For the majority of medical students, they’ve gone through years and years of training and education. First there was college, then taking the MCAT, then medical school and then finally residency. For many, it seemed like the journey would never end. You’d pass through one wall just to have a few more in your way.
Once you’re past all of that, however, you need to start looking for jobs. While many places are expecting a doctor shortage over the next two decades, you shouldn’t just run at whoever gives you the first job offer.
But at the same time, you don’t want to be without work for too long. After all, you have loans to pay back and plenty of other bills will start coming in soon enough. If you’re looking for some help finding your dream job, check out some of the suggestions below.
The Red Tape
While you may feel like your schooling is over, and it might be, you should start thinking if you’re going to need any kind of specialization or certain licensure before you start working. Some of these specialties require more training and possibly another round of residency.
In addition, you’ll want to check out the state in which you intend to practice medicine. Some states have stricter requirements than others when it comes to obtaining your medical license. You may have to pass an exam, go in front of a board or both. So don’t take what your friend did three states over as the final word.
Take care of the red tape to know if you’ll be searching right away or may delay it a few years.
It’s a job-hunting tip as old as time: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While you might be able to find and fake a job in finance because your neighbor’s father is looking for someone, you’re probably not going to be able to fake surgery or cardiology.
You should still study, but just remember connections are key.
Connections can be anyone out there, from old medical school classmates, your mom’s friend who works at a hospital to someone you meet in a coffee shop. Having someone put in a word for you or help guide you to your first job can make a big difference.
If you feel like you don’t know anyone, see if you can make a connection through your LinkedIn profile. A friend might know someone who works in a hospital. Take them out to lunch and pick their brain to see if anything is available or opening.
3. The Resume
Your resume is likely going to be the first thing staff and recruiters see about you. It’s essentially the professional representation of you on paper so your resume to make a great first impression. In doing so, there needs to be specific information on your resume. Look for examples of medical resumes online if you don’t have one and make sure it’s up-to-date. The basic information that needs to be on there includes, but is not limited to:
- Contact information
- Relevant Skills
- Volunteer Experience
- Work Experience and Job Responsibilities
Depending on your specialty, see if you can find similar resumes and try to imitate their lingo and highlighted experience. It helps to tailor your resume to certain job postings or announcements as well. You don’t want to cast a wide net every time.
Speaking of a wide net…
4. Job Browsing
If you don’t feel like you know anyone or want to start out on your own, it’s time to hit the online job boards. Here is where it’s tempting to cast a wide net over everything. You might want to go the “easy apply” route and send out your cover letter and resume in mass.
Make sure you’re going over each job announcement with a fine-toothed comb. You don’t want to start working at a clinic or hospital only to find out the hours don’t fit with your life schedule or it’s a trek to get to every day. This is your career, you will have to sacrifice some things but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice everything.
5. Be Personable
Remember that hospitals and clinics just aren’t hiring bodies, they’re hiring people. While your place of work may never resemble Scrubs, don’t be afraid to be yourself in the interview and following steps.
You’re going to be working with these people daily and around them all the time. Don’t try and act like someone else during the interview because you think it will help you get ahead. Eventually, you won’t be able to keep it up and people will start to notice you acting differently. Act natural and eventually, your next job will come to you.