This is certainly a “scary” time with Halloween and the Frankenstorm all in one week. I hope all of you in the path of the storm were safe, and that your IT systems continued running smoothly and securely.
In this week’s post, I want to discuss some of the subtler ways that you can make a good impression. When you’re interviewing for a job, you need to make a good first impression. Just as important for your career, however, is to make continuous good impressions upon colleagues and connections.
The way you are perceived as a CIO in the healthcare IT industry will travel with you if you decide to leave a position or are forced to make a career change. There are many active ways to influence your reputation and stature in the industry, like networking, speaking, writing, attending conferences, and serving on committees. But have you thought about all of the ways that you are judged by others including recruiters or future employers? To make a good impression in the digital and Internet world, you must constantly be managing your name and brand.
Manage your LinkedIn account
Unless you just keep your LinkedIn as a placeholder or business card, I would advise you to update and revise your professional profile frequently. As soon as we mention a candidate’s name to a client, their HR or hiring manager will go to LinkedIn. Our executive recruiting database allows us to click directly into a person’s LinkedIn profile. Yesterday I conducted a quick survey and checked the profiles of 15 health system CIOs and found five did not have a photo, four were not up-to-date, and several others had sloppily worded profiles. Here are some suggestions to help you improve your profile:
- Invest in a professional photo (no beach or camping scenes)
- Proof, edit your bio and overall profile
- Don’t have multiple accounts
- Connect with 500+ others
- Join groups in your field
- Ask for recommendations and endorsements
- Link to any of your work Twitter or blog accounts
Invest in yourself
Credentials and degrees have become critical to success in advancing your career. A master’s degree is now a requirement for many CIO positions. Recently at the CHIME Fall Forum in Palm Springs, Linda Hodges of Witt/Kieffer and Gary Barnes, CIO at Medical Center of Odessa, Texas, spoke on “What Organizations Are Looking for in Today’s CIOs.” Their talk pointed to some recent findings from a survey conducted by Witt/Kieffer of 126 CIOs:
- 29 percent hold CHCIO certification
- 8 percent are CHCIO-eligible
- 37 percent are CPHIMS certified
- 47 percent have other certifications (e.g., FACHE, PMP, CISA, CISSP)
The career pathway is complicated and unpredictable. Don’t wait until you are forced to improve your image and credentials. Start looking for ways to do it today.