In our blogs, we often speak of the soft skills that are key to a student’s successful healthcare career. Aptitudes that are important include written and oral communication, attention to detail, responsibility, and professionalism. These characteristics will also be helpful during the job search process.
Here are some tactics for combining your academic knowledge with your soft skills strengths that will help land the job you’ve been working towards.
1. WRITE A WINNING RESUME
Hiring managers scan each applicant’s resume for an average of six seconds. With that in mind, put the most important information first, and be sure to format the body of your resume so that key words and phrases will catch their attention. Here are some tips for arranging resume content.
- Begin with a focused objective statement and follow it with core strengths that are significant for success in the desired position.
- Follow with education and certification(s) so that they are on the upper part of the page. List key courses and their takeaways that relate to the job for which you’re applying.
- Either within the education section or directly after it, list relevant student experience that was gained in clinical training.
- List your work experience next. If you don’t have a history of medical experience, describe how your successes at prior jobs can translate to the new position; such as customer service, sales, inventory tracking, and project management.
- Include any volunteer experience and community organization work.
2. CREATE A PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL PROFILE
Linked-In is the primary social site for professionals. Your profile is critical; spend time creating a strong one. Include a copy of your resume and a professional-looking photo (avoid pets and avatars). To further strengthen your presence, ask former teachers and employers for recommendations.
Send invitations to fellow students, instructors, and other professionals you know to build a strong network. You can also join groups and follow companies and organizations of interest. LinkedIn has great job search resource.
It should go without saying that most hiring managers will Google your name and look at all of your online profiles and content. Be mindful of what you post and share!
3. PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW
Do your homework. Before your interview, read the company’s website. Make note of any news and press releases, such as corporate merges, management hires, or new product launches. This might provide you with the opportunity for smart questions or comments during the interview. Be sure to have some questions prepared. You’ll inevitably be asked, “Do you have any questions?” The worst response to this is “No!”
If you’re asked to tell the hiring manager about yourself, talk about successes, both professional and academic. Even if you don’t have a long list of job accolades, you can talk of experiences from your education that directly relate to the position. Even personal stories might be appropriate, such as volunteer experience or hobbies that positively reflect your personality. Have some examples mentally prepared, so you won’t be caught off guard.
All your preparation could be for naught if you don’t make a good first impression. Dress appropriately for the position you’re applying to and don’t overlook the cleanliness of hair, nails, shoes, and clothes.
Are you ready to present yourself as the perfectly qualified, well-rounded candidate? Prepare for your interview with a solid resume and professional readiness, and you should be at the top of the hiring manager’s list.