Recruiters spend an average of six to eight seconds looking at a resume. Think about that for a second. You spend countless hours searching through hundreds of jobs for the right one, fill out dozens of online applications, only to receive an automated response saying you’re no longer under consideration, or worse, hear nothing at all. How demoralizing is that?
But you don’t have to go through that experience anymore because here’s the secret: Learn how to make a great first impression. In the same six to eight seconds, you can tremendously improve your chances of getting that coveted interview and eventually being hired by delivering a first impression that blows away your audience! The first step in accomplishing this feat is to create a resume and a digital persona that not only clearly demonstrates all the qualifications and criteria that you possess for the job, but is also engaging and highly memorable for the reader.
I’ve organized my recommendations and tips for crafting a winning resume into three main topics: layout and format, content development, and refinement processes. If you take to heart these insights and invest the time and effort into applying them, you will not only learn to create a captivating and compelling resume but also increase your chances of landing your dream job in health information technology (HIT)!
Much like building a house or office starts with an architect creating designs for the construction workers to build, you need to start building your resume by thinking about how you want it to look and feel to your audience. Your primary objective with both the overall layout of the content and format of the text itself is readability. You want to make your resume simple and easy to read for the hiring manager while highlighting key aspects of your background and experience that align with the position in a manner that is both memorable and engaging.
Here are five aspects to consider as you begin to construct your resume:
Now the focus shifts to writing great content that helps you leap off the page in the eyes of your reader. Your objective here is to demonstrate your exceptional qualifications for the job. I recommend taking four definitive actions as you compose the body of your resume:
The last part of crafting a winning resume is the refinement process. At this point, you have constructed the scaffolding and created all the content for your resume. Now go over it once more and polish everything to bring it all together. I recommend five considerations as you review and critique your resume:
Schedule Resume Maintenance: Your resume is a living, breathing document; make certain that it reflects the growth that you have undergone by blocking off time, several times each year, to refresh your resume.
The greatest resumes rarely come from the best or most qualified candidates. However, the best resumes are highly focused on articulating the most important information that is sought by the job description in a creative and visually stunning way. If you can effectively highlight the right aspects and qualities that you bring to the table, you will have a better chance of being selected to advance in the hiring process than perhaps someone that is more qualified for the job but did not convey those qualifications as well as you. It’s all about making the most of every job opportunity that comes your way.
You now know the secret to creating a winning resume and have the power to take control of your future employment opportunities by becoming a top competitor at any stage of your career. What will you do with it?
Brian Gammon, MSN, R.N.-B.C., CPHIMS, is a board certified clinical informaticist, EMR consultant, advisor to several digital health startups, and guest speaker for numerous academic informatics programs on the topics of HIT careers and resumes. He has mentored dozens of nursing and health informatics students on practicum projects and helped many transition into their first professional HIT roles by assisting in their resume creation and development process.