Healthcare IT project managers are in high demand, but don’t let the market’s thirst for PMs fool you – competition for positions is fierce. There are lots of qualified PMs vying for the same jobs you’re going after, and it is critical to differentiate yourself from other candidates, especially if you are relatively new to the field.
Even if you are an experienced project manager, certification can lend real credibility to your resume. PMP certification is relatively inexpensive, when you consider the long-term investment in your career. Test prep can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000 depending upon where you choose to attend training.
If you already hold a PMP certification, look into advanced training courses that will compliment your healthcare IT project management skills like Six Sigma, Agile/Scrum, etc. Certs like this will arm you with the skills to help your employer become more agile and efficient. Broadening your skills and offering “proof” through certification will help you stand out as a project manager who understands the wider operations of healthcare environments.
Practice Showcasing Critical Technical and Soft Skills
Project managers must possess a wide range of technical, leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Think back over your career and pull out specific real-world anecdotes that will illustrate those skills in action during your interviews such as:
- Leadership ability – It is implied that you possess leadership skills if you are a PM, but think about specific examples when your leadership style or qualities made a real impact on the outcome of a project. Did you work with an understaffed team? Did you have to think creatively to bridge skill gaps on a specific project? Did you have to negotiate with a tough leadership committee for proper resource allocation? Did you have to keep a team motivated in the face of constant changes to project scope? The more examples you have that show your unique leadership ability helped a team overcome obstacles, the better.
- Knowing the value of your team – Project managers do not deliver on their own. They lead an entire team towards the end goal. Good leaders accept responsibility for failure and give credit to the team for success. Make sure you discuss the value of great teamwork and times when you facilitated your group to produce their best work.
- Planning abilities – You don’t take a road trip without planning your route. How do you plan for a new project? What steps do you take to ensure that milestones will be achieved on time? Demonstrate your planning process and its impact on the outcome.
- Agility – Despite your best efforts, no project ever goes exactly as planned. How do you respond when a project hits a roadblock? The ability to act quickly and decisively is critical for success. Prepare anecdotes that show your agility, as well as your ability to lead teams through unforeseen changes.
Get Yourself an “Inside Man”
If you want to give yourself an edge over the competition, work with a professional IT recruiter who will connect you with positions that truly suit your experience and style, and who will do “advance” work, selling you to the hiring manager before your interview. If you are a healthcare IT PM in Buffalo looking to advance your career, contact the expert recruiters at Systems Personnel today.
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