1. Resume Examples
  2. CTO
Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

CTO resume example & writing guide

Your technical skills aren’t in doubt, but you can’t rely on those to get you a job. An outstanding CTO resume focuses on your forward thinking and people skills. The guide below will give you ideas for focusing your application on your management and strategic planning.
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CTO resume example & writing guide
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When you reach for the C-suite or want to make a lateral move for a new opportunity, you need a CTO resume that goes beyond enumerating your technical capabilities. Afterall, the list of candidates who understand technology is a lot longer than the one of those who can think strategically about a company’s future needs.

The best CTO resumes provide strong evidence of both technical savvy and business acumen with a dose of excellent team leadership and adaptability. 

Companies turn to you for expert technical advice. It’s your turn to ask the experts. To ensure that your application wows that executive recruiter and puts you in front of the C-suite team, do your research using Resume.io’s resume guides and resume examples for 350+ professions. Then, create your document using an easy-to-use resume builder such as ours. 

Start with this resume guide, and its corresponding resume example to get guidance on the following topics:

  • What does a CTO do?
  • How to write a CTO resume (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for a CTO resume
  • Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional resume layout and design hints
Expert tip

At your level, the jobs are fewer and so is the number of candidates, but don’t let that make you complacent. The rules for being awarded an interview are common for all jobs. Remember that you still may be sending your CTO resume through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and not to a human recruiter. Use your knowledge of algorithms to leap the ATS hurdle by including those all-important keywords and phrases.

What does a CTO do?

The CTO, or chief technology officer, is the guiding force behind a company’s information technology strategy and management. Like all other top executives, the CTO must be a strategic thinker as well as an excellent communicator.  A key aspect of the job is keeping up-to-date on all technological advances and making decisions about the company’s IT roadmap.

Alongside IT knowledge, CTOs must be process-oriented so that they can develop and implement policies that further the company’s goals while ensuring the consistent and smooth operation of technology.

CTOs are also charged with overseeing the safety of IT systems, monitoring budgets, and analyzing data to look for enhancements to efficiency.

CTO job market and outlook

Because you are at the top of the technology job market, you may need to be flexible about your location when you enter the job search. Finding the right CTO position will be easier in a major tech hub such as Silicon Valley, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Seattle or New York.

According to the alphalist CTO podcast, the tightening of funding for startups has corresponded to a tightening in the job market as well. That does not mean there are no jobs out there for you; it just means you should be careful in evaluating your opportunities.

CTOs with seven or more years of experience can expect to earn a base salary of more than $222,000 plus additional compensation of almost $56,000, BuiltIn reports. For those new to the position, salaries will run about $140,000. If a big paycheck is your priority, try Washington, D.C., or Miami.

Representation of the male/female ratio as a CTO
Representation of the male/female ratio as a CTO

How to write a CTO resume

When it comes to your CTO resume, predictability is a good thing. Recruiters don’t want surprises in the sections your choose (or their names), they want to be surprised by your  excellent professional achievements. 

Therefore, you should stick to the following common elements:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

Choosing the best resume format for a CTO

As a technology expert, you may be tempted to choose a format that allows you to list all your IT knowledge, but don’t give in to that. We recommend the standard reverse chronological order structure, which will give you the freedom to illustrate your strategic and management successes as well as your technical understanding.

If, however, the job for which you are applying requires many advanced technology skills, you may opt for a hybrid style resume, because it allows for the expansion of your skills section without sacrificing space within your employment history.

Resume header

The main consideration of your CTO resume header is to attract attention to your contact information and social media accounts. Do this by using legible fonts with your name in larger or bold type. Also include your email, phone and city of residence. Your street address is optional.

The secondary purpose of the header is to leave a positive and memorable first visual impression.

If you have a technology portfolio, list that here, too. A portfolio (which you can link to directly from your resume when you use our builder tool) affords you the space to expand on IT projects you can only mention in your resume.

Resume summary example 

The summary of your CTO resume is your best opportunity to distinguish yourself by personalizing a message that meshes with the company culture. Yes, you should summarize your career, but you should also choose your most impressive achievement: making sure it illustrates an attribute the company seeks.

