The Power of the Resume
We have all done it; sending out resumes hoping for a new career opportunity but no response back from the “resume black hole”. It gets so quiet during this time that we often wonder if the actual resume was delivered to it final destination for review and screening. This scenario happens all too frequently as many eager and talented job seekers go unnoticed in their quest to further their health IT career paths.
HIMSS Professional Development, Career Services has formally been collaborating with the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) on various educational initiatives and one is cross educating in our efforts to support the hiring of qualified workers to join the health IT workforce. So, here are some high level “career pearls” and lessons learned accumulated from past Emerging Professionals webinars and webinars on resume development - from these collaborations and others we support in HIMSS Career Services.
The first “career pearl” for your resume consideration is to highlight your experiences and transferable skills whenever possible. Often times, if you lack a certain experience, a resume screener might look to transferable skills as a possible second alternative. Otherwise, most resume screeners look and utilize “point by point” screening. So, look at your past skills and reflect to see how they can be transferred to the current position desired and include them as such on the resume.
The second “career pearl” is to de-bulk your resume. You have a better chance for your resume’s lifespan if it is clear and easy to read and has specific highlights of your skills and accomplishments to date. Remove the “fluff” and stick to the relevant skills pertaining to the position you are applying for at present. Stick to the two page rule as well; that generally is the attention span of resume reviewers.
The third “career pearl” is to not assume the person scanning your resume understands what you are trying to say. Some submit a resume and assume that the resume reviewer understands your past accomplishments, but in reality you need to sell yourself and your talents; don’t assume there is a translator on the other side of the resume.
The fourth “career pearl” is to be honest and don’t over emphasize an accomplishment. If you over-emphasize your past, you might get through the resume screen but odds are you won’t get past much more. So, create an ambiance for the resume screener to want to further communicate with you but not overindulge so as to avoid a resume full of empty past accomplishments.
The fifth “career pearl” is to not down play past accomplishments, particularly if you are seeking a position you feel you might be overqualified for at present. There is always a reason why someone chooses to apply for a position that appears “beneath” their present skill set; get to that reason and position it within the context of your resume.