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Have You Read Your Resume Lately?

June 1, 2008
by Tim Tolan
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I’m always baffled when I receive bad resumes from IT executives that highlight their career accomplishments. No – this is not the standard – but a larger number of really bright and articulate CIO’s have not mastered the art of writing a clear and concise resume that catches the attention of recruiters and healthcare executives. Sure, they provide chronological dates and the names of the organizations they worked for. They get that. But there is a lot more detailed information required.

Today’s CIO needs to really provide detailed success metrics of what they accomplished in each and every role in their career. Healthcare executives look for major contributions and career patterns. If you have been successful in every organization you have worked for, there is a very good chance that history will repeat itself. That’s what they want to bet on. Make sure you the list the key bullets of what you accomplished in each position you’ve held. Make it measurable. Highlight the financial budget you were responsible for in real dollars. If you managed your cost below your budget – put the % of savings on paper. If you made a critical CAPEX decision and the ROI had a positive outcome for the organization, once again –put it on paper outlining the financial impact. What today’s CEO want to see are success metrics in the candidates we present.

How did you move the needle?

Finally, PLEASE… avoid the 5 page resumes at all costs. Make it simple. Even if you have been in the work- force for 25+ years, you can tell your story in 2-3 pages – max. Leave some of the details for the interview. If you are unsure how this might work - send me an e-mail at tjtolan@sanfordrose.com and I will be happy to send you a couple of resume templates we use.

Remember, it’s OK to be proud of your accomplishments and to ‘toot your horn” when you are engaged in a job search.

If you don’t – who will?



Thanks for your comment Pete! Truer words were never spoken. A really good executive recruiter should do exactly what you recommend in your post. Furthemore, I would shy away (as in run fast) from anyone in the search business that simply forwards resumes. Talk about NO VALUE!!! Great post!

Working on a project that requires new team members and related IT staff, I am just as baffled when I receive resumes that violate the basic 101 lessons of how to express your knowledge base. Even worse is getting them from recruiters that do not take the time to mentor or help format them. I have one west coast recruiter that just forwards resumes. I had a long talk with him about mentorship, guiding candidates and helping with simple resume formats. I guess this is not normally included in the fee since the next resume I received from him had the candidate listing bogus certifications. You know they are trouble when they list PMP as a certification because they attended a Six Sigma powerpoint presentation!

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