Because fit is so important in your role, add a sentence that makes it clear why you are the right person for this job. 

Adaptable summary resume sample

Experienced and forward-thinking Chief Technology Officer (CTO) with 20+ years of extensive experience leading cross-functional teams and driving technological advancement in various industries.

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Employment history sample

You’ve already had a long and distinguished career, so the biggest challenge for your CTO resume employment history will be choosing which accomplishments to highlight. Don’t go back any further than 10 years (if that) since recruiters want to know what you have done at higher levels.

You don’t have a lot of space here, so choose successes that pack the biggest punch and are directly related to the role you aspire to. Make sure you explain your role, your actions, and your results using data and details to strengthen your claims.

Adaptable employment history resume example

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at BlueTech Solutions, Oklahoma City, OK 
January 2013 - Present 

  • Steered the technological vision of the company while fostering innovation and collaboration across teams.
  • Led the successful integration of AI technologies, enhancing product capabilities and opening new revenue streams.

 

Vice President of Technology at Innovative Solutions Group, Washington, D.C. 
June 2006 - December 2012 

  • Oversaw the development and implementation of strategic technology initiatives, resulting in a 30% increase in operational efficiency.
  • Mentored a team of 50+ IT professionals, nurturing a high-performance culture.

 

Senior Software Engineer at Tech Dynamix, Washington, D.C. 
June 2002 - May 2006 

  • Played a pivotal role in developing flagship products that generated multi-million dollar revenues.
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CV skills example

Your role goes far beyond technical knowledge, so consider every aspect of your job when you curate your greatest skills for your CTO resume. In fact, of the nine top skills InfoWorld lists for a CTO, seven are soft skills. Here they are:

  1. Focus on people
  2. Anticipate technology trends
  3. Strong communication
  4. Flexibility
  5. Discipline
  6. Pragmatism
  7. Focus on outcomes
  8. Technical depth
  9. Transformation mindset

You can also illustrate these leadership skills within your summary and employment history sections.

Adaptable skills section resume example
  • Technology Vision & Strategy
  • Executive Leadership
  • Database Management
  • Cloud Computing
  • OS & Infrastructure
  • Coding Languages
  • Data Analytics
  • Project Management
  • Budgeting & Financial Management
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CTO resume education example

The education section of your CTO resume is a listing of your diplomas and certifications. Almost all CTOs will have at least a bachelor’s degree in a technical field and many have also earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or other advanced degree.

 Many have also earned technical certifications which should also be listed here.

Adaptable education resume example

Master of Science in Computer Science, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 
August 2000 - May 2002 


Bachelor of Science in Technology, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 
August 1996 - May 2000

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Expert tip

Special sections

If you have a long list of technical certifications, industry awards, professional memberships or other industry accolades, consider breaking them out into a separate section for emphasis only if you can still keep your CTO resume to two pages at most.

Resume layout and design

A chief technology officer’s role is a serious and thoughtful one and the layout of your CTO resume should reflect that. Aim for simplicity and clarity over artiness. Definitely save the fancy charts and graphs for a work demonstration.

Here are a few pointers for developing your layout:

  • Choose opposing fonts for body text and headings. For instance, use a san serif for the text and a serif type for the header.
  • Make sure your name and headers draw in the eye.
  • Although your career has been long and illustrious, don’t try to cram too much onto the page. The font size should be at least 11 points and the margins at least one-half inch (although 1 inch is better).
  • If you don’t want to take your time designing and formatting your resume, use one of our HR-vetted and expertly-designed resume templates.

Key takeaways for a CTO resume

  1. When you apply for jobs in the C-suite, personality and fit are as important as your skillset.
  2. High-tech centers are still the best places to find IT jobs.
  3. Your summary will help define whether your strategic thinking meshes with that of the company.
  4. Choose your achievements carefully in your employment history section since your career will far outstrip the space you have to describe it.
  5. Take advantage of our expertise to help you develop the best CTO resume possible.
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