Summer is here! Even if you are taking classes or working full-time during the summer months, it’s important to take time to
pause, organize, and assess what goals you want to accomplish
as you work your way to earning your degree, earning a
certification, and starting your first job in HIM. Here are some
steps you can take this summer to help prepare you for the
coming school year.
You may already have a packed schedule for the summer, but
finding a volunteer opportunity—even for just a few hours a
month—can help you not only build your resume but meet new
HIM professionals who may serve as mentors and references.
Call an organization that you would like to work for some day,
or approach your doctor’s office. Ask if there are any tasks, even
scanning and filing, that you could help with. Any hour spent
in an HIM environment, learning how the professionals spend
their days and the skills they need to accomplish their jobs, is
Apply for Scholarships
Help offset expenses and build your resume by being
recognized for your hard work. Starting July 1, applications
for AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarships will be accepted.
Several Component State Associations (CSA) have scholarship
programs for their student members, and your college may have
scholarships available as well.
Update your Resume
You likely don’t have any HIM experience to include on your
current resume, but there are lots of ways to demonstrate your
skills and knowledge. All HIM experiences—including the
training in ICD- 10 you have received in class and the hours spent
volunteering—are valuable. You should also include your past
work experience on your resume, even if it doesn’t seem directly
related: whether you worked in an office, retail establishment, or
elsewhere, you can point to strengths such as organizational skills,
attention to detail, trustworthiness, or willingness to be a team
player. Check out the AHIMA webinar “Resume Building: Get
Noticed and Get Hired” for more tips and to use the resume and
cover letter templates.
It’s crucial to expand your professional circle. You should be on
LinkedIn and on Engage, and your resume should be uploaded
to AHIMA Career Assist so recruiters can find you, especially if
you are approaching graduation. Take advantage of your CSA;
attending local meetings is the best place to learn and network,
and other local HIM professionals are the best mentors and
referrals. Check out the Future HIM Leaders community on
Engage to network with other students and new grads who
may have the same challenges as you or have ideas for how to
overcome any obstacles and concerns.
Find a Mentor
If you don’t have a professor or other local mentor who you
rely on for advice and guidance, you can easily connect with an
experienced HIM professional over e-mail, phone, or in person
with the Mentor Match Program. Develop a relationship to help
you reach your goals, plan your future, and grow your career. Log
engage.ahima.org and select the Mentoring tab to get started.
Plan for Convention
October may seem distant, but the 2016 AHIMA Convention
and Exhibit in Baltimore, MD, will be here before you know it.
Join students from across the country at Student Academy, a full-day series of presentations, panel discussions, and networking
with HIM leaders and mentors. Other student- and career-prep-focused events include: Student Jeopardy, where teams represent
their schools and win scholarships; the AHIMA Career Fair,
featuring recruiters and companies from across the country as
well as free professional headshots; the Career Prep Theater, with
speakers and sessions ready to help guide you through developing
your career; and fantastic speakers at the General Sessions and
educational tracks. Convention is a great opportunity to see the
many facets of the HIM profession and find your place in it.
Dive into Career Prep Resources
AHIMA’s resources are available to help every step of the way
of your personal career development. Find an hour every week
to stream career prep webinars, complete your Career Prep
Workbook, and learn more about the HIM certifications that
you can earn through your career. v
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