Medical careers are among the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. Demand for home health aides, personal care aides and physician assistants is expected to grow over 30% by 2028. There’s also a great demand for nurse practitioners, phlebotomists, physical therapist aides and medical assistants, among many others.
If you recently graduated from a medical program, you’re likely excited to get started on your new career. Although the medical field is a fast-growing industry, it can be competitive for new grads. With some business know-how, preparation and determination, you can find the right fit for you and your goals.
How to Get a Job in the Medical Field
Searching for your first medical job will, in itself, feel like a full-time job. However, if you’re prepared, organized, patient and ready to tackle challenges, you’ll land the job you’ve been hoping for. The key is not to get discouraged along the way. Here’s what you can do to increase your chances of finding a job that’s a good match for your skillset and education.
Networking presents numerous opportunities and can be a great way to launch your career. When you connect with others in your field, you might learn of a job opening before it’s ever posted. Up to 85% of jobs are found through networking. At least 70% of jobs are never advertised.
As a graduate of a medical program, aim to build relationships with peers, people who work in your field and recruiters. One way medical professionals can network is to join a professional organization. For example, a recent grad of a medical assistant program might become a member of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and attend conferences, programs and events. Most health care careers have an association or society you can join.
2. Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter
Make sure you have a solid resume to highlight your skills and show how you’ll be an asset to a potential employer. Research relevant job descriptions and highlight key skills in your resume. For example, medical career recruiters might look for candidates with excellent attention to detail or strong interpersonal skills.
You don’t need to rewrite your entire resume for every position you apply to, but you will want to edit a few lines to ensure it fits a specific employer’s needs. Make sure your resume also includes the following elements:
- Statement of career goals that relate to the position.
- Academic accomplishments.
- Career experiences.
- Related activities such as internships or volunteer work.
It’s important to submit a cover letter with each resume and job application to express your enthusiasm and showcase your unique background. Here are tips for creating an impactful cover letter:
- Keep the cover letter short, or no longer than a few paragraphs on a single page.
- Use the cover letter to highlight your strengths and how they relate to the specific opening.
- Show you researched the company, and you’re excited about the position.
- Customize the letter for the company and the job.
Consider sharing your resume and cover letter with the career center at your school to receive valuable feedback. There are also plenty of templates and resources online to help you construct a professional-quality resume for free or at a low cost.
3. Search Every Day
There’s no doubt about it – health care jobs are in demand. However, it’s also a competitive market, and a single employer might receive thousands of applications a year. For this reