Professional Development

Craft a Captivating Resume to Land Your Health IT Dream Job

Health IT professional typing on a laptop.


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)!

Layout and Format

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:

  • Make Your Layout Standout: Organizing your information in a clear and efficient manner is critical; try a two-column layout instead of the traditional single-column, reverse-chronological style.
  • Put Key Information First: Place your most notable content in the top half of the first page. Recruiters and hiring managers are only going to spend as much time reviewing your resume as you can keep them interested, so don’t hold back on your best.
  • Apply Color, Icons and Graphics Strategically: Visuals can set you apart but be very thoughtful in how you use them. The old rule of thumb, “a little bit goes a long way” applies here.
  • Design For “Skim-ability”: Recruiter eyes are well-trained to look for specific markers and features to help quickly guide them. Use this tendency to your advantage by emphasizing some information and diminishing others with font size, bold print and italics.
  • Make Good Use of White Space: White space, or the absence of text and graphics, is an important design principle missing from many resumes. Break up sections of text and provide visual breathing room to make your resume less cramped, confusing or overwhelming.

Content Development 

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:

  • Write Functional Descriptions: Focus on your professional achievements, not the responsibilities or duties you held. Demonstrate this with action-oriented statements by writing a one-sentence short story that tells the reader you have a particular skill with measurable results.
  • Quantify Your Results: Adding numbers or values to your bullet points help readers better understand the scope of your work and gives them a better picture of your capabilities.
  • Use Keywords:The job description is the hiring manager's communication to potential applicants about what they are looking for in ideal candidates. Include the exact keywords and phrases from the job description and bold them in your resume so that it connects with the hiring manager.
  • Curate Your Bullet Points: Keep your bullet points short and sweet. Do not use more than five bullet points for any given job, as recruiters will likely skip over a lengthy list.

Refinement Process

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:

  • Avoid Simple Mistakes: Nothing destroys a good impression faster than a typo, failed spell-check or inconsistent punctuation; double and triple-check to make sure you do not have any typos in your resume.
  • Tailor For Each Opportunity: A one-size-fits-all resume may be convenient for you, but it is a surefire way to fall short in a competitive hiring process. Revise your resume to appeal directly to each unique opportunity.
  • Seek Outside Assistance: Get a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective on your resume by asking for constructive feedback. Your goal here is to understand how your resume is perceived by someone else and simulate how a hiring manager may respond.
  • Reveal More of Yourself Online: Supplement your resume by building out your LinkedIn profile; highlight your LinkedIn profile on your resume so you can be easily found.

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?

About the Author

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.


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  2. Fennell, A. (2021, March 26).Job Interview Statistics. Job Description Library.