Career / Leadership

How IT Managers Should Play Up Leadership Skills on Their Resumes

by Team Nuggets
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Published on July 13, 2017

You have the corner office, oversee the budget, and get to assemble your IT star squad. Most importantly, you're beloved by your team. There's no doubt you're a strong leader. And while you aren't looking to move on, it's always good to keep your resume up-to-date.

There's one problem, though. As you moved up the IT ladder, your resume was as simple as adding a new certification you earned or listing a new technology you mastered or even online training courses you completed. But now that you're a manager, how do you convey how awesome you are on your resume? Here are some ideas that you can use.

1. Show That You Get Results

If your IT department is like most, every day is a blend of putting out fires and making progress on longer-term projects, both of which generate achievements that you, brave manager, should not be timid to boast about on paper. Make sure your resume summarizes these items, whether it's attained performance metrics or migration projects. Some examples for your consideration:

  • Led team that maintained 99.99% uptime on hosted services, exceeding customer SLAs

  • Spearheaded project to revamp network communication between sites, increasing throughput and security

Notice how these resume bullet points have a clear goal, clear benefits to the company and/or customers, and clear oversight from you as a leader. Putting these accomplishments on display is critical to building a resume that stands out. It shows where the rubber meets the roads on the technical and leadership skills you list elsewhere.

2. Explain How You Save Your Organization Money Almost directly related to getting results is how those results benefitted the company's bottom line. A well-oiled IT machine can be largely invisible. If things are working well, no one knows all the hard work and sweat that went into building your fault tolerant environment or finishing that painful weekend migration. But that sweet uptime comes with an unfortunate consequence, the mantra of "everything works fine, what are we paying you guys for?"

Therefore, you must represent how your team's work ultimately saves money in avoided downtime, in sticking to budgets, and in streamlining processes that allow other departments to work more efficiently. IT must be seen as enabling the company to succeed, not a black hole of money with no perceived payoff.  

  • Implemented redundancies in network infrastructure, removing all single points of failure and eliminating downtime

  • Decreased operational expenses by auditing and eliminating unused licensing, consolidating servers, and renegotiating SaaS contracts

  • Migrate to new CRM that reduced sales' time to process leads by 30%

3. Highlight How You Go To Bat for Your Team Dovetailing with saving money is the IT manager's role in representing their team's hard work to the company's leadership. Not only must the department's reasons to exist and spend money be defended, but any great manager gives their team all the recognition, support, and resources they need to succeed.

These skills are less quantifiable on a resume unless you frame them more as beneficial to the company instead of to the employee:

  • Built up team from five to twelve engineers, building culture of collaboration and maintaining 100% retention

  • Ran employee training program to improve and maintain technical skills

4. Highlight Certs That Focus On Managing Projects For the admin or engineer, certifications are known universally as a means to grow and advance in your career. What resume doesn't proudly and prominently display the certs you've worked hard to earn? While technical certs abound in dozens of areas, management also holds their own with a number of available certifications.

For example, ITIL® is fundamental for any IT manager, lining out best practices for IT departments to support their businesses. Need to add ITIL® to your skill set and resume? CBT Nuggets has you covered.

Managers who hold an (ISC)2 CISSP usually are in high demand. With a security focus, it is typically targeted by engineers and management in the security realm, but as infosec becomes more and more of an issue every manager needs a foundation of security knowledge.

Be sure to note all certs on your resume, both managerial and technical. You can even include a section on your resume dedicated to just certifications. After all, you want them to stand out.

5. Don't Forget Soft Skills These are harder to measure, quantify, and highlight on a resume, but as one climbs the corporate ladder, mastery of technical skills begins to be replaced with a mastery of soft skills. Communication, negotiations, budgeting, setting and meeting goals, as well as dependability all must be carefully nurtured in order to excel.

These are always hard to feature on a resume short of a bullet point saying "highly dependable and good with people," coming off like you're desperately looking for filler.

Instead, pepper these skills into other areas of your resume to prove you rock them. Show clearly and concisely that you consistently set attainable goals and achieve objectives – and you do so with a bang!consistently and with a bang! For example, show your budgeting prowess by finishing those projects under budget and cutting other costs; show your people skills by listing how you've helped grow and retain your employees.

Hopefully, these tips will give your resume some leadership skills sparkle. And best of luck leading your team

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