How R.T.s Can Make Their Resumes Stand Out

Radiologic technologists need every edge they can think of today toA land a jobA and the resume is the place to start. Whether it’s going to be submitted to the large, urban teaching hospital with a sophisticated online application system, or to the small radiology practice down the block, here are a few expert tips about how to get your resume read and to stand out from the crowd.

“For every opening, we get stacks and stacks of resumes and each recruiter develops her own system of how to pound through them,” says Lorraine Booth, vice president of people and culture forA MemorialCare Health System of Southern California. “The goal is to get in pile A.”

Structuring the resumeresumes

In writing a resume, experts agree that a good summary statement at the top — not an objective — is the place to start. This is the place to put — bullet points, please — in succinct fashion your skills and abilities.

“This says to someone, this is the value I bring to you,” saysA Wendy S. Enelow, a master resume writer and co-author of “Expert Resumes for Health Care Careers.” For instance, you could say, “Five years’ experience as a radiologic technologist with XYZ hospital” or “ARRT-certified in sonography.”

But this is not the place to list skills and attributes if they aren’t relevant. If you spent some time pursuing a hospitality career before you changed to imaging, it’s not going to help and it will take up valuable space.

“We look for the match between what’s posted and what you’re telling me,” Booth says. “You’re not sending a template — personalize it.”

After the summary statement (and don’t put a header on it saying “summary statement”) most resumes begin with experience, with the most recent first. This is the place to let a prospective employer know more about you and your accomplishments.

In addition to the name (with city and state) of your past employers and the dates you worked there, Enelow advises clients to add “the environment in which you worked and the patient population you worked with.”

For instance, you could say, “Member of 20-person radiology department at XYZ Hospital, a 136-bed community hospital, part of the ABC Health System.” That helps the employer know whether you worked in a teaching hospital, a large urban trauma facility or a clinic.

This is the place, Enelow says, to add what your patient care responsibilities were, and any extras, such as committees you served on, or promotions you received. “Show that you were part of the healthcare community, that you were pushing forward, active and visible in your industry,” she says.

“Highlight what you are proud of,” advises Wayne Reid, vice president of imaging forA TriStar Centennial Medical CenterA in Nashville, Tenn. “It needs to be tight and descriptive.”

Either in your work experience or in your summary, don’t forget to add what kinds of equipment you have worked on, Reid says. He says he prefers it with the work experience because, “I can tell how long they worked with that.”

Don’t forget to add continuing education courses with your education section. “Everyone wants to see CE credits,” Enelow says. “Healthcare is changing rapidly so they want someone who is continuing to learn.”

Listing affiliations or organizations you belong to is also important, but make them relevant. A hiring manager probably doesn’t care that you belong to the PTA, but if you volunteer doing X-ray screenings for the lung association, that would be of interest.

Cover letter

While Enelow says that cover letters “are kind of morphing away” hiring managers say they do read them.

If doing one via email, use your subject line wisely, she says. “Use whatever you can to position yourself competitively and distinguish yourself.” For instance, you might say “Rad tech with five years’ experience.”

Reid says that he likes cover letters “Because it gives me insight into the person.” Many applicants are technically competent, he says, “but I’m more interested in the culture fit — are you going to fit on my team.”

He likes a letter to indicate you’ve done your homework and know something about the hospital you are applying to. It could be something such as, “I have several years’ experience working in pediatrics and see that you are starting a pediatric unit.”

Booth says that she wants to see a cover letter that discusses the specific job advertised. “It should speak to the things we are looking for so the employer doesn’t have to dig through.” She said she’s seen cover letters that “have an introductory paragraph that doesn’t have anything to do with the position; I know I just got a template.”

Above all, Booth cautions that the resume and all relevant materials submitted online should be accurate. Dates and employers will be checked and if they aren’t correct, it leaves a bad impression.

Follow up

When it comes to following-up your submission, don’t make yourself crazy trying to find out the name and phone number of the HR recruiter, Enelow says. But if you have a contact at the hospital or clinic, do send him or her a copy of the resume and cover letter.

Booth says that she doesn’t mind seeing a resume and cover letter that come via the U.S. Postal Service. If you want to ensure your resume and cover letter are attractively formatted (online systems often turn them into blobs of text), send it via the mail as well.

She also appreciates thank you notes if you are lucky enough to get called for an interview. “Send that note and say something positive about the experience.” Less than 1 percent take that extra step, she says, so that will ensure you get noticed.

ByA Joyce Routson

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