Interviewing with a Chief Information Officer (CIO) for a CRM position

Looking for that dream CRM position? Here are three steps that might place you in an interview with the CIO.

Step 1. Make the right impression with your resume

Screening resumes is time-consuming, so visual presentation and content are key to making it past the first round. The most effective resume is concise and to the point. Bulleted summaries that demonstrate the following are preferable:

� �/��desirable skills,
� �/��progressive career growth,
� �/��educational credentials and certifications, and
� �/��quantifiable achievements.

Also, many companies today are screening resumes using software that scans for key words relative to position requirements. These key words are of utmost importance if you don't have an inside contact, for you have to survive the screening process to get in the door. Key CRM words can include Customer Relationship Management, Sales Force Automation, Knowledge Management, Marketing Automation, Database Management, and Application Integration.

Step 2. Meet The Criteria

According to Dennis Proul, Chief Information Officer at University Hospital & Medical Center, Stoney Brook, New York, "In an environment of rapidly evolving technology coupled with a shortage of qualified technical people, track record and experience within a particular discipline may supercede a particular required skill. If you have shown the ability to learn

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new products or languages in the past, it is a good indicator of your future success." You could expect a company to train you in Oracle, for example, if you can demonstrate experience developing another relational data base product.

To determine candidates' skill levels and separate those who understand a technology area from those who have only textbook knowledge, one of two methods can be expected during an interview:

(a) �/��a technical person from the discipline being recruited will be part of the search committee, or
(b) �/��formal testing will be administered during the screening process.

In addition, Proul looks for "...individuals who show an interest in learning new skills. It is essential." There are requirements for being organized and creative, but not necessarily in the same person. "A project manager must be organized," he says, "whereas a Web site developer will need creative skills."

Step 3. Showcase your communication skills

Especially in the area of CRM-specific IT careers, being a "people" person is at the top of Proul's chart when evaluating personal characteristics. The old days of just relating to the 'face' of the IT department. In fact, communications within the IT department are important to keeping the company as a whole running efficiently." Your interview must showcase your ability to communicate - both within and outside your IT department.

Joyce M. Lance is a freelance writer specializing in business, industry, and IT issues. She resides in Bristol, Connecticut.

This was first published in October 2000

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