Health Information Technology Job Search Tips

March 1, 2013

There is no question that the demand for knowledgeable health information technology professionals is growing.  Between meaningful use, the call for EMR standardization, mobile health devices, and even social media within healthcare, those who have backgrounds in health IT may find themselves in an uncommon desirable position amidst a struggling economy.  A 2012 HIMSS Leadership Survey found that 61% of providers were expecting to increase the size of their IT staff in the coming year. The Department of Labor estimates that there is a need of approximately 50,000 workers in healthcare IT between now and 2014.  With a clear need for skilled H.I.T. consultants, the question may not be, “are there jobs available?” but, “how do I begin my job search in a booming market?”    We have compiled some tips on how to find the H.I.T. job that is that is right for you. 

1. Get your resume ready
You never know how quickly you may find a job that you are interested in and you will want to be prepared when that moment strikes.  Your resume is your chance to market your skills and background to potential employers, so it should be something that you spend some time on and are happy with the final result.  It is extremely important to showcase all of your skills.  Every implementation you have performed, committee you have led, project you have spearheaded, staff you have managed, etc. should be included.  In addition, also include information about the facilities you have worked for, such as number of beds, revenue, physicians and employees.  Be sure to have your education criteria and certifications listed, as well.  Season relevant keywords throughout your resume as employers and recruiters often do not have time to read through hundreds of resumes and will scan or search them for certain terms.  As a health IT professional, HealthSystem CIO states that the one or two page resume rule does not apply.  Include all experience, education, certifications, and organizations you are involved with- just do not let it go beyond three to six pages.

2. Identify where you want to work
This may seem unnecessary to be stated, but it is important to know where you would like to work as there are many options for H.I.T. professionals.  Know the cities or states that are acceptable as well as the type of facility you are interested in.  Furthermore, decide if you are willing to travel (which will open a lot of doors) or if you prefer to work on-site locally or even seek remote work.  If you are willing to travel, put this on your resume because it will give you an added advantage in most cases.  If you do not have location limitations, consider looking at one of the recently named top 10 states with a surging demand in health IT careers according to HIMSS, which includes Tennessee, New Mexico, Michigan, Idaho, Kentucky, Iowa, South Carolina, Ohio, Maine, and Florida.

3. Know what job you are seeking
Again, this may seem trivial, but identify the role you would like to fill.  Clarify the type of facility you would like to work for (large healthcare system, community hospital, physician office) and the systems (Epic, NextGen, McKesson,etc.) that spark your interest.  Are you a trainer?  Project Manager?  Builder?  Furthermore, are you looking for an entry level position or are you seeking a leadership position?  Know this ahead of time.  However, be sure that your background, skills, and certifications match what you are looking for or be prepared to go through more training and experience prior to your new job.  Especially in Health IT, where certifications can make the difference between being hired or rejected, stay up-to-date on your criteria.  It will also help to look into what jobs are hot within the industry.  For example, a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that almost half of the providers surveyed plan to add technical analysts in the next two years and 35% plan to hire more clinical informaticists.

4. Where to search
Once you have your resume ready and know where you would like to work and in what role, you can move on to actually looking for your job.  There are an infinite amount of ways to do this, but many that stand out.  There are always career resource sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and Indeed. You can also look to industry specific sites like HIMSS JobMine, HealthITJobs, HealthcareIT Central, and Health ECareers. In addition, if you have a specific facility in mind, you can check hospital and healthcare organization sites.  There are also job opportunities available through countless other means including trade shows, networking, and social media.  Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter all have direct links to tons of H.I.T. opportunities.  Other hiring resources available include a HIMSS Career Services page that offers advice and guidance for new and seasoned health IT consultants.  Beyond the traditional job search locations, simply surfing the web for health IT articles and information can help you in your search.  Staying informed on industry developments not only makes you a more knowledgeable candidate, but it can also help you to identify hiring trends.  Excite updates its home page on a constant basis with healthcare IT headlines and archives can be found in the news section.

5. Consider a recruiting firm
You are not alone if the task of finding the right health IT job seems overwhelming.  In most cases, finding a job can become a job itself.  If you would like assistance in the process and would like the added benefit of competitive pay and benefits, a true partner in your career path, and access to a large database of jobs across the country that is updated daily, then a recruiting company may be the perfect fit.  Recruiting firms are in the business of finding and placing employees and can offer a level of expertise that you cannot find on your own.  They know what jobs are available, what the criteria are, what the pay rates are, and how to get you into the right job.  There are many health IT recruiting firms, like Excite, nationwide.

6. Perfect your interviewing skills
You have the resume, found the job, and have been called back.  What is next?  In most cases, it is the interview.  While the interview process can be intimidating for many, there are a few things to consider that can alleviate some of the stress.  Be sure to be prepared for your interview.  Beyond being able to present your resume, brush up on your communication skills.  In addition, going through potential interview questions can make you feel more at ease.  Forbes offers a great resource for this with their article, “How to Ace the 50 Most Common Interview Questions.”  In addition, make sure you research the company you are interviewing with and are up-to-date on industry developments.  Finally, after the interview, do not be afraid to follow-up.  Appropriate (not incessant) levels of following-up can make you stand out in the crowd for busy hiring committees.

If you are health IT professional, you are already working at an advantage for finding a job.  By using these tips to guide you, there is a good chance you will have a job in the near future.

Excite Health Partners
Excite is your resource for the most sought-after positions in the health IT industry.  Professional recruiters are ready to place experienced consultants in short-term, long-term, or permanent placement positions across the country.  Contact us today by calling 877-803-5804 or visit us online to learn more.