Every day, I am privileged to talk to super talented CIOs, IT professionals and leaders. These professionals entrust their resumes to me to be critiqued and dissected. I am the gatekeeper of sorts, because as a retained executive recruiter, I am obliged to find the best qualified candidates for clients to fit the specific requirements for their open positions. This means few candidates will move forward, pass the acid test or be interviewed. My advice to candidates is usually related to resume reformatting, interviewing skills, and knowing about the hiring organization and its culture. How can you distinguish yourself from the crowd when you send in your resume to a recruiter and apply for a new CIO opening?
Honest appraisal and building relationships
Take a close look at the position description or job posting. Does your background fit the basic requirements? Do an assessment of your skills and experience. Evaluate, and then if you don’t fit the requirements, send in your resume and include a note to offer referrals or stay connected. Here are examples:
“Thank you for reaching out to me regarding the CIO position. To be perfectly honest, I do not believe my experience and skill set are a good match, but I would appreciate you keeping me in mind if future opportunities present themselves. I will keep this position in mind in case I become aware of an individual who may be a good fit.”
“That sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Although I am confident in my ability to perform the responsibilities of the position, I do not feel that my experience would stand up against my fellow peer candidates. Please consider me for future vacancies.”
If you are not interested, but want to stay in touch and build a relationship with the recruiter, consider suggesting someone else and offering to connect on LinkedIn:
“Thank you very much for contacting me about this excellent opportunity. I will definitely keep my eyes open and see who in my professional circles might take advantage of it. Also, I have attached my resume for your information or record. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me at any time. In addition, I hope we can connect via LinkedIn on the chance that we may be able to be mutually helpful in the future. Thanks again.”
Mistakes to avoid
Being pushy, aggressive and too assertive will not win points with the recruiter. Instead, concentrate on sending your resume, building a relationship and seeking advice to help with your career goals. Here are some key resume “don’ts” to be aware of:
- Don’t put reference names and phone numbers on your resume.
- Don’t use excessive bolding, highlighting and over-the-top formatting on your resume.
- Don’t limit your resume to one or two pages.
- Don’t fill up your first page of your resume with bullets listing skills or core competencies.
- Don’t have any gaps in the resume; show all positions, even those from early in your career.
How to become a person of interest
The healthcare IT business is built on relationships and networking. Always be aware of your reputation and how you want to be remembered. Here are some helpful tips to keep you at top of the list of recruiter favorites:
- Return phone calls or emails, be available, stay in touch
- Suggest or nominate others if you are not interested
- Be kind to administrative staff you come into contact with
- Take advice as offered, ask for help if needed
- Be open about your compensation, reasons for looking and previous transitions
- Be humble, but confident
Happy Memorial Day, and enjoy the start of the summer season!