Applying For That Executive Position

Drive, proven success in the health care (or related) field, education and experience all come into play when applying for that health care executive position. If you don’t have a clear vision of the position you may best be suited for, consider retaining a professional Recruiting Firm or Career Coach for assistance.

The executive position you desire may not be available in your city, county or region. Higher-level positions may require relocation, so consider this during your search.

Where to look – Common and Uncommon Tips 

Utilizing the Internet – Job Sites are the most common way to search for open positions. But also consider utilizing LinkedIn as an additional resource. It's no secret that LinkedIn is the top professional social networking site with 133 million users in the U.S. alone and reaching 200 countries and territories around the world. Per the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey, 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their candidate search. As a professional, it's the popular place to network and look for job opportunities. Listed below are tips to maximize the potential of your LinkedIn profile:

1. Keep that profile updated!
Per LinkedIn’s Blog – LinkedIn members with a profile picture are 14 times more likely to receive page views. Those posting skills are 13 times more likely to have profile views. There are more than 45,000 skills to choose from on LinkedIn to help you describe your notable skills.

2. Update Your Headline
Your photo, name, and headline (which is listed below your photo) are the only items people see when they do a search. Your headline should stand out and highlight what you do or what type of position you are seeking.

3. Highlight recent achievements and experience
You want your recent experience evident to anyone who views your page, especially when actively engaging with connections and companies to land a job

4. Don’t hesitate to be comprehensive about your current skills and objectives
Don’t leave anything out about your current skills and objectives. Use your headline to share your main objective if it makes sense and add all of your skills to your page. You don't want it to look like you haven't updated your page in a while, as recruiters and companies might pass you by if it does.

5. Research the companies you're interested in and follow them
LinkedIn makes it easy to find and follow companies. If you haven't already done so, make a list of the companies you'd like to work for and follow them on LinkedIn. This will help you stay in the know about company news and new positions as they become available. Use LinkedIn's Advanced Search option and do a search on your favorite companies.

6. Be active on LinkedIn
Post any articles you write, videos you post, and so on, as updates. Get involved with groups and interact with others on LinkedIn. The more you interact and post as a
professional, the more you'll be noticed and build recognition. Do an Advanced Search to identify professional groups in your area and get involved. This will help expand your network, show your expertise (when you engage in online conversations and answer questions that come up), and possibly connect you to the organizations you want to work for in the future. When researching groups, you want to participate in groups that have recent activity. Otherwise, you might be wasting your time if a group doesn't have daily or regular interaction online.

7. Research your employer and executive team
Before an interview, use LinkedIn to research hiring managers and interviewers to find out about their likes, interests, and more. You can leverage this information during your interview to create relate-ability and show that you've done your homework.

8. Networking
Networking with other professionals is critical. Most high-level positions are filled because the candidate was recommended by someone within that organization or connected somehow through networking. Networking is best accomplished through professional organizations, attending conferences, training camps, seminars and other events where you can meet other health care executives.

9. Professional Organizations
Utilize your professional memberships and check for any job postings available. Searching for healthcare positions through professional organizational websites is highly recommended.

10. The Direct Approach
If you have a certain company or organization in mind, check out their website for open positions. No open positions posted? Do some research, locate the decision-maker of the department where you want to work, then send your CV (see more about CVs below) with an impressive cover letter. Don’t be afraid to ask to be considered for employment.

Always makes sure to read job descriptions thoroughly. Do not skip over the details provided in the description. Never apply for a job for which you are not qualified, as it wastes time for both you and the prospective employer.

Resume or CV?

There are three major differences between CVs and resumes:

  • The length;
  • The purpose; and
  • The layout.

A resume is a brief summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages. The Curriculum Vitae or “CV” is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages. The resume will be tailored to each position whereas the CV will stay put and any changes will be in the cover letter. “Curriculum Vitae" or “CV” means “course of life” in Latin. It is an in-depth document which is typically 2 pages ore more and contains a high level of detail about your achievements, education, accomplishments such as publications, awards, honors etc. Information is presented in chronological order, making it easy to get an overview of your full working career. A CV is static and doesn’t change when you apply for various positions. The difference in your response to an ad is not in the CV, but in the cover letter.

Draft Your CV

  • Consider Including this type of information to create your CV Template
    The following are examples of information that can be included in your curriculum vitae. The elements that you include will depend on what you are applying for, so be sure to incorporate the most relevant information to support your candidacy in your CV.
    • Personal details and contact information.
      Most CVs start with contact information and personal data but take care to avoid superfluous details, such as religious affiliation, children's names, and
      so on.
    • Education and qualifications.
      - Be sure to include the names of institutions and dates attended in reverse order: Ph.D., Masters, Undergraduate.
    • Work experience/employment history.
      - The most widely accepted style of employment record is the chronological curriculum vitae.
      - Your career history is presented in reverse date order starting with the most recent appointment.
      - More emphasis/information should be placed on your most recent jobs.
    • Skills. Include computer skills, foreign language skills, and any other recent training that is relevant to the role applied for.
    • Training / Graduate Fieldwork / Study Abroad
    • Serving on the Board of Directors for any Non-Profit Organizations
    • Serving on any Health Care or Hospital Boards
    • Dissertations / Theses
    • Research experience
    • Teaching experience
    • Publications
    • Presentations, lectures, and exhibitions
    • Grants, scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships
    • Awards and honors
    • Technical, computer, and language skills
    • Professional licenses, certifications, and memberships
  • What to Avoid in a CV
    There is no need to include your photo, your salary history, the reason you left your previous position, or references in a CV submitted for jobs in the United States. References should be listed separately and given to employers upon request, typically during or after a personal interview. Avoid embarrassment by sticking to true statements and facts, which means no embellishing skills, previous positions, accomplishments, credentials, skills, or education. Healthcare employers will conduct background checks. Although checking references can be difficult, verification of previous employment is likely contingent upon extending the offer. Don’t forget, healthcare is a small community. Everyone knows someone and your prospective employer may know your current employer or previous manager, supervisor, or other executives at organizations where you have worked.

Drafting Your Cover Letter

A great way to get your CV or resume and application noticed is with a cleverly, well-written, short, simple and to-the-point cover letter. There is no one example cover letter for every situation. Customize your cover letter for each application.

A Beginning
Opening Paragraph: Purpose of the cover letter and CV/Resume. Indicate the name of the vacant position.

A Middle
The second – third paragraph should stand out. Don’t just state that you have leadership or problem solving skills! Boring – most of the cover letters being read for this position will say blah, blah, blah! Focus on how you can provide solutions to typical health care challenges related to this department or position. Indicate achievements that are attention-getting. Indicate special credentials, certifications and training which may help you stand above other candidates.

The End
If you haven’t bored the reader to death, hopefully s/he will read through the last paragraph, or closing statement. Close by stating something clever, such as – “There is no reason to look further. I would love the opportunity to meet you in person do discuss how I can best serve your organization.”

Last Tip – Check out the “Present Your BEST You! – Successful Interview Tips for Health Care Executives

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