This week, I am writing in response to a recent question I received from a CIO. I hope my response helps many of you, who might be looking for a change, with some ideas to get noticed as you explore new CIO opportunities.
I’m a hospital CIO who’s looking for greener pastures. I’ve got certain criteria in mind, including the type of vendor I’m most comfortable supporting, the region I’d like to work in and salary requirements. I know that most open CIO jobs don’t become public knowledge, as organizations like yours are quietly retained for the search. My question is how do I get on your radar, and in your database, so you know I’m out here as a willing candidate for the right job? “
Let me outline some ideas to help you get noticed and effective methods of communicating with me when you are actively involved as a candidate.
Craft a Stellar Resume
This is your marketing document and the first way to be noticed. Email a note or cover letter with your resume. It can be in Word or as a PDF. I recommend a traditional reverse chronological format that uses a font like Times New Roman 12 and has some white space to provide readers some visual rest. Your resume can be three or more pages if needed, no more than six at the most. The one or two page resume rule does not apply to healthcare IT professionals. Don’t use the first person “I” or “my” in your resume.
Provide your full contact information at the top of first page. Most professionals are past using “Objective” so write a career summary paragraph that stands out in the crowd with “keywords” unique to your healthcare IT and CIO experience. My recruiting database allows me to search on keywords, so it is important to include as many as possible. Some in-demand keywords
- Implemented EMR/CPOE, inpatient and ambulatory
- Involved in HIE planning and Meaningful Use initiatives
- Provide IT services to physicians and clinicians
- Led IT governance and steering committee
- IT awards at health system
- Project management, clinical transformation, people management
Your work experience is the “meat” of your resume and each of your employers add credibility to your background, so describe them in one or two sentences. Include such demographics as beds, revenue, number of facilities, locations, employees and physicians, etc. List each position at an organization separately. Under each position include key accomplishments not just responsibilities. Include EMR and CPOE vendor systems you implemented, steering committees you led, staff and areas you managed, clinical transformation that happened because of your involvement. These accomplishments will get you noticed.
Full disclosure of all your work experience is necessary. Don’t chop off the first ten years of your work life, because you were a Lab technician or working in non-healthcare IT companies, it can be condensed, but it needs to be on your resume. It is important in your resume to include all degrees, colleges and years near the end of your resume along with key associations, certifications, recent presentations and publications.
As a candidate it is okay to be persistent and contact me for status and updates on a search. I become worried when a candidate is unresponsive after I leave several messages. The successful candidate, who remains visible on the radar, is one who is
- open about their background;
- turns around requests quickly,
- meets appointments;
- can take advice prior to an interview;
- responds with quick feedback after an interview;
- honest about other opportunites they are looking at;
- honest about ability to relocate;
- handles rejection with grace and
- if placed; stays in touch.
For those of you interested, the latest SRA CIO survey data can be viewed at 2010 CIO survey.