With mergers and acquisitions becoming the norm in healthcare, it’s more important than ever that organizations are filling leadership roles with the best available talent. This was covered in the previous post. Here, we’ll talk about how individuals can position themselves as effectively as possible for coveted roles.
Insights For Job Seekers
- Your resume is the most important piece of paper you’ll ever own. Keep it easily accessible, up to date, and make sure it’s professionally formatted and easy to read. Also, ensure it is provides quantified evidence of your professional accomplishments.
- Perfect your “elevator pitch” so you’re prepared to introduce yourself to the chief executive of your dream employer or an executive recruiter in 30 seconds or less. Can you efficiently and elegantly describe a few career highlights and the value you’d add to an organization? If not, practice in front of the mirror or with a friend until you can.
- Learn to ace video interviews to give yourself a huge advantage — few job candidates excel at video interviewing. We have seen just about every possible mistake made from candidates sitting in front of highly distracting backgrounds (like a table piled with kids’ toys) to surprise appearances by family members. Prevent technical issues during video interviews by setting up your equipment properly and testing everything ahead of time — that way you can focus solely on your performance.
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is loaded with keywords, complete, and up to date to ensure the best executive recruiters can easily find you and you stand out. Also, make sure you include a professional photo.
- Always send thank you notes. Send a customized thank you email to every person who interviewed you, reaffirming why you would be a good fit for the position. Ideally, send your email the same day as your interview and immediately follow-up with a handwritten note.
- Never stop learning. Continue to build on your knowledge and skills by keeping abreast of the latest industry trends; prioritize obtaining relevant certifications and personal development opportunities.
- Practice your answers to frequently asked behavioral interview questions. With as much information about interviewing as there is on the internet, you really shouldn’t be surprised by an interview question. Periodically review the lists of common interview questions and prepare answers using a structured format, such as the P-A-R method (i.e., defining the Problem, the Action you took, and the Result or outcome). Preparing ahead ensures that when it counts, you’ll be able to answer with a relaxed and confident delivery when interviewing.
- Realistically assess your qualifications. Most employers are looking for a “been there, done that” executive candidates with a proven record of accomplishment. If a job is a big stretch in terms of your experience and capabilities, consider objectively whether it would be the right fit for you.
- Be truthful. This should be understood, but it’s come up enough that we need to say it. Don’t be tempted to bluff your way through an interview question that you don’t know the answer to. Honesty and integrity are two of the most important values that hiring managers are looking for in their executives.
- Thoroughly evaluate a relocation before accepting an offer. Carefully consider whether the new community is right for you and whether the move makes financial sense. As executive recruiters, we sometimes encounter candidates who fail to do enough due diligence prior to a move because they’re so excited about the job opportunity. This can lead to costly mistakes or dissatisfaction down the road, so we advise carefully evaluating the decision prior to accepting an offer.
- Arguing with a recruiter does not work. We have a mandate from our clients regarding the skills and experience we are looking for in candidates. If you don’t meet them, aggressively pressing your case sours what could be a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Don’t take rejection too personally. When you haven’t been selected for a job realize that there were likely several hundred potential candidates that were evaluated for a single position. It’s in part a numbers game, not necessarily a reflection of your value.
- Invest in a professional headshot. Having a quality professional portrait on your LinkedIn page will do wonders for communicating your value to future employers. Like it or not, a poor quality or casual photo just doesn’t say “executive potential” or “you can trust me in front of the Board of Directors” the way a good professional photo does.
- Strengthen your soft skills. Executive level positions require candidates to be effective communicators and listeners, with the ability to also learn from constructive feedback.
- Honor your commitments. As the old saying goes, “your word is your bond,” if you say you are going to be available at a specific time or are going to provide your resume or references, make sure that you always follow through.
It has been our honor and privilege to work with so many leading organizations to fill their key healthcare technology and cybersecurity positions over the last 30 years. We look forward to continuing to serve you and add value in the future.
This piece was written by Judy Kirby, who has served as president of Kirby Partners since 1994. To follow the company on Twitter, click here.