7 Steps to Land Medical Jobs You Want
In Job Search
February 26, 2016
Medical jobs are all different and unique. They require different educational paths and certifications, but there are some similar steps one can do to increase their chances of landing one of the medical jobs they really want, whether they’re a tech or a physician.
There are a ton of different medical jobs out there. Each one needs a different level of education, certification, and licenses, but there are common tactics that help medical professionals land jobs. First, you need to decide if the medical field is right for you. It takes a ton of time and determination to make it on any level in the healthcare industry.
Depending on what you want to become, it could take anywhere from two years to 12+ years to work in the medical industry. While doctors take many years of education and training, radiology techs, however, can spend substantially less time training. They both work very hard and both must want to help people and spend time continuously learning their craft. But there are similar tactics they both can use to land their prospective job.
We have compiled a list of the best things you can do when looking for a job. Hopefully, if you follow our steps, you can land one of the medical jobs you really want.
Medical Jobs Require the Best People
There isn’t a lot of room for error in medical jobs. There are lives in your hands and people depend on you, so the field demands a high level of focus and training. Healthcare workers spend most of their time learning and working, so it’s a job one doesn’t do just for the money. With that being said, healthcare facilities only hire the best people and the professionals that can work autonomously as part of a team– meaning they want independent people who can also be a great asset to the team.
1. Do Great in School
You need to decide early what you want to do and run full pace at it until you realize your goal. Early in school, you need to show skill in math and science because those courses make up any medical student’s studies. The medical industry demands its candidates be self-motivated, driven, focused people who know what they want and do whatever it takes to get it.
Schooling usually takes many years, but in some instances only a couple, so you need to prepare yourself for the duration and do everything you can to build upon your studies and keep the faith and the focus. To have any chance at a good medical school or of landing a good job, you need a high GPA and great test scores. That basically means you will be partying way less than any of your non-medical friends and that you will spend most of your time studying and learning– that remains the case basically throughout medical school and the rest of your life– so you better love what you do.
Volunteering is a great way to show future employers that you care about your community and that you spent your free time doing something substantial. It’s great as a buffer for your resume as well, especially if you don’t have a lot of work experience– because you spend all of your time studying and volunteering. Volunteering will prepare you for all the free work you will have to offer during your residency if you become a doctor– only kidding, kind of.
But volunteering will definitely give you a way to practice some of your basic skills and develop your love for people and service skills. Plus, it will get you out into the community where you can make contacts and learn about opportunities in your area. It’s a great way to meet people, build your resume, and gain valuable skills.
3. Build A Great Reference List
It’s important to have people who will go to bat for you. If you have a few people who can vouch for your character and work ethic, it can definitely help you land a hard-to-get job. Building a reference list is hard sometimes, especially if you don’t get out in the community, work, or make good with your professors (or bosses if you already work). That’s why you need to make friends with people who could help you professionally.
Get to know volunteer leaders, managers, owners, professors, and even your own family physician. All these people can vouch for your personal character and you can use the professional ones to vouch for your work ethic. Basically, it’s all about your network and connections because we usually get jobs through people we know and people who give us references. Connections are key in any field and with any job, so make sure you have a good list to help you in your professional journey.
4. Study Early to Ace Your Tests
If you’re still in school or advancing your career, you need to ace every test you take. The best way to do this is to study early and fiercely. It’s usually best if you need to take the MCATs or some other entrance exam, that you start preparing a year before taking it. You need to make sure you cover every topic in detail and know everything you can. Prepare for the worst situations and know your content. If you’re ready, you can overcome anything the testing environment throws at you.
Procrastination can leave your career dead in the water. If you wait until the last second to study, you probably won’t be prepared enough to get the scores you need to get into medical school or to land a good job down the road when they look at your test scores. Like I said above, people want the best of the best, so even though the score might be enough to let you skate by, it might not be good enough for great jobs. If you’re advancing your career, start studying the moment you know you want to go further in your field and work your butt off. This field is all about work ethic and knowledge, so you must be strong in both areas.
5. Craft a Specific Cover Letter for Every Job
After all the hard work learning and studying, and you’re ready to enter the job market, you need a great cover letter to make a great first impression with your prospective employer. Many people write the same cover letter for every job, but that hurts their chances of landing the job. Think of a cover letter as your way of speaking to your employer about your skills, experience, and who you are. You need to tell them why you can help them out while introducing yourself and showing your personality.
Don’t be robotic with your letter, but remain professional with personality. Employers want to hear from real people about what they do, their experience, and how their skills can help. Cover letters are one of the most important tools for your job search– it is just as important, if not more, than a resume in some instances. If you don’t have a ton of content or jobs to put on your resume, your cover letter is the looking-glass into who you are and what you’ve done. A resume usually just lists skills and jobs, but your cover letter talks about what you’ve learned, how you’ve implemented your skills, and who you are. And make sure to personalize it for all the medical jobs you apply to.
6. Interview with Confidence
When you finally do land an interview, do everything you can to go into the interview with a ton of confidence. This means doing all your homework, researching your interviewer, and looking your best. By now, you should be really good at doing homework, so keep it up and do your homework on prospective hospitals, managers, hiring managers, policies, and everything you can think of to give you the edge when interviewing. If you prepare for the worst, you will have the confidence to encounter and overcome anything.
Interviewing is hard in real life, but on paper, it’s quite simple. Look great, speak well, ask intelligent questions, answer questions intelligently, show confidence, and be friendly. But not preparing can hurt any aspect of the interview. If you stumble, sweat, can’t answer a question, or don’t know anything about the company, you probably won’t get the job. Doing your homework also lets you know if you want to work for that company. You may find out that they don’t do certain things you would like to, or you might not agree with their practice. Either way, do everything you can to feel confident and show it to your interviewer.
7. Be Grateful
Even if you don’t get the job, be grateful. Having a positive attitude and being grateful can benefit you in the long run because people will remember how friendly you were. It never hurts to be kind. The fewer bridges you burn, the better your career opportunities will be and the better you can grow your reference list.
In all things show thanks and learn from your experience. Talk to people and learn what you can do better next time. If you do get the job, be grateful for your chance to learn, grow, and work towards a better future. If you go around hating everything all the time, it puts bad energy out and people will notice. Nobody wants to work with someone who is ungrateful. So, be nice, say thanks, and remember that smiles don’t cost anything and are the some of the most valuable things you can give to someone. 🙂
Hopefully, our list will help you land one of the medical jobs you really want. If you work hard, study, stay diligent, and focus on your goals, you can find success. Just remember to build good contacts, be grateful, study hard, and be better than the rest so you can beat out your competition. With the job market in healthcare today, you shouldn’t have a problem getting a good job.