Start of a new year and a new decade and believe me, search firms will be calling you. You may not be looking for a new position, but work and life changes may force you into a job search. As a retained executive recruiter, I speak with many CIOs, who are looking for a change, and share advice. Yearly, I teach a career workshop for the Masters of Health Informatics program at University of Illinois, Chicago and at the HIMSS conference Career Planning Workshop session where I give career tips. The students and attendees include clinicians, IT leaders and other healthcare or non-healthcare professionals. I would like to offer some tips that I share with them to help you in any future encounters with an executive recruiter.
- Take the call or return the call – executive recruiters working on a retained basis with their healthcare clients still have the most desirable jobs available in the marketplace.
- Complete honesty – Be open in your communication, open about compensation, work and life history, build a relationship with several recruiters, this is a relationship business.
- Prepare a stellar resume – spell checked, key accomplishments listed not responsibilities, more than one page but not 10, Linked In connection, Word document versus PDF, keywords related to healthcare information technology: vendor product names, clinical initiatives, physician and clinician involvement, etc.
- Articulate your skills and background – be able to explain in less than two minutes your greatest accomplishment.
- Demand confidentiality – your resume, confidential work and personal information is shared with the recruiter by phone or in person, should not be sent out without your release.
- Transition reporting – for every job change in your career, be sure to describe to the recruiter and potential employer, every reason for leaving.
- Knowledge is power –expect to receive from the recruiter, a detailed position description, client work culture information, key executive facts and pitfalls, community information and cost of living. Investigate on your own.
- References – chose your business references well, expect to be asked for boss, peer and direct report’s names, don’t wear them out or give them out before you have received their consent to be your reference.
- Interviews – if you are lucky to be chosen to go on site to an interview, recruiters should coach you prior to visit, be prepared if you lose your luggage, watch out for holes in the agenda, wear your best suit-(it is still dress for success), bring your 10 questions in case there is a lull in the conversation, determine if culture fit, de-brief with recruiter right afterwards.
- Be realistic – if the recruiter does not move you forward in a search, ask for specific reasons, ways to improve and then move on.
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