Ultimate IT Director Resume Writing Guide with Examples

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Ultimate IT Director Resume Writing Guide with Examples

Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2021-01-18

IT directors are some of the most valuable professionals in the IT world.

Why?

They combine the technical skills of an IT professional with business acumen and managerial talents. No wonder the best IT director resumes straddle the business and IT worlds, speaking both languages.

Getting that balance right, however, is extremely hard. You generally first need to impress a recruiter and then convince a CIO that you’re ready for the job.

If you haven’t been able to get hired as an IT director, that’s probably why.

An IT director has one of the most challenging management jobs in the business. Your employees have extremely specific skills and tribal knowledge that can make turning them over very, very painful.
- A Senior System Admin sharing their experience on Reddit

This IT director resume guide will teach you:

 ✔ How to balance technical and management skills

 ✔ Where and how to include certifications

 ✔ What a professional summary can do for your resume

 ✔ Whether you should include your education

 ✔ How to read the job description and pull out the skills they’re asking for

IT director resume examples

Looking for related resumes?

How to Write an IT Director Resume That Gets Interviews

IT directors are not your usual IT hire. Recruiters often spend weeks and months searching for a perfect candidate.

And there’s a reason for that: an experienced IT manager can forge enterprise into a global network, boost a startup's growth, and even turn an outdated company into a market leader.

To score an interview at a top company, make sure your resume has the following characteristics:

  • Show impact. Your work has to be impactful.

Bad example: set up a secure network

Good example: revamped network infrastructure, increasing uptime to 99,9%, and reduced the number of successful cyber attacks down to zero.

  • Show scale. Your work should affect the company on a large scale.

Bad example: implemented new data server

Good example: implemented enterprise-wide data hub to expand marketing, executive, and support operations over six states and three continents.

  • Show leadership. Your IT director resume should demonstrate leadership skills, not micromanagement.

Bad example: developed a marketing plugin

Good example: led a team of data scientists to build a custom marketing solution that sped up average time to a customer by 50%.

If your IT director’s resume goal is to show you’re up to the challenge, you need to decide how you will make that argument.

As you should have many years of experience and particular areas of expertise you need to emphasize, a hybrid resume layout makes the most sense.

Begin with a section focusing on outlining your skills and providing evidence for them. This could be in the form of examples or certifications. Be sure to include specific metrics to show impact and scale. (more on that in the experience section below).

Here are some ideas for sections that you can use.

The top sections to include on an IT director resume

  1. Professional summary
  2. IT and management experience
  3. Soft skills (with examples)
  4. Technical skills
  5. Certifications
  6. IT education
  7. Something to show a bit of personality (a Most Proud of section works well)
PRO TIPBecause IT directors are not hired lightly and are expected to have substantial experience, a 2-3 page resume is okay. A recruiter is going to take the time to read your resume far more carefully than for a more junior position, so don’t worry as much about length within reason (a recruiter willnot appreciate feeling like you’re wasting their time with fluff).

IT Director Resume Header: What your resume header is probably missing

Showing that you understand both business/management and the IT world starts from the top, literally.

The most fail-safe way of doing that is to provide a link to your LinkedIn account, as87% ofrecruiters are regularly using LinkedIn to check out potential candidates.

Awell-balanced LinkedIn account gives recruiters a glimpse of your professional history, key IT director skills, and your network of professional connections.

Right from the start you’re sending a message: “I’m well qualified and comfortable in a business strategy session or with your technical team hammering out bugs in the code.”

In case a target job description emphasizes specific certifications, you might include them as part of your title or name.

Alexander Malinov, CISSP, CAPM
IT Director

+359 88 888 8888

LinkedIn.com/alexmalinov7

Seattle, WA
RIGHT
Alexander Malinov
IT Director

+359 88 888 8888

Seattle, WA
WRONG

That second example isn’t terrible but it doesn’t do anything to encourage the hiring manager to keep reading. By missing a vital opportunity to make a strong first impression, this kind of resume header doesn’t do you any favors.

IT Director Resume Summary: How to Instantly Make Your IT Director Resume Look Professional

An IT director needs to be able to write and communicate effectively. Show you’re a lousy writer, too wordy, or make grammar mistakes, and the CIO reviewing your resume is going to think “I do not want to spend the next few years reading reports from this person.”

