Finding a Medical Job

You have decided a career in health care is the right fit for you. You have decided on a particular job or concentration that fits your goals and desires. You have completed the educational program for your particular job. You have passed the examinations and attained licensing or certification. Months or years have elapsed, and you more than likely have acquired some educational debt. It more than likely has been stressful, and you have made some sacrifices. It is now time to begin finding a medical job.

The résumé is one of the most crucial components of the process of finding a medical job. Employers receive hundreds to thousands of résumés weekly. The résumé is typically used to make your first impression on employers and can make or break your candidacy for a particular medical job. Employers take only seconds to minutes to review your résumé, and it needs to be easily scanned by those hiring. As a result, your résumé should be simple. There is no need for fancy graphics, fonts, colors, or formatting. Fonts should be uniform throughout the document. Name and contact information should be centered at the top. The body should be justified to the left, and the content should be organized in reverse chronological order. Employment dates should include month and year for the beginning and ending of each position. There should be no spelling or grammatical errors. Your résumé should be truthful and present you positively to employers. Excessive embellishment and downright deception are universally unacceptable to potential employers. Your résumé should be action oriented wherever possible. Employers are easily bored by a long laundry list of descriptive adjectives. Action verbs should be utilized as opposed to mundane, lifeless descriptions. Your résumé should highlight results wherever possible. Employers are usually interested in results, especially if they had a positive impact on a previous employer's bottom line.

Job interviews are perhaps the most critical part of the medical job search process. Thorough preparation will give you the best chances at landing a job offer. You should research your potential employer. Nowadays, this is most easily accomplished with an Internet search. Company websites usually contain mission statements and give insight into the culture and values of the potential employer. Testimonials from current and past employees, patients, customers, and vendors may be available on the organization's website. Recent business news, financials, and forecasted growth for the organization may also be available via the Internet. Do you or a colleague know someone currently working for the potential employer? If so, you should make a connection and spend some time talking with him or her and asking questions.

You should know the interview process for the position you are seeking. Are a series of interviews required? Is the interview individual or in a group setting? What is the anticipated time frame for hiring? If possible, you should call and confirm the date, time, and location of your interview. It is also a good idea to map your route to the interview, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. You should dress in appropriate professional business attire, such as a men's or lady's suit. You should anticipate interview questions and rehearse answering them. Lastly, you should have a list of intelligent questions prepared to ask your interviewer. Ideally, those questions should give the impression that you in fact did research on the potential employer.

References are another important component to success when it comes to finding a medical job. Typically, employers ask to be furnished with three references. Be prepared to provide them, as the days of employers not asking or not bothering to contact references are long gone. You should select the right people as references, and inform them in advance of your intentions. In addition to employers, it is perfectly acceptable to use others as references. Examples include mentors, long-time friends in medical careers, customers, and leaders in organizations for which you volunteer. If you do not think a person can provide a stellar reference, do not approach him or her. You should provide potential references with your current résumé so they can be clear on your previous employment positions, dates of employment, education, and certifications or licensures. Often, references are asked about things such as your strengths, weaknesses, general character, work ethic, reasons for leaving past employment, and overall employability.

Lastly, internships during, before, or after your medical education should be highlighted. They provide real-world experience in your chosen medical field. Internships also affirm to potential employers your dedication to your chosen medical profession. They can also provide you with résumé highlights, potential references, and questions for potential employers. Luckily for you, most medical careers will enjoy growth in the years to come, and excellent opportunities should be in abundance.

Last Updated: 05/21/2014