarily need to function as a focal point of the document, unless of course, it a position mentions it as a prerequisite to obtain the role.
More of often than not though, including certifications with the education is going to be the best strategy because it creates a thematically coherent section detailing your education, development, and achieved qualifications.
An example might look like the following:
This covers all the necessary information, while remaining concise and clear. You will not always need to dedicate a full section to certifications.
If you possess less than two, considering lumping them in with the education section to save addition space on another title header.
IT Director Resume 2019 & IT Director Resume 2020
With these key tips, recommendations, and examples you will be able to create an impactful and resonant IT director CV, or executive-style resume, that articulates what makes you a top-quality candidate.
Here is a quick recap of what to include and focus on:
- Illustrate an ability and mastery of balancing technical operations with interpersonal relationships and topline strategy.
- Be sure to write your Professional Summary of Technical Profile in a way that highlights both your hard and soft skills to create a professional brand that distinguishes you from other candidates.
- Be specific in your experience and metrics to position yourself as someone who is results-driven, rather than task-oriented.
- Do not overcrowd your technical skills and expertise sections, but be sure to include information you think will be most relevant moving forward. Or, assess job descriptions and include skills and expertise accordingly.
- List your degrees and certifications, but do not include ancillary aspects here.