That’s the sound of the clinical informatics field. In case you were wondering….it’s exploding right now, which is great for aspiring clinical informaticists like yourself. However, you can’t just send out your resume to a hundred different employers and expect great results. It’s going to take a little bit of time and work, but with a targeted effort, you can get your dream job in the clinical informatics field much sooner than you could have expected.
Here are some ways to get into the clinical informatics field – even if you don’t have the “right” experience.
Show Your Skills
You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job, right?
All the data and tools you need to get started working on an informatics project are out there. Create your own project using analysis tools like Hadoop and an open data source such as one of the ones available from this wikipedia list. You can try to find trends in the data, analyze common themes or distributions, or create amazing visualizations sure to knock the socks off of any potential employer. This route may be difficult at first if you have little experience in data analysis, but will get you up to speed quickly and give you real, applicable knowledge of data analysis and visualization.
Tailor Your Resume
So you have some new found knowledge. That’s awesome! Now you can include that in your resume, along with your previous positions reframed to highlight the skills that can also apply to an informatics position. Let us explain.
A CPA in a former life? Translate those math skills into words – how about “Analyzed accounts receivable data to identify and confirm trends in existing customer’s buying habits”.
Not a math person? Perhaps you’re in sales and looking to get into informatics. Why don’t you try something along the lines of “Surveyed potential buyers to identify a previously unseen correlation between two different software products and how customers could use it to solve their customer retention problem.” Bring in ways you used analysis and decision making to better the organization.
Put yourself in a recruiter’s shoes. What skills would they like to see in a candidate?
Attend Events Where Informaticists Hang Out
As you may know, a lot of the job market is hidden. What does this mean? People who work in places with clinical informatics know about job openings way before any job board will. The real question is, how can you take advantage of this hidden market?
Who would you rather refer to your current employer…a friend you already know to be a good candidate or a stranger? If you picked stranger, then we admire your trust. However, most organizations are not as trusting and will take the word of their employees over resumes submitted from a job board any day.
Find a local who is in the position you would like to be in. Go to a conference and find others with the same interests. Join a local networking group of data heads and hospital geeks.
Buy them a coffee.
It’s as simple as that. Talk to them, get to know them, understand the problems they’re having at work. Take some time with them. Don’t go asking for a job from them right away, but let them know you’re in the market. If they like you, they’re more likely to refer you to someone they know who has a job opening at their company. This takes a moderate amount of time and effort, but is the best way to build your network and get your foot in the door.
Get in Contact with a CIO or CMIO in your Local Area
This one is for the more aggressive, go-getter types who are OK with rejection and prefer the potential for big returns on your risks.
CIOs and CMIOs, or the directors of similar departments wield a lot of power within organizations. Win them over and they have the power to bring you on board quickly. However, to win them over, you can’t just go asking for a job. Your best bet is to demonstrate the results of a project you’re working on, show how you can apply it to their organization, and give them numbers (justifiable and reasonable figures) on how much the project will cost, how much it will save them, and what their ROI is. Executives love that stuff, because they have little time to work on that themselves…plus it makes them look good to the big boss if you can really deliver.