September and October are the busiest months of the year for new placements. Budgets are approved, projects are kicking off, and resources are needed to be locked in before the holidays. For Epic consultants, some major implementations are kicking off and you can expect to hear from several firms. Are your ready to be submitted? Here are a few action items you should consider in order to be prepared.
The first is the easiest, your resume. Be sure to update it now, even if you are still wrapping up with your current client. Add your most recent engagement with details on your role and deliverables accomplished. I’ve written several articles on resumes, but just as a reminder…keep it to 2-3 pages. Some clients won’t accept more than 2 pages, so have several versions available. I like to have versions available for different kinds of roles like a Project Manager resume and an analyst resume. You don’t want to slow down your submittal in this competitive market because you don’t have an up to date resume.
Complete any work needed to update your credentials. Whether that’s PDUs for your PMP certification, CEU’s for nursing license, or CEE requirements for Epic. This time of year it’s not unusual to see 9 – 12 month contracts. You don’t want to impede on your ability to commit to such a lengthy engagement because you haven’t completed these. For Epic, I’m already seeing clients asking for up to date CEE requirements through 2018 (even though it just came out). Keep yourself one step ahead of other consultants by being up to date.
Take vacation now! One of the top reasons why I see consultants be declined is due to scheduled vacations. I would say that majority of contracts starting in the next month will go through the end of the year. Very few clients would want to lose a resource for a week or more during that time because they have scheduled vacation. Not to mention many clients put a PTO freeze during 30 days leading up to go-live. While we have both Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, those are expected days out…not an October cruise to the Caribbean.
My last suggestion is more personal, but the weather is changing…so get yourself set up for winter and go shopping for some warmer clothes. You could be asked to take a role in Bismarck or Miami…who knows. You’ll be thankful you have options for any time of year. I always enjoy visiting Duluth in January, it reminds me of what real cold feels like.
Have other suggestions to be prepared for that next recruiter call? Share your comments below.