By Angela Rose for HealthCallings.com
Times change—and so do job search tactics. What may have been necessary or effective a decade ago could now hinder your chances of landing that next healthcare or medical job. Consider the following outdated approaches to avoid if you want to improve the probability of securing a new position.
1. Postponing the job search until you’re laid off or fed up.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average number of years with a single employer for workers between the ages of 25 to 34 is 3.2 years. A desire to climb the next rung on your career ladder is natural, and thanks to internet job boards like HealtheCareers.com, it’s easy to post a resume and browse new physician, nurse, executive, and other healthcare jobs during your off hours while still working for your current employer.
2. Focusing on healthcare employers who are actively hiring.
If you really want to work for a top nationally ranked hospital, but they aren’t currently advertising job openings, approach the hiring manager anyway. As you already know, there’s always turnover in the healthcare industry as younger workers go back to school, mid-range workers move on to their next opportunity, and older workers retire. When a job vacancy is available, the hiring manager will already have your resume in hand.
3. Limiting your resume to one page.
If you’re just getting started in healthcare, your resume will naturally be shorter than that of a veteran with 20 years of experience. However, you don’t have to limit the information you include to clinical or medical experience. Think about the transferable skills you’ve gained outside the industry. For example, if you spent several years working at a nursing or convalescent home, you’ve learned to maintain patience under pressure and helped patients with disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you have tons of truly relevant accomplishments to share, you can extend your resume onto a second page.
4. Updating a resume from 10 years ago.
While it might be easier to dust off that old resume and add your last position, consider giving the entire document an overhaul. Instead of displaying an ‘objective’ at the top, think about including a ‘skills summary’ or an introductory paragraph focused on what you can do for the company. While you’re at it, remove ‘References available on request’ from the bottom. Employers assume you can provide references so stating it just takes up space.
5. Assuming no phone call means they’ve filled the job.
The healthcare industry is a busy one. If that group practice or walk-in clinic is hiring, they are probably operating with a limited staff—and the hiring manager may be filling in as a result. Make a phone call, or send an email to follow-up on every resume you submit. However, remember that persistence does not mean pestering. If you still don’t receive a response, move on to your next opportunity.
In March 2014, the BLS reported 19,000 healthcare jobs. This is good news for anyone interested in a healthcare or medical career because it means opportunities should be plentiful—especially if you avoid these outdated job search tactics.
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