It takes a certain kind of person to want to enter the medical field. A person who cares about seeing to the needs of others and bettering the world around them. A person who wants to forge relationships with others, being the reason they smile and contributing to their long-term health.
Amidst a constantly mutating, infectious pandemic, those kinds of people are needed now more than ever. Hospitals are swamped, with just over 19% of hospitals being severely understaffed, ill-prepared to handle the coming waves of the disease along with everyone else who needs treatment.
Even if your focus area while in medical school had nothing to do with treating viruses, your skills can still be of use to hospitals across the nation. There are job opportunities open everywhere in healthcare, and recruiters desperately seek to fill those positions.
Taking Your Pick of Opportunities
People who were planning on entering the healthcare industry before these opportunities opened up might (rightly) see this era as a potential goldmine, a time when they can enter any aspect of the field they want. Do you want to start your career in medicine as a physician’s assistant? There are literally hundreds of postings available on job boards, updated daily, and presented for your perusal. Anything is up for grabs, and that’s something that should give you confidence while attempting to secure a job.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a few tricks up your sleeve, a few medical-industry job hunting best practices that you can leverage to get the job you’re looking for. While most standard job-hunting rules apply, the medical field has additional considerations that the avid job-seeker should keep in mind.
If you’re interested in making sure that a particular job sees you as their go-to candidate, read on: we’ll talk over some of those best practices and get you in the running as a serious candidate.
Network, Network, Network
The old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” also applies to the medical field, as candidates that build an extensive network of connections are more likely to find themselves in the role they want. As it turns out, up to 85% of hires are brought on as a result of networking in the medical field.
In medical school, you’ll likely have had the opportunity to work with and meet people who work in your particular niche. If you see that a job opportunity has come up in their hospital, you might want to submit a resume and send them an email informing them you’ve put in an application. You might be surprised at the result.
Staying in touch with old connections, either from medical school or from your first job, can also lead to bigger, better jobs later on. If you’re working a lower-ranking job than you want to be, do your best to meet and get to know people working in your field; something may come from it later, and you have no way of knowing until it happens.
Personalize Your Cover Letter and Resume
If you’re shooting for a particular job, spamming the same resume and cover letter to any and all open positions won’t cover it. If you really want to stand out and identify yourself as a top candidate, a personal touch won’t hurt.
For your resume, make sure you include these elements:
- Your career goals, amended to match the applied-for position perfectly.
- Any experience relating to the position, including academic and previous jobs.
- A clean format. Keep your resume looking sharp, and keep it minimal. Nobody likes looking through a long resume.
For your cover letter, you’ll want to do this:
- Keep it short and sweet. Same rules as the resume, unless you have a boatload of relevant experience you need to advertise, keep it to the essentials only.
- Include relevant information about the company. Showing that you’ve gone above and beyond the standard candidate and learned as much as you can about your future home.
- Highlight strengths. This is no time for humility. Really sell yourself and why you’d be a great fit for the position.
Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small
If you’re having trouble finding a job at the level you want, you might be lacking in experience (or at least enough experience for the position you’re looking for). Don’t be afraid to start off with a different job in the same field, perhaps taking on an internship to pad your resume with relevant experience.
If you wind up taking an internship, you may need to take on a role outside of your major to earn enough to live. Don’t be alarmed, this is a common thing that many medical professionals go through, a kind of “paying your dues.” You’ll get your day eventually if you keep pushing toward your goal and accruing experience.
Navigating the medical job market can be frightening for someone looking for their first job, but don’t let your trepidation scare you away. You’re looking for a job at a moment when every hospital across the country is looking for people, and any position you could imagine is at your fingertips. Keep plugging away, accrue experience, and you’ll eventually wind up where you want to be.