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HIM / HIA PROFESSIONALS Job search for new HIM graduates Prepared by Alan Soskel, RHIA Sept. 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "HIM / HIA PROFESSIONALS Job search for new HIM graduates Prepared by Alan Soskel, RHIA Sept. 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 HIM / HIA PROFESSIONALS Job search for new HIM graduates Prepared by Alan Soskel, RHIA Sept. 2013

2 FIRST THINGS FIRST Study, study, study

3 Study and Grades A high GPA does not help that much in a job search. However, a low GPA will hurt Moral of the story: –You still need to get good grades Prepare to take employer assessment tests that test for practical problem solving skills in a timed-environment. Try to take some practice tests. Some employers value these tests higher than GPA.

4 Study and Grades Once you graduate just go ahead and take (and pass!) your RHIA exam within one month of graduation. Don’t wait. Having the RHIA certification at the beginning of your job search will jump start your job search. Of course to do this you’ll need to first pass the Capstone RHIA practice test, so: –STUDY!!! Begin studying for the RHIA practice test at the beginning of final semester, tackling one domain per week and then doing a review of weak points.

5 GETTING ORGANIZED Don’t jump willi-nilly into a job search. You’ll get overwhelmed pretty quickly if you do.

6 Develop a Project Plan Approach your job search as if it were a project, and plan accordingly. –Conceptualize –Plan –Implement –Close Out / Closure (you got a job, yea!)

7 Tracking your activity Develop a system to track all your job search activities –Online applications submitted –Resumes sent directly –Dates to follow-up on these –Interviews –Thank you notes –Dates to follow up on interviews –Various other activities

8 Tracking your activity Forms of tracking systems –Paper based –Excel spreadsheet Not too practical –Access database Best solution Good practice Good idea for a Systems course project

9 Tracking your activity Sample paper tracking form

10 Targeting your search Determine maximum of 3 different job targets. Examples: –HIM supervisor –Applications Analyst for a HIT vendor –Entry level Coding position

11 Targeting your search Create separate resume templates for each targeted job Then customize the appropriate resume template for each job applied to Include key words from job postings Cover letters Repeat this process of templates and customized versions

12 Portfolio – create a website Create your own personal website. Steps needed: Purchase domain name from GoDaddy ~$15/yr. Comes with free web hosting. But I recommend purchasing an economy hosting plan ~$60/yr. A dedicated hosting plan does better in the search engines. This is a better long term option if you plan on keeping website online after getting a job.

13 Portfolio – create a website GoDaddy offers a service, Website Tonight, that is easy to use to create your site. –Small monthly charge for this. Post your college work, team projects, personal research, transcripts, references, other relevant items. Consider doing a “conversation with ____” to simulate an interview for potential employers to view and learn about you. Ex:

14 Professional E-mail address With your domain name purchase, GoDaddy can guide you through the process for getting a professional e-mail address that matches your website. If you don’t set up the website you can still use the e-mail address. Ex:

15 Career resources Utilize these resources as needed for advice on resumes, cover letters, interviewing, follow- up, networking, using Linked In, etc. I highly recommend: – Once you get started these sources will come crawling out of the woodwork.


17 Networking is #1 Keep in touch with your supervisors at your practicums. –Find a reason to email them monthly. Whether it is a question about the HIM field, follow-up on a project you did during the practicum, or just to say hello – DO IT! –That is how I got my job. I called my ex-supervisor and they had just posted a job. He asked if I wanted to interview for it and I had a job offer the day after the interview

18 Networking is #1 Linked In is a great professional social media site and a MUST for job search –I suggest upgrading to the Premium service for $30/mth Lots of extra features available to job seekers –Complete your profile to the fullest extent Link to your website Add projects Request that your connections endorse your skills and post recommendations

19 Networking is #1 Use any and all networking sources available to you –AHIMA Mentor program –Local job support groups –Friends, relatives in healthcare Buy business cards from Vista Print and pass them out liberally –Include on the business cards: Professional e-mail Website address Linked In address Degree(s) Phone #

20 Job Boards A dreaded necessity as they don’t typically yield good results. Generic big-boys –Careerbuilder –Monster – – Industry specific – – – Practice using the filters to narrow your search agent results

21 Association Job Boards AHIMA Career Assist HIMSS Job Mine Association & Industry Publications AHIMA Journal Healthcare IT News Healthcare Informatics Health Management Technology Health Data Management

22 Recruiters I did not find recruiters helpful at all, Unless of course, you have previous HIM/EHR experience, then go for it. – – – – – – –

23 GETTING HIM EXPERIENCE There are plenty of HIM/EHR job postings, but they all require 2-3+ years experience. How do we start to get HIM experience?

24 Getting your initial HIM experience. Become an Independent HIM Researcher. Post this on your resume to show that you are keeping busy & relevant in HIM field. Select several topics, research them, create a report and PowerPoint presentation. –add audio –convert to video –you can do all this in PowerPoint –post on YouTube Add these projects under your job description on your resume. Then post this video on your LinkedIn profile.

25 Getting your initial HIM experience. Independent HIM Researcher Sample resume listing: Researcher and Presenter Jan. 2013 to Present (part-time) Independently research and prepare presentations regarding relevant topics in health information management (HIM). Wrote and produced PowerPoint and video presentation entitled “The Human Aspect of Creating Work Process Flow Charts”. Wrote and posted report on how to develop an employee performance plan and create work performance standards.

26 Getting your initial HIM experience. Volunteer Try to get volunteer gigs in several local hospitals (not easy BTW). –Medical Records –Admissions –Billing Other departments dealing with HIM. Decline other types of volunteer work as they won’t help much.

27 Getting your initial HIM experience. Document thoroughly your practicum responsibilities and projects (as you are doing the practicum). Include quantifiable data. Expand on your resume to show relevant experience.

28 Getting your initial HIM experience. Contact temporary agencies that maintain a healthcare division. Randstad Snelling KForce

29 CONTINUING EDUCATION Show you are serious about investing in yourself and developing in your area of expertise.

30 Project Management Very hot skill these days. Enroll in a short term PM Certificate program Add to your resume and LinkedIn profile. University of North Georgia offers an inexpensive 4-course certificate program.

31 AHIMA Certifications Identify an area that you want to get a job in. Start right away to prepare for the applicable AHIMA certification.

32 WRAPPING UP Job search is very hard work. Keep at it and don’t get discouraged.

33 Wrapping up. Job search is very, very hard work. Don’t get discouraged. You need to approach it in a very serious manner. A couple hours a week just WON’T CUT IT. Do all the things mentioned to gain experience – the rest of your time and energy should be devoted to job search and networking.

34 Wrapping up. I found that LinkedIn was my favorite networking and job search technique. Use it to quickly build your network. I built my LinkedIn network to over 500 connections in 3 months. Well worth the $30 monthly fee as long as you utilize all the extra Job Seeker features. Recruiters use LinkedIn extensively so it gains in usefulness as you gain experience.

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