The healthcare industry can offer many rewarding careers, but it’s also a highly competitive field. This is particularly true if you’re applying for highly sought-after positions or positions with limited barriers to entry. And with some health industry jobs being replaced by robots, it’s important for you to not only find a job that’s a great fit but to also prove your value to the employer.
To increase your chances of getting a job in this competitive industry, you’ll need to find ways to make yourself stand out from the competition. This starts with finding a position that’s a great fit for you, but the way that you write your application and present yourself in an interview is equally as important.
If you’re preparing to look for a new healthcare job, the following tips can help you to stand out and present yourself professionally.
Look for the right job in the right place
If you’re going to truly stand out in this industry, you need to find a job that’s right for your skills, experience, and even your personality. These jobs aren’t advertised everywhere. In fact, one of the secrets that healthcare recruiters don’t want you to know is that most recruitment takes place on niche job boards, rather than on larger, more general boards like Indeed.
This means that more of the opportunities that you want to see are being posted on healthcare-specific job boards, like CareerVitals. Rather than focusing on larger job boards, make checking these niche sites a regular part of your job search.
Don’t forget to check provider websites for job postings, too. For instance, if you want to work at a specific hospital, check their employment opportunities page regularly so that you don’t miss a job posting that might not make it onto the sites you’re checking.
Make a great first impression
Once you’ve found that ideal position, you’ll need to spend time writing a great cover letter and resume. These documents are the first impression that an employer will have on you, so while you want to present yourself professionally, you also want to stand out from other job applicants.
When writing a resume or curriculum vitae (CV), focus on presenting a clear, well-organized overview of your skills and experience as they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for. Include key information like details on your degree, your employment, your skills, volunteer experience, and any other relevant professional activities that demonstrate you’re a strong candidate for the position.
When formatting your CV or resume, use a clean font that’s easy to read. Be sure to include a professional email address, and make sure that you clearly identify your credentials. List your most current work experience first, and highlight skills or experiences that are most relevant to the job that you’re applying for.
Next, customize a cover letter that’s specific to each position you apply to. Have the job description next to you as you write. Try to respond directly to the requirements and job responsibilities identified in the description, and provide examples of how your past experience would allow you to succeed in the position. Use keywords from the job description, and be sure to address the hiring manager personally if his or her name is readily available.
Plan out points to touch on during your interview
When potential employers contact you to schedule an interview, start practicing and planning out what you’ll say ahead of time. Think about the skills and experiences that you have that are most valuable to the employer, and plan to mention them. With technology holding a more prevalent role in the healthcare industry, it’s also important to talk about your technical experience and skills.
You might also want to discuss how you understand the importance of patient confidentiality since cyber breaches in healthcare are a major current issue. Showing your awareness of these issues can help demonstrate that you stay abreast of relevant industry concerns.
During your interview, be sure to highlight the research that you’re most interested in or that you’ve been working on. Don’t underestimate the importance of the research that you’ve done. For instance, without cancer research, we wouldn’t be aware of the link between asbestos and mesothelioma. Even if your research doesn’t directly relate to the position you’re interviewing for, your interest and time investment in the research show your dedication to the healthcare field.
Within 24 hours of your interview, send along a handwritten or emailed thank-you note to each of the people you interviewed with. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you and reiterate your interest in the position.
Many applicants overlook this important step, so taking just a few minutes to follow up can help you to stand out from other applicants and, hopefully, land you the job.
About the Author:
Jori Hamilton is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who has a particular interest in social justice, politics, education, healthcare, technology, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @ HamiltonJori.