Written by Glenn Boylan, PMP
As part of PMI Atlanta’s career month, the Technology Forum and Healthcare Forum combined in July to hold a recruiter panel discussion. The panel featured Brittney Schelich, Business Development Manager, Rezult Group; David Sheehan, Atlanta Branch Manager, Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group; Holly Bail, Talent Manager, OneSpring; and Boyd Christian, Director and Atlanta Office Leader, CapTech.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Alpharetta was gracious enough to host the two forums. Our thanks go out to HPE. Nancy Berlin and Steve Kruger started the festivities. They reviewed the upcoming Atlanta chapter meetings, and reminded everyone that both the Technology and Healthcare Forums, as well as the Atlanta chapter, have volunteer opportunities available. Volunteering is a great way to try out a “stretch” assignment to see if it’s something you’d like to pursue further. And you get PDUs for volunteering! For details on either upcoming meetings or volunteering, go to www.PMIAtlanta.org.
Nancy then introduced the panel who gave some opening remarks. Brittney told us that the Rezult Group started in 2001 and focuses primarily on healthcare IT. Holly said OneSpring specializes in rapid development and deployment of web apps. Boyd introduced CapTech, which has been in Atlanta for 17 years and is a management and IT consulting firm. David told us about Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group, which are strong on managed services.
The first question given to the panel was what hiring trends they were seeing in 2017. The answers included data scientists, implementation lifecycle managers, Agile transformation leaders and Agile coaches, network security, and big data opportunities. The panelists made a point of saying that no matter what the position, candidates that show overall intellectual curiosity, have credentials, and can show a history of positive ROI on their projects will have a leg up on the completion.
Brittney and David primarily answered the question of how to break into healthcare IT if you’re not already in that field. (It was noted that healthcare is the largest industry in Atlanta.) Having a clinical background, or showing awareness of clinical issues was an important step. There is training available for that for those who do not have clinical experience.
When Nancy asked the panel what was the best way to secure a job, Boyd answered it is best to be referred by someone you know at the company. Every other panelist vigorously nodded in agreement, settling that question.
Holly kicked off the discussion on resumes, emphasizing that resumes need to be visually appealing, with lots of white space. Studies have shown that a person reviewing resumes assesses it in about six seconds, so the need for it to be attractive is critical. A recent trend is to include graphics in the resume. One example is to show your strengths using icons, another is to use icons next to your LinkedIn URL or tools you use on your job. But it was noted that graphics can take up a lot of space and should be used judiciously.
It may seem obvious, but make sure your resume has NO ERRORS. Any errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar send a very negative message. Fonts should be consistent throughout, and easy to read.
As far as resume length, it was generally agreed by the panel to try to keep your resume to two pages, but four pages might be OK for a senior level person if the content is compelling enough. Try to limit yourself to 3 to 4 bullet items per job, and include ROI information when appropriate.
Some final notes on resumes that everyone on the panel agreed on was to send resumes in pdf format and to customize the resume for the job you are applying to. And with regard to career gaps, such as due to unemployment or time spent with family, the panel agreed that it was best to “own it”. Put it on your resume and explain what was happening. (Unless you spent the time sitting on the couch playing video games. Don’t put that.)
If you are looking for an executive level position, they are out there, but the higher you go the fewer opportunities there are. Strong communication skills are a must for these jobs, and you should be prepared to relocate.
The panel was asked how to handle the “What is your current salary?” question that frequently comes up in interviews. (It was noted that several states have made it illegal to ask this question, but Georgia has not.) One good way to answer that is to do research on the position you’re looking to get, and answer the question with regards to what you expect to make if you are hired.
The panel also attacked the not insignificant question of how to maintain work/life balance. They all agreed that if you find a job you are passionate about, doing something that makes you happy, work/life balance won’t be an issue because you’ll be doing what you love – and loving what you’re doing. Constantly assess your work situation and realize that you have one life to live and it’s all (work and non-work) connected. Having 3 to 4 people in your life who you can counsel you can prove to be enormously helpful.
Be sure to view the photos from the event!
A big thank you from both the Technology and Healthcare Forum to Brittney, David, Holly, and Boyd for their time and some great career information.
The next Healthcare Forum will be on Wednesday, August 16th, at Philips Healthcare in Alpharetta. There will not be a Technology Forum meeting in August. The Tech Forum will, as The Happenings so famously sang, see you in September.