Resume Promotes Tech Executive for CTO Job

Richard Russell’s career goals changed, but his resume stayed the same. With help from a certified professional resume writer, a sleek new document promotes the VP to the next level.


Richard Russell has achieved big successes – and he has the stats to back it up. He has been the lead on projects for major clients at the systems integrator where he works as global technology manager/chief architect; he has managed on-site and offshore information-technology teams; and he has increased the bottom-line profit on many projects.

Unfortunately, his resume obscured or omitted those achievements. That language barrier blocked him from moving to a position as vice president of technology; chief technology officer or chief information officer.

Russell’s resume suffered from a condition professional resume writers call “death by bullets,” said J.M. Auron, a certified professional resume writer who works with Ladders resume-writing service and helped Russell refurbish his document. The goal of the transformation: to show prospective employers his value in a role of greater responsibility.

Russell, of Lillian, Ala., had a resume that didn’t focus on his leadership, achievements or impact on the business. It was lost in lists that detailed his many qualifications and the projects he managed. A sample of bullets on Russell’s original resume read:

  • Experienced leader and technical professional who uses sound technical expertise in building successful business integrations.
  • Multi-talented professional with extensive experience planning, architecting, and implementing enterprise systems.

“(He) cherry-picked his achievements (in the original resume),” Auron said. In this case, the resume writer knew he had to dig deeper. He had to get to know Russell to uncover what he did differently from other senior staffers in comparable positions.

Auron eliminated many of the bullets, including the bulleted summary that introduced the resume reader to Russell. Instead, the new version opens with a narrative:

“Multifaceted senior IT leader with more than a decade of experience in application design and implementation for the enterprise. Acknowledged thought leader, able to effectively integrate IT realities with strategic business goals. Dynamic change agent who works productively with senior management and internal/external stakeholders to ensure smooth operational transitions. Skilled mentor and coach who effectively leads on- and off-shore teams. Customer-focused professional who has consistently increased profit and grown bottom-line.”

Clearing up the confusion

The original resume was so unclear that most readers thought he had held dozens of jobs, despite the fact that he’d been with the same company since 2002. Auron fixed the appearance of multiple jobs — a lack of commitment recruiters dismiss as “job hopping”— by cleaning up Russell’s job descriptions and making it clear which jobs were just new projects at the same employer, which were promotions and which were new jobs at new companies.

The result is a resume loaded with technical details of all the systems and software technology he is familiar with; it employs industry-specific terms like “managing end-state” and “beta testing,” while making it clear that Russell is a manager and leader.

“I truly enjoy working with customers and leading engineering teams,” Russell said. “Being a solutions integrator delivering technology to customers to better their business performance is my specialty. I have spent my career managing end-state (systems) with software distribution tools.” The new resume puts his passion — and most importantly, his career goals — front and center.