by Marianne DiMola

Words have power, but does your resume? Most resumes rarely show the true accomplishments and contributions made. Who are the worst offenders? You!

Sorry, but it's true. Case managers are great advocates for everyone else, but seldom for themselves. This is evident by the resumes that I have seen over the last 20 years.

Let’s review a few examples, here is my favorite –

  • Participate in Utilization Committee meeting

The definition of “participate” is “the action of taking part of something, involvement, sharing. However, when asked, how exactly did you “participate,” over ninety percent will say, “oh… I ran the meeting.”  If this mistake is made so often you can imagine how many successes and accomplishments are being under presented on the resume. Let’s say it -

  • Initiated, organized, and led the Utilization Committee Meeting

A resume is your invitation to say, we need to meet. If someone else says it better, they will get the invitation, not you. Seize the opportunity!

Example –

  • Responsible for the Case Management department which includes nurse and social work case managers

This may seem like a comprehensive statement, but is it? Leadership is an important asset employers look for so make sure you are being clear about your value as a leader. Did you grow the department, restructure the department, or reduce turnover? I spoke with one director who encouraged her staff to become certified, assisted with the study process and they all became certified! So, let’s say it –

  • Responsible for the Case Management department which includes nurse and social work case managers, reducing turnover 100% job site reports that in 2021, a resume is looked at for 6 to 7 seconds! My experience is consistent with this. I can review a resume and determine my interest in a candidate that quickly. Fortunately, I now have the wisdom to realize there is probably more to this individual than the resume is telling me. Are new recruiters with little experience or ones receiving too many resumes going to do the same?

Example –

  • Work closely with primary care practices (Quality Directors, Medical Directors, other leadership) in meeting their quality standards and attaining applicable STAR ratings by hosting quality improvement meetings and maintain quality improvement plans

Another popular usage of words is “Works closely.” What does that mean, are your desks close together? Of course not! So, let’s say it –

  • Collaborate with physician practices (Quality Directors, Medical Directors, senior leadership) in meeting their quality standards and attaining applicable STAR ratings by educating on opportunities for improvement based on HEDIS guidelines

Please also note the word “hosting” quality improvement meetings is changed to “educating” on opportunities for improvement. Hosting? Would we see “hosting” on an executive’s resume in the business world? By the way, this candidate was impressed with herself when we were done reviewing her resume! She looked at power words we have listed on our website, really considered her contributions and did a fabulous job on her resume. It almost looked like two different people. The resume was quickly noticed, she got her invitation to interview and was offered a new position soon after. Well done!

Closing piece of advice — The best time to write a resume is after a great evaluation or a professional victory. The worst time to write a resume is when you need a job. Use your superpower and power words for yourself and truly portray your power in the case management world.

Bio: Marianne DiMola, president, Global Care Management. With more than 25 years of experience in healthcare human resources management and career development, she is considered a subject matter expert in case management staffing. She served as the executive director of the NYC Chapter of CMSA for twenty years.

For more resume tips from Marianne DiMola, read her CMSA Today 2022 Issue 1 article written with Nadine Carter, "Successful Tips for Submitting Your Resume in a Digital World"

Looking to build up your resume? The 1-hour webinar and CE Course "Investing in Yourself: Life-long Learning for Professional Growth" is available in the CMSA Educational Resource Library here: