The Resume: One of the most important steps is to make sure that all the words in the job description are in your resume. If they are asking for experience using Interqual, make sure Interqual is in your resume, not simply concurrent review. Matching the words is important because some companies have computers initially scan for keywords that allow the resume to move to the next step. So, without the exact words, your resume may not be seen by the hiring manager or even human resources.
Make sure your resume is clear and easy to read. All fonts should be the same and should not be smaller than point 12. When they say you must keep it to one to two pages, that is only if your accomplishments and experience can be limited to one or two pages. Do not sacrifice experience for brevity.
The heading should have your name, and it should be bolded along with your credentials. Include your email address and phone number. It may sound silly to mention these things, but we have received resumes without contact information, which makes it impossible for the recruiter to reach you.
Many resumes include “team building” or “works well in a team.” Instead, we encourage you to include facts. If you want to talk about team building, talk about the fact that you reduced staff turnover. Instead of teamwork, talk about how you helped reduce LOS in your unit.
Your resume should include power words. We often coach people and suggest that they use different words. My favorite example is “I participated in length of stay meetings.” When asked what this means, the candidate often states that they ran the meeting, coordinated the meeting or provided crucial information during the meeting. That is more than just participating, so please be clear in your responsibilities and accomplishments. How is anyone to know your true value if your resume does not reflect that? You can find power words on our website: www.globalcaremanagement.com.
While case managers are quick to advocate for others, most case managers are not very good at advocating for themselves. Your resume is your time to shine.
Submitting your resume: Set aside a good amount of time to submit your resume. We know that seems excessive, but often not only do you have to submit your resume, but then you must individually add each job, title, responsibility and the dates. Be prepared to enter the actual day and month. This application will also be used for the background check, and most systems are not set up to allow you to move forward without this information. So having to pause and get up to search for this information will not only delay your resume, but if the pause is long enough, it may make you start over. While we often recommend removing the day and the month on resumes and keeping only the years, we also suggest you keep a resume with the day and the month for exactly this situation.
Your nursing or social worker license number and expiration date may also be requested, as well as references.
Our next suggestion is when you are applying on LinkedIn, connect or message some of the people who you know work in the department of the company to which you are applying. Check in with them, see how they are doing and let them know you have just submitted your resume and for which job you have applied. Sadly, some resumes are lost in a digital black hole, as we refer to it. So having some human contact and letting them know that you have submitted your resume may help. You may be fortunate enough to have one of these individuals respond and ask you to send your resume directly to them, which will certainly help the process along.
But do not be offended if they do not respond or ask for your resume. Some companies have very strict guidelines on the submission process. If you are using LinkedIn, make sure your profile is up to date and professional.
Job boards and company portals means more passwords! Microsoft One Note is easy to use, and you can set up all your passwords there, keep notes and record where you send your resume. You can even lock the page if you wish.
A word of caution: Submitting your resume multiple times does not get you favorably noticed. It will seem as if you are unorganized and sending your resume everywhere.
Preparing for the interview: Once you have hit send, we recommend that you activate alerts to start getting news alerts about the companies. You can use LinkedIn, Bloomberg or Google alerts, and there are many more. This is so you can keep up with any new information regarding the company, first to discuss during the interview and second to make sure this is still the company you want to continue to move forward with. As we all know, things change in the healthcare world daily.
Go on their website and look at the company; why do you want to work there? It is one of the first questions we ask, and please make sure the answer is something that speaks directly to the company; for example, the programs that they have. Not things that you want, such as working remotely, having suitable hours or an appealing salary. It must be about them. Prepare your interest in the company and questions in advance and review them.
Interview questions often asked are about difficult situations or times where you have truly succeeded. Have these examples ready. Write them down and keep them with you. Review them, and keep updating them. We suggest that while you are working and have a victorious moment, that you document it, and this is the time to pull these notes out.
Most first interviews are with human resources and are either telephonic or virtual. Obviously, during the telephonic interview, they cannot see you, and this may seem more comfortable. Every conversation you have with every member of this company is part of the interviewing process and is critical. To keep you on your toes, literally, stand during the interview, or keep your feet flat on the floor. This helps you project and sound more confident as you speak.
We have found that these interviews can be as short as five minutes and all they do is tell you about their company. On the other hand, we have seen interviews last half an hour to 45 minutes.
Human resources may also press for salary requirements. In many states, now it is illegal to ask how much money you are currently making. But that does not mean the question will not be asked. Especially if you are looking for a remote position, human resources may not be familiar with the laws in your state, so do look it up and be sure. If it is illegal in your state, very politely say that you are not prepared to answer that question as it is illegal to ask in your state.
The question that can be asked is “how much money are you looking for?” Such a difficult question to answer at the very beginning of an interview. You still do not know what the job entails, what the benefits are, who the hiring manager is, or what resources are available to you, and yet are you asked to put a price on this. Try not to answer. Now, this is not always easy, as they may press. But this answer is truthful: I really cannot begin to answer this question without understanding all the resources available for this position, the responsibilities and the benefit package. And while I thank you for giving me some of that information, I still want to take everything into consideration before I decide. As much as we like this answer, it does not always mean the interviewer will. So unfortunately, you may have to come up with an answer. We suggest you give them a range, not an exact number. Too high could put you out of the process and too low may be your offer.
If during the interview you receive information that changes your initial salary request, then you must share that specific information with them and your new desired salary. This should be done only after all interviews have been completed. If you are really brave, you can ask them for the salary range!
For a virtual interview, please make sure everyone in the house, including pets, is as quiet as possible. Look at the camera on your laptop first. Make sure that you are appearing clearly. The lighting should be adjusted for you not to look like a shadow or overly highlighted. Look at the environment around you. The room should be neat and clean. Yes, sometimes we have had to put our laptops in a bedroom, but then at least make sure your bed is made. If the position you are interviewing for is remote and your desk is in the bedroom and you cannot change it, place a partition, or use a virtual background. Also, make sure you know how to use the platform (Teams, Zoom, etc.) in which they requested the virtual meeting. If you have never used it before, please connect with a friend and practice in advance. We have seen that, with people who cannot connect timely on a virtual call, regardless of the reasons, the interviewer becomes quite dismayed. It is the same as showing up late for an onsite interview.
Preparing for the onsite interview will not be as overwhelming if you have been working onsite. For those who have been working remotely or have not been working during COVID, this may prove challenging. Dressing professionally is always important during an interview, even if they tell you that they have a casual dress code. This may not be the time to pull out the power suit; a nice pair of slacks with a casual top and blazer is appropriate. Otherwise, a professional suit is recommended.
We suggest that you start looking at clothes prior to the interview request. For those of you who have not been working in an office atmosphere, give yourself some time to get used to wearing business clothes again. Even if it is just for a day, remember that day is very important, and you must be comfortable. Bring copies of your resume for everybody you will be meeting with. If you are not sure, we always suggest five resumes. Always include an extra copy for yourself. Sometimes, during an interview, we get a little nervous, so we want to have it there for easy reference. Again, showing up on time is very important. It’s even better if you can get there a half hour earlier and sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Review your resume and notes. This will help you get off on the right foot, confident and ready.