6. February 2012 20:32
The health care industry is broad, complex and constantly changing, with health care organizations paying as much attention to their bottom line as they do the care of patients. When it comes to hiring new employees, these organizations look for candidates who have skills, experience, the right attitude and a commitment to excellence – in other words, they look for a killer resume.
You could be absolutely the best possible person for a job, but if your resume doesn’t sell you to the human resources representative who’s screening applicants, you won’t get a chance to improve yourself in the job. There are a number of ways you can sell yourself to a health care employer, if you know what they are and take the time to create a great resume:
- Throw out all the “common wisdom” about resumes. Today’s job market has changed. A resume is still important, but you won’t be impressing a human being with it initially. Nearly all resumes are screened by computers these days. Thick, white paper doesn’t impress a computer. Format impresses a computer.
- Choose the right format. Use pre-developed resume templates suitable for the type of job you are applying for. For management positions, a reverse-chronological resume is best, placing your most recent job at the top, allowing the employer to see what you’ve been doing most recently. Your experience doesn’t have to be exclusively in healthcare – hospitals and clinics all need employees accomplished in accounting, purchasing, office management and other areas, and are happy to look at qualified applicants from other fields. The only exception to this is a high-level job where you are asked to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) instead of a resume. If that’s the case, your best bet is to have it professionally written for you.
- When describing your work history, use keywords. Most resumes are scanned electronically, and the computer looks for keywords. Look at the job description or ad to determine which keywords to use.
- Keep it simple and clean. Unless you have an impressive list of publications and speaking engagements, your resume should fit on one page of paper.
- Use tables, lists and bullets. Computers are programmed to notice those things. Your educational and work history should be in tables. Use lists for specific duties and things like that.
- Emphasize what you’ve done. Even if you are just entering the field, emphasize your clinical experiences.
- Don’t get anecdotal. The computer doesn’t read anecdotes. It reads keywords. Make lists instead of telling stories.
- Sell yourself, but be honest. Health care employers check references and qualifications. Lie about your experience or education, and you will be found out.
- Get your resume to a RP (real person). You will have to submit it through the usual channels, but try to also get a copy of the resume into the hands of the person who is hiring for your position. Call and ask to speak to him, and give him your resume. Ask someone you know who works there to give him a copy.
- Don’t stress too much about making sure you have everything just right. You can only do what you can do. Prepare a good, clean, honest resume and submit it. Do what you can to make sure the right person gets to read your resume. And then, let it go. Remember that your resume is the first thing an employer will look at, before they get to meet you. Your resume or CV is your first impression, so make it count.