You will find that there is no specific mix of technology skills and educational qualifications that will make you attractive to employers looking to fill one of these positions. It goes without saying that you will need a great deal of experience in a particular area of technology as well as qualifications in management, however there are some other less obvious characteristics which will help you get a CTO job.
Build Good Relationships with Sales Staff
Ultimately, a CTO’s role is connected with the success of his sales team. Companies produce technology for the sole purpose of making profits and you cannot make money from technology without sales. It is important to develop good relationships with the sales people in your organization. Many technology personnel often create and develop technology without commercial success in mind and they can often view sales staff in a less than flattering light. However, if you aspire to a CTO role, you will not get anywhere if you do not respect the sales team. Your success is ultimately going to be connected to their success.
The Big Picture is Important
Technology positions are often detail oriented, problem-solving positions. If you want to move from a traditional technology position to a CTO job, you will need to broaden your outlook and focus on the big picture. It can seem easier to just take a technical problem and fix it yourself, but that is not the job of a Chief Technology Officer. If you obtain a CTO job, you will soon discover it is about getting the best out of your technology staff. You will motivate, coach and manage but you will not do the detailed work yourself. In order to be considered for one of these positions you will need to let go of your need to solve problems yourself and learn to give advice, suggestions, and encouragement to your employees. To be successful as a CTO you have to create an environment in which your staff can be successful. This means you need to provide opportunities for career development as well as the resources and tools necessary for them to achieve the goals you require of them.
Don’t Lose Your Technology Skills
Despite the fact that your job will revolve around building a successful team of technology workers rather than doing the work yourself, it is still important to keep your own skills at a high level. After all, how can you help your staff or manage appropriately if you do not fully know what is going on? For example, if your technological background is software development then keep writing codes whenever you have a moment to spare.
Skills and Education
A CTO position is also in many ways a strategic management position. You will need to be able to translate your vision for the technology into business terms and budget for the development of the technology strategically. The knowledge and skills you require to do this effectively will generally require a business degree as well as your professional qualifications in your area of technology.
Like CEO jobs and CIO jobs, CTO jobs are heavily involved with employee management. To succeed in this area you must have the respect of your team and you will only get it if you know what you are doing. To be qualified for a CTO position and to do it effectively requires a broad base of skills (not just technological) and intensive business management knowledge and experience.
How to Find CTO Jobs
If you possess high-level technological skills and qualifications, a Master’s degree in business management or similar, have experience managing large teams and are results oriented, you may just have what it takes to land a job as a Chief Technology Officer. CTO jobs are executive positions that are commonly advertised in the executive recruitment sections of top newspapers, they are also advertised on the top online job sites. Finding jobs on Internet job sites is probably the easiest way to go about it because you can search by category and quickly find what you are looking for. Executive recruitment companies can also be excellent sources of job opportunities. They will generally advertise but they often have their ears to the ground and know of positions coming up before they are official.
Resume and Application Letter
Make sure your resume and letter of application address the specific selection criteria for the job you are applying. They obviously need to be professional and have no spelling or grammatical errors in them. They should also emphasize the points made in this article. Focus on your ability to lead a team as well as your ability to work as a member of a team. Leadership and personal relations are both important aspects of a CTO position. Highlight both your technology and your business experience and emphasize that you are able to look at the big picture while still being detail oriented.
If you obtain an interview, make sure you know a fair bit about the company before your appointment. Think about their vision and purpose and how you could contribute to the organization in the position of CTO.