Career Watch: Getting the bottom line into your resume

We've all heard that our resumes should not just tell what we did but also give insight into how we helped our employers by doing the things we did.

But do you know how to do that?

Sharon Florentine provides a great example in a CIO magazine article titled "Are You Too Old to Land a New IT Job?"

She says that career search expert and consultant Rick Gillis once had a client who was struggling to demonstrate his achievements while searching for a job. The job seeker thought it worth noting that he had written nearly 10,000 lines of code for a bank, but he couldn't point to a specific outcome.

Gillis had the client talk to his contact at the bank, who explained that the code was used to fix some security flaws in the bank's ATMs. The flaws were so serious that they required expensive service calls to address.

"It turns out, my client saved the bank more than half a million dollars a year," Gillis said.

Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader:

Doris Peek

The CIO at Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., answers questions on recovering from a failure, whether too much education is a disadvantage in IT and more.

I was removed from leading a software project that had fallen well behind schedule. I am very organized and don't think I was at fault. The problem was really endlessly whining users and a project sponsor whose only interest seemed to be setting impossible deadlines. How can I restore my reputation? All successful professionals will experience failure in their careers. The first step is to own the failure. The second step is to learn from the failure. Delve into the root cause of the failure -- and assume you were directly or indirectly the cause of the mistakes, misjudgments or miscommunications that led to the project going off the rails. Have the courage and respect to ask the users and the sponsor how you can prevent a similar situation in the future. Growing from an opportunity like this is what is important. Apologize for falling behind, and assure them that your replacement will lead them to the finish line. At the end of the project, no one will remember that you were removed. And neither should you. Just remember what not to do again on your next assignment.

My immediate manager has told me that too much education is a disadvantage in IT. He's all for training in specific technologies, which is great, but I actually like diving in deep the way you can with a degree program. I also want to set myself up for a career in management (maybe even CIO). Which approach is really better? Wow! This guy is really in IT management? Perhaps not for long -- the next new sheriff will likely change that. While certifications represent the ability to learn specific details about specific topics or technologies, a professional should never miss an opportunity to learn theory, concepts and frameworks and to read scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. A CIO in today's digital C-suite must be able to understand the technology (the specifics) at a very high level and be able to translate the benefits or impact of the technology to the business. Translation and change management of people and processes are the key attributes required for leadership. Communication at an executive level requires conceptual and framework dialogue -- not dialogue about bits and bytes.

As a brand-new business analyst with a background in IT, what should I concentrate on to ensure success? First and foremost, learn the business. Walk in the shoes of your customers. Listen. Be a sponge. Then begin to analyze the data and the process to remove roadblocks for your customers. Use your technical background to solve the business problems you observed. Empower the customers to solve their problems through the power of technology.

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