This week’s blog will include typical questions that I have received from health system CIOs in the past and my responses. Hope the answers help you in your healthcare IT career journey.
Q. 1. What type of references do I need and how many? How will they be contacted and when?
As you go through your career, keep updating your business reference list. Make sure you stay in contact with them and have their most up-to-date contact information. Ideally you should have one or more previous bosses on your list, as well as peers/colleagues and people who reported to you. Be cautious of giving out references from your current employer, unless they know that you are interviewing and you can trust them.
The references will be contacted when an in-person interview has been scheduled. Let them know that they will be contacted for a short phone interview, and will be asked a series of questions regarding your leadership/management abilities, plus specific questions from the client.
Q. 2. Does my resume need to have my prior work history if it was non-healthcare IT and long ago? Can I go over two pages?
Your resume should include all of your work history from the time you started working full-time. Since this is your marketing document, you want to present a complete picture of your work history, employers and promotions and no time gaps. You can compress older work experience into a couple of paragraphs at the end of your resume, but do not leave it off the resume. If you have prior military experience, especially in healthcare or IT, be sure to mention that on your resume.
If you have to go to more than two or three pages, that is fine. It is typical to see health system CIO resumes with five or six pages. Focus on key accomplishments and not just responsibilities. Describe your employers with a couple of descriptive sentences – this adds a great deal of credibility to your background, and helps the hiring manager better understand your work environment.
Q. 3. My health system CEO and other senior managers were recently let go, what do you recommend I should do?
This is the time to activate your career toolkit. A new senior management team may or may not bring in their own CIO, so some of the steps that I would recommend are:
- Discern if you are a fit for the new executive team, if not…
- Talk to an HR attorney
- Redo and update your resume
- Write down all of your key accomplishments over your tenure
- Review benefits, retirement plans and severance packages
- Locate and network with previous bosses, colleagues, executive recruiters
- Update your LinkedIn profile
- Engage in an active job search and evaluate your relocation options
More CIO questions and answers from the health IT recruiter will appear in future blogs. Feel free to send me anyof your health IT career questions to [email protected], and I will share my responses with the readers.