How to Read Ads for CIO Jobs

By paying attention to the language hiring managers use in job ads and the emphasis they place on certain skills and requirements, you can determine more quickly and easily what the job is really about, and thus, what to highlight on your resume to get noticed.

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Experience & Knowledge:

Lead PeopleSoft 9.0 upgrade to ensure project's deliverables are achieved on time, on budget and ROI is achieved.

The fact that experience with a specific release of a specific software package is the first requirement indicates to Gordon that this company may not be looking for a true CIO but rather someone to manage the PeopleSoft implementation.

Rosenberg thinks the PeopleSoft implementation already may be in flames or that the company's management is concerned about the project getting off track due to the emphasis the ad puts on on-time, on-budget delivery. Rosenberg says companies often decide to upgrade from an IT manager who just runs the networks to a true CIO or VP of technology when a major project is off track.

Integrate and maintain multiple software environments including WMS, Oracle, e-commerce and portal development.

"This role sounds like it is more involved in tactical projects than it is a true information officer leadership position," says Gordon.

Develop and implement technology initiatives to support company initiatives and profitability goals.

Develop business process improvements designed to achieve business and customer demands.

Partner with executive team on strategic planning on products as it pertains to technology and enhance performance metrics and revenue targets.

Assess company infrastructure (SWOT) and recommend and deliver solutions within budget and in a timely manner. Plan, design and direct information systems, including all aspects of application development and integration, infrastructure, networks, installation, maintenance and operations.

"SWOT is a provocative word to use in a job ad," says Gordon. He says the term suggests that the management may be concerned about the infrastructure's ability to support the current business or scale with future business needs.

Integrate multiple applications across a broad infrastructure, including content management systems, content distribution networks and e-commerce systems.

"The [tactical] requirements look inconsistent with the title," says Rosenberg.

Partner with functional management teams to develop and deliver IT solutions and operate as a support function to them.

With existing personnel, maintain e-mail, telephony, desktop support, internet and other operations and communication tools, ensuring maximum performance in 24/7 environment. Support three U.S. locations and China office.

This requirement makes the CIO job look like an upgraded IT manager, says Rosenberg. "They're looking for a CIO, but the terms they use describe a hands-on manager," he says. Rosenberg thinks the company's IT manager may have left or isn't capable of leading the PeopleSoft project, so the company has created a CIO position.

Define technical standard and establish and administer best practices, tools, documentation and security.

Other requests as specified from time to time by your manager to support company objectives.

Rosenberg says this ad is atypical of most ads for CIO jobs because it doesn't mention anything about the CIO's budget responsibility. Consequently, he thinks IT may fall under finance at this company and that the CFO might have ultimate budget responsibility for IT. "Mentioning P&L or budget responsibility would help indicate that this is a true CIO position," he adds.

NEXT: The experts weigh in on the salary.

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