Old resume formats and previous trends in resume writing are being overthrown by the need to express in new, creative digital formats and structures. The reader of your resume, whether it is a hiring manager or a recruiter, will expect your career narrative to be readable and look good. The “tone” of your resume can influence whether you get a call or invitation to interview. Since healthcare IT is an ultra-conservative industry, your resume tone is very important.
In this post, I am focusing on what works and doesn’t work in healthcare IT leadership resumes. I draw my inspiration from the many resumes that I’ve received over the years from CIOs and IT leaders, which include the The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
So even if you are not searching for gold in a cemetery like the old Clint Eastwood movie, you need to create the “golden looking” resume. Your career narrative will be accessed and consumed across platforms, databases, apps and devices, and your look and tone have to be solid gold.
Here are some resume problems you must avoid:
- Boring – listing of just responsibilities with no mention of accomplishments; generic phrases not related to healthcare IT or current trends
- Brief – less than two pages is a no-no if you have been in the HIT industry for more than two years
- Wordy – multiple sentences in bullets; long wordy paragraphs; no white space to rest the reader’s eyes; looks too crowded and busy
- Gaps – don’t chop off the first ten years of employment; if unemployed, add independent consultant as current role
- Slick/salesy – overuse of bolding, shading, underlining, multiple columns, multiple fonts, and bulleted lists of skills
- Humble – lack of key accomplishments that set you apart in the industry and in your organizations, and lack of descriptions of employers
- Egotistical – use of the first person; use of exaggerated job titles and egocentric language
- Personal – don’t include anything personal or any references
The Ideal HIT resume
My opinion of a “perfect” resume in healthcare IT is one that would include the following key elements:
- Contact information on top – name, address, city, state, email and cell phone
- Career summary paragraph, with key words associated with the candidate’s experience relevant to the current HIT industry
- Professional experience, in reverse chronological order, with brief descriptions of each employer before the job titles—include all job titles and dates
- Key accomplishments in a bulleted list beginning with an action verb (Developed, Managed, Implemented, Planned, etc.)
- End the resume with education, memberships, awards, publications, presentations
Remember, resume writing is an ongoing task. If you are actively looking for a new position, be sure to reflect in your resume the key qualifications stated in the job description to give yourself the best chance to get noticed.