That’s why you need to nail your professional summary. Tell a story about who you are as a professional, mention specific results, obstacles you’ve overcome, and generally what brought you to where you are now.

Here’s a sample of IT director summary section:

Summary
Spearheaded an IT branch of a global auto manufacturer for five years. During that time, implemented a company-wide ERP solution that reduced manufacturing costs by 15% and support costs by 40%—reduced the IT department turnover by 20%in the meanwhile.
RIGHT

By framing their experience in terms of the problems which existed when this IT director took over, this professional summary tells a story. “I found a problem, implemented a solution, and got a result.”

This summary shows someone who cares about both the numbers and the human experiences of the employees working under them. They sound like someone you’d want working for you and someone you wouldn’t mind working for.

Summary
Working as an IT director for the past 4 years I’ve maintained accountability and performance of the company’s technology investments and managed a $780k IT budget
WRONG

This summary can be boiled down to “I did my job and managed a budget.” That’s not going to cut it for a position as senior as IT manager. The CIO and recruiters in charge of hiring you need to see results.

IT Director Resume Experience: Showing You’re Up to the Task

The challenge here is that an IT director can have various responsibilities depending on the individual role. Your goal is to identify exactly what kind of IT director they’re looking for before framing your previous around it.

In general, though, any IT director needs to demonstrate skills and experience around contract negotiations, IT strategy, and vendor management.

Look at these two examples, both showing experience from the same job, to see how to do this:IT Director Resume Example of Experience Section:

Experience
IT DirectorHamilton Technologies
Reduced turnover from 24% to 5% by creating a new onboarding process and focusing on reforming team culture and accountability practices.
Re-negotiated supplier contracts, saving the company $55k annually.
Found a new IT support vendor which was able to improve customer support satisfaction by 15% while reducing costs by 10%
Developed and implemented a new ATS-based IT strategy
Ensured the development and continuous integration of 22 mainframe platforms and critical applications by creating high-level architectural specifications.
RIGHT
Experience
IT DirectorHamilton Technologies
Improved company culture and reduced turnover.
Negotiated supplier contracts.
Found new IT Vendors.
Transitioned the IT infrastructure to AWS
Developed and maintained mainframe platforms.
WRONG

By being more specific and focusing on the results from actions, the former example is far more effective. In addition, it balances experience examples which demonstrate people management, negotiation, and technical prowess. This shows the person is comfortable in all three areas.

PRO TIPTry and show that you have had good relationships with your technical staff, as this is one of the biggest challenges IT directors mention when describing their jobs.

IT Director Skills Section: How To List Skills On an IT Director Resume

An IT director’s job is a perfect mix of technical skills and soft interpersonal skills. For the best results you need to balance both sections without leaning too hard on each.

After all, listing skills somewhere on your resume is easy. Anyone can say they are a talented manager or excellent at managing IT budgets. What makes the difference is including the right skills and showing that you have them instead of just telling.

Add numbers, show what results you got by using your skills. Also include specific examples as much as possible.

While the technical or hard skills required to be an IT director will vary from position to position, the soft skills needed are more universal.

We analyzed the most successful IT director resume examples to determine key skills you can put on your IT Director resume. IT Director key soft skills:

The top 12 soft skills to include on an IT director resume

  1. Leadership skills
  2. The ability to effectively manage teams
  3. Contract negotiation
  4. IT strategy
  5. Budgeting
  6. Strategic Planning
  7. Strategic Thinking
  8. Vendor management
  9. Onboarding and training new staff
  10. Project management
  11. IT security
  12. Testing IT systems for vulnerabilities

IT Director key technical skills:

The top 10 technical skills to include on an IT director resume

  1. ERP Systems
  2. BI Software
  3. Cisco Networking Solutions
  4. JIRA
  5. Tableau
  6. SAP
  7. Javascript
  8. Agile and Scrum
  9. Data Management
  10. DevOps

Bonus Tip: How to pick skills by analyzing IT director job description

Reading a job description and translating the language into a list of skills you should include on a resume is its own skill.

Let’s break down how to do it with this real example from Amtrak:

“...responsible for all front-end technology systemsand services which serve Amtrak’s Train Operations. Train Operations includes Mechanical, Engineering, Transportation, Network Support, Stations business functionsamong others. This role owns the transform, grow and run the business budgetassociated with their service and ensures optimum utilization of investment against company priorities.”

  • You need to be familiar with front-end development, TCP/IP, and networking.
  • Experience in mechanics, engineering, transport, etc. is important but not everyone one is necessary. Emphasize experience in as many of these areas as possible.
  • Budgeting experience is helpful, even if it’s something like running the finances and budgeting for a group you volunteer with. Even non “work experience” can show you have a skill.
  • Show instances where you worked to achieve a set of goals set by those above you. This last point shows that you need to balance demonstrating independence with showing that you can execute on instructions you’re given.

If you can nail all four of those points, you’ll have a resume that makes it easy for a recruiter to forward you on to the CIO.

IT Director Resume Education Section: Do You Need It?

In general, IT directors are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science (or a similar field). So the short answer is yes, you need to include your education.

The more relevant question is whether you should include details about your education (courses taken, GPA, other achievements).

The answer here is no, by the time you’re applying for a position as senior as IT director, you should have years of work experience that speaks for itself. Don’t waste space talking about what you did in university 5-10+ years ago.

IT Director Certifications: The Most Impactful Certifications to have on IT Director Resume

Certifications are a powerful tool for prospective IT directors to show that they’re self-motivated in improving their skillset.

They’re also a great way to show some level of knowledge in an area you haven’t had the opportunity to obtain regular work experience.

So, if you’ve never worked with Scrum but it’s a core part of an IT director position you’d like to apply for, take the time to get certified in it. Though the exact certifications relevant to a position will vary, these 8 are valued across IT director positions:

The top 8 certifications for your IT director resume

  1. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  2. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
  3. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  4. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
  5. CompTIA Project+
  6. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
  7. TOGAF 9 Certification
  8. Six Sigma Certification
PRO TIPIf you have just one or two certifications, it’s best to simply include them in your resume header. If you have more, dedicate a section to them.

Bonus Section: Tips For Specific IT Director Resume Formats (With Examples and Templates)

Single Page IT Director Resume Example

Sometimes less is more and you want to present your vast experience in as few pages as possible.Here’s how you can achieve efficiency with a single page resume format:

  • Keep it simple. Space is your real estate, so make sure to use only sections that produce the maximum impact: experience, key skills, and header. Consider omitting the resume summary and custom sections if they add little value to your experience.
  • Proofread your resume. Grammar mistakes and word repetitions are especially noticeable when there’s not much text to begin with. Hire an executive resume writer or use ourresume checker tool to eliminate typos, word repetitions, and confusing terms.

Modern IT Director Resume Example

Rapidly growing companies and startups might favor IT directors with resumes that feel fresh and unique.

If  you want yourresume to stand out while maintaining a modern and clean look, follow these tips:

  • Add color. Color in resumes is a double-edged sword. Use no color, and your resume will look bland and forgettable. Too much and you look unprofessional. Here’s our complete guide tousing color in your resumes.
  • Add custom sections. Sections such as “Achievements”, “Proud of,” and “My day-to-day” can add personality to your resume while enriching your. Use ourresume builder to add these sections and keep them compact and engaging.

Here’s a modern IT director resume template.

Executive IT Director Resume Example

Applying for an IT Director position at a large, established company with a vast IT department is different. There needs to be a tight match between the candidates’ experience and the company’s operation.

The following tips will help you get shortlisted for an executive IT director position.

  • Use a targeted resume. For an executive position things such as extensive experience with specific industry or culture fit can become game-changing. The ability totarget your resume to a particular position can help you stand out from the competition.
  • Double-down on your LinkedIn profile. These days, your LinkedIn profile is your second resume. Make sure you list all the relevant experiences and focus on your value in status, biography, and job description.

Here's an executive resume sample.

In short, what makes an IT director resume work?

Creating the best IT director resume comes down to these seven key elements:

  1. Showing a balance between technical know-how and solid business/management skills
  2. Putting your certifications front and center
  3. Including a well-written professional summary to tell your story and showcase your writing abilities
  4. Using specific examples and metrics to demonstrate the impact you’ve had in previous roles
  5. Use a hybrid resume layout, beginning with your skills before including your IT experience in reverse-chronological order
  6. Including a relevant degree but leaving off too many details
  7. Choosing skills that are asked for in the job description and demonstrating that you have them

* Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from Enhancv.com. Use this IT Director resume sample as a base to create a unique resume for yourself.

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