Writing a healthcare IT resume has unique challenges. Combining the right amount of technical and clinical language, as well as including the appropriate soft skills to reflect on previous experience, are crucial to land the next opportunity.
After sending off your resume, a recruiter is normally the first person to review it and assess your skills. Recruiters are typically not experts in healthcare IT, they usually have a broad understanding of what is needed for a role and a few of them are able to pick up some more in-depth knowledge over the years. Write your resume with that premise in mind and make sure to mention all key skills relevant to the position you are applying for, it will go a long way.
Here is how you can make it easy for the recruiter and make your skills standout:
- Applying for an Analyst role? Make sure to mention your previous titles and describe the projects you have been working on by type (new system implementation, upgrade etc.), size (how many hospitals/clinics were involved?), leadership experience (leading a team or project, how large was the team?) and of course responsibilities (what did you build and own?).
- Applying for a Project Manager role? List all your project management coursework and completed certificates. Some Project Manager roles are exclusively for PMP candidates. Next, create a bulleted list of your responsibilities and mention the stakeholders that you reported to. Answer questions like, how large was your team? What were the size, scope and outcomes of your project? Sometimes it also helps to list project management methodologies and specific software, like MS Project or Visio, that were utilized during a project
- Applying for a Trainer position? It is important to list any credentials or certifications. What application/modules did you teach? What was the average class size and how many end users overall? Were you in charge of the MST training build, curriculum development, lesson plans, tip sheets? Was go-live support part of your responsibilities?
While on the subject of modules, certifications can be a deal breaker — especially for an Epic job. To avoid any confusion, certifications should be listed with the exact title, year the initial certification was obtained and what the most recent completed New Version Training was. For example, Epic ASAP, 2012, NVT 2016. It can be tedious to list out all of these details and reduce your experience to a piece of paper, but once you invest the time a recruiter will focus on your detailed experience within the module.
Over the years I’ve had many candidates ask what is more important; a short resume or listing all consulting projects and responsibilities? My answer is typically both. Leaving out employers or contracts will create gaps in your resume, which may open a can of worms. But no recruiter wants to read through a 6-page resume that repeatedly lists the same responsibilities over and over. If you had a lot of similar positions try to group them together, but avoid “fluffing up” responsibilities. Make sure to mention dates, position title, key responsibilities, and the applications and modules you worked with.
Finding the right balance between the technical, medical and management lingo is one of the greatest challenges in creating a great healthcare IT resume, but don’t forget that the basic formatting rules.
- As someone who reviews a lot of resumes, I think the chronological resume is the best. Start with your most recent position first, and work backwards.
- Add all necessary contact information into the header so a recruiter or hiring manager will not have any problems reaching you.
- Make sure to add all relevant degrees and certifications. Stick to the truth at all times, lying on a resume can get you in the hot seat and damage your reputation in the close knit healthcare IT industry.
- Don’t forget to include resume objectives and summaries if you are applying for a full-time role. It is not needed for a consulting application, utilize that space to emphasize your previous project responsibilities and skills.
- If you are applying for a full-time role with a health system, apply with a resume as pdf-document. It will look more professional. If you are applying with a consulting firm, send them a Word document. Most of the times consulting firms have to re-format your resume based on their standards before submitting it with their client.
Before hitting that “send” button, don’t forget spell check. I admit, some technical and medical terms can be tongue and finger twisters, but make sure that they are all spelled correctly. Often recruiters don’t even give a resume with spelling mistakes a second look.
Finally, make a little time every few months to update your resume. New responsibilities or certifications? Go ahead and update your resume now, so they next time opportunity knocks, you’re ready!