How to Write an IT Manager CV
As an IT Manager, you need to change the entire slant of your IT Manager CV from that of non-managerial IT positions. Whereas your focus in previous CVs may have been technical and project-oriented, it should now have an equal focus on the ability to be a strong manager and good team leader. In other words, you have to have two layers to your CV: technical expertise relevant to your industry and managerial skills.
This means that there's an even greater challenge in retaining the appropriate technical information, alongside IT management experience, while keeping your CV within 2 pages in length. You clearly need to filter out the information that won't further your application, while identifying the strengths that have enabled you to progress.
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IT Manager CV Profile
In just 2 to 3 sentences in the profile section of your IT Manager CV, you need to provide a snapshot of your application by highlighting your outstanding and relevant experience, knowledge and skills. This doesn't need to be highly detailed - the HR person, recruiter or employer will already have a good idea of the kind of person they need, so you have to emphasise the right points immediately.
Your profile should emphasise your strategic focus as well as your technical expertise for IT Jobs. Commence with your job title and number of years' experience. Next, identify two or three key strategic strengths and mention these: examples might be decision-making, forecasting and budgeting, planning, communicating, critical thinking, staff management, consulting and reporting.
Above all, you need to demonstrate that you can think at organisation level rather than purely departmental on an IT Manager CV. This means recognising overarching business issues and being able to address them through an IT strategy, planning and management.
In other words, IT is a means to an end, rather than the end in itself. This is the difference between being a hands-on IT specialist and an executive level manager, who needs to look ahead, identify opportunities or issues in the future and plan strategically for them.
You do, of course, also need to specify the industry or sector you have experience in. If one technology dominates your experience in previous positions and is also central to the role you're applying for, then do refer to it. The details of your technical experience are much less important in this section of your IT Manager CV.
As your own CV writer, it's important to very briefly specify the kind of strategies you've created and used - and are expert in creating and using. The profile needs to provide a sense of your vision and approach in technical and business terms. This is what will mark you out from other candidates.
Achievements on an IT Manager CV
In the achievements section of your IT management CV, you need to convince the recruiter or employer that you're not only able to talk in management terms, but you can put these capabilities into action and gain solid, measurable results.
By describing 5 or 6 significant accomplishments that are relevant to the vacancy, you will help the reader to envisage what you might be able to achieve for their organisation.
In the form of bullet-pointed sentences, you should outline your achievements by describing a 'Situation, Action and Result' (SAR) scenario.
This means that you give a quick overview of a challenge, describing the action that you took and the positive outcome that you achieved. Quantification makes these specific and concrete, helping the employer to quickly gain an understanding of your experience and the benefits you've brought to other businesses. You can order these so that they provide the best fit for the prospective employer's needs.
Therefore, you need to be writing of achievements that demonstrate the results gained through your effective technical management. In other words, you need to describe not just a technical change that was made, but why you made it, how you made it, the skills you engaged in making it, and the outcome.
In this way, you're marrying up your leadership approach with your personal strengths and a technical project that you managed - this is important to get across on an IT management CV.
In all of this, you should focus on people and teams as much as technology. As mentioned before, you are now past the point where you have to describe the technical details, as you are describing business decisions and their implementation. What you are doing is emphasising benefits over features.
Do provide budgets, timescales, scales of projects, numbers of users or customers, the quantifiable scale of improvement, percentage savings, profit increases, hours input, etc. These are all tangibles that the recruiter or employer can transpose to the new company, so do include them on your IT Manager CV.
Also mention collaborations with other business units, as these demonstrate that you're working at a strategic level for the business, rather than departmental.
If you're not yet an IT manager, focus on projects where you've been a team leader or had sole responsibility for an area of a larger project. Other valuable experiences include teaching other staff, developing projects, working with other departments, being a representative on a group, etc.
Again, although you won't have significant management experience at this stage, take care when talking about your technical work not to get too detailed. Instead, show that you can recognise the wider business benefits of your work, even if you weren't the decision maker.
Above all, you are displaying your IT management skills by showing how you can use them to make a difference. IT managers are not hired to make things stay the same, but to oversee a transition happening due to change in the organisation, wider marketplace or industry.
Check out our executive CV services if you need assistance with your IT Manager CV.
Career History on Your IT Management CV
When writing about your career history on an IT Manager's CV, the best approach is to continue with the approach used to present your achievements.
In other words, continue to focus on strategic thinking and actions in the development and use of IT.
You can describe the projects or tasks you worked on in non-managerial roles, but demonstrating an understanding of their importance and relevance of their improvement, development, purchase or review is equally important.
You should also present your understanding of the industry or sector, if this is relevant to the vacancy that you'll be using your IT Manager CV to apply for.
The areas of work you describe, as a current IT manager, should all contribute to the smooth-running of the IT department. You may describe activities such as:
- Identifying, in collaboration with other managers, areas where IT solutions are needed or existing solutions require improvement.
- Researching, analysing and selecting new or existing products to cost-effectively solve business IT needs.
- Overseeing the development, installation and implementation of new IT solutions for the organisation's business systems and processes.
- Planning and co-ordinating IT-related activities for the organisation, including training days for users.
- Directing the administration and support for all the IT department's activities.
- Defining and implementing all the organisation's IT policies, procedures and practices.
There are clear and straightforward ways to present information about your current and previous roles on an IT management CV. On the first line, write your job title, the employer's name and your inclusive dates of employment. Beneath this, you need to list 4 to 6 responsibilities, written in the style of achievements, as described above.
Only jobs from the last 10 years need to be covered. If you've been working on contracts, for instance as an IT project manager, you may find that you have completed a considerable number in this time. If this is the case, only include extended write-ups of those that pertain quite closely to the role(s) you're applying for.
The remainder of your list should consist only of the first line of the descriptions, consisting of the basic details - you don't want to overwhelm people reading your IT Manager CV. You can also add a line of description beneath, to provide an overview of the organisation and where your role was positioned within it.
When including descriptions of technologies within your career history, refer most to those you want to continue working with. If you wish to move away from a technological product or process, make sure you refer to it less often.
If you upload your CV to a jobs' board or to recruitment agencies who will scan it into their databases, it will be subject to regular searches by scanning software. The repeated use of your technology 'keywords' will help to ensure that your IT management CV is high in the search results.
Skills on an IT Manager CV
A skills section was very important earlier in your career, when it would have best been placed high on your CV.
Now, however, you don't need to make it quite so prominent or give it so much space, as your IT management skills are more important than the hands-on day-to-day technical IT experience.
This section needn't be long on an IT Manager CV, as you can arrange your skills in a table of just two to three columns. Include the technologies you wish to continue working with high in the table. Certification is valuable, as it establishes you as an accredited professional in your industry.
Education and Qualifications on an IT Manager's CV
While many IT mangers have worked their way up through the ranks, there are as many who hold business or IT degrees and who've entered the profession at a higher level.
If you hold a degree, mention this first. Provide the title of your degree, the grade or class achieved the awarding institution and the date of award. If you're a recent graduate, i.e. within the past 2 years, you can also give details of any outstanding projects or placements you completed. These can also be written up in your achievements section.
Any management training undertaken as a certificate or short course can also be included in this section of your IT Manager CV. Again, list the course title, the institution or organisation providing the training, and the dates you completed it.
If you entered employment after finishing your education at 16 or 18 years of age, there's no need to include details of your school. More recent vocational training is more relevant on your IT management CV. Do not enter full details for every short training course you have ever done, but again, focus on those that are relevant.
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