Your resume and cover letter are valuable marketing tools to open the door to meeting potential employers in the industry. The health IT industry has unique terminology, vendors and products which sets us apart from other industries. A well written, accurate and polished looking resume will create a dynamic first impression and is your best marketing tool.
Let me offer some proven tips and general information on crafting a strong resume and cover letter to help you prepare these documents.
Your resume and cover letter are visual documents that represent you in the digital world, and need to be a pleasure to read. The font size used in the documents should be 11 or 12 point. Consider clean looking and modern fonts like Calibri, Cambria, Tahoma or Arial. Adjust your spacing and margins to leave plenty of white space which is pleasing to the eye.
Don’t forget to spellcheck and grammar check your documents. The length of your resume should be more than one page. It is common for health IT resumes to be three to five pages.
There are key elements to a successful resume. You should follow this basic outline as you prepare to write or update your resume.
Avoid gaps or be ready to discuss them. Consider condensing those early jobs into a summary paragraph to save space.
And take time to periodically update your resume, ideally on a yearly basis. Keep a file of your latest accomplishments and update title or position changes. This process allows you to be prepared for your annual review in your current role, reflect on your career goals, and have your resume and cover letter ready to go the next time you need them. Have others review them, and don’t be too modest about your accomplishments.
On the top of each page include your name, address, phone number(s) and email. Do not include a photograph or website links—in my opinion, both are too distracting.
Use three or four sentences to describe your unique background, skills and expertise, using keywords that emphasize your experience. Write in the third person, never use “I,” “me,” or “my,” or technical jargon. Add key health IT phrases and include unique project or people leadership skills.
Use a reverse chronological format—present to past. Describe each employer with name, city, state, years of employment and then add one or two descriptive sentences.
List each position held with the employer and use correct titles and years. Under each position add a bulleted list of key accomplishments beginning with action verbs such as, developed, implemented, managed, hired, trained, etc. Be specific, name vendor products implemented, projects successfully completed, people or teams that you led, money and time saved.
Place all your education, certifications, licenses, honors, etc., at the end of your resume. Include type of degree, college, major, date for all degrees and make sure your education can be verified.
Your cover letter offers you a chance to reflect your personality, and not just bare facts or your expertise. It needs to include your honest interest in the company, the position and why you are uniquely qualified.
Your cover letter ideally should be addressed to a person, and contain one or two paragraphs. You can also ask for confidentiality.
The cover letter can be attached in an email with your resume or embedded in the email as your introduction. It should contain all of your contact information.
The views and opinions expressed in this content or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.
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