January 24, 2011, 12:21 PM — Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader: Susan G. Schade
The CIO at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston answers questions about catching a hiring manager's eye, mentor relationships and more.
What's the most effective way to get a hiring manager's attention? Include a cover letter with clear career objectives and a summary of key experience, skills and knowledge that you will bring to the position. A résumé that starts by summarizing your key skills and expertise helps. Make your bullet points under each previous position a results-focused statement. A hiring manager may be looking for someone with very specialized skills and knowledge or someone who can be more of a utility player. If you fall into the latter category, a broad range of experience will help, but it is still important to show results. Unfortunately, many hiring managers may "slot" you depending on your experience. I try to route résumés to the right potential hiring managers and HR as soon as I receive them.
I admire one of my departmental managers a great deal. Would it be appropriate for me to initiate a mentoring relationship? Absolutely. If that person is as good as you think, he or she will welcome your request. It is important to define upfront what goals you want to accomplish, how often you will talk and the length of the mentoring relationship. When you reach the end of that defined time frame, the two of you should evaluate how it went, whether your goals were met and if an extension might be useful.
After being laid off in 2008, I became a self-employed consultant. Recently, my work led to a job offer, and I'm torn. I've grown to like the independence I now have, but it can be nerve-wracking between gigs. My husband wants me to take the job. Any insights? This is a very personal decision for you and your family. You have to know who you are and what kind of environment you thrive in. Do you like being a part of a team, or do you prefer to work with a lot of organizations? Are you looking for financial stability, or can you deal with the uncertainty between positions? At the end of the day, you and your husband need to agree on what you need in terms of financial security and what is going to make you happy.
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The Benefits Landscape
In 2010, workers at smaller companies fared better when it came to retaining their level of health benefits.
Small firms Large firms
Cut benefits/increased cost sharing 30% 38%
Increased workers' share of premiums 22% 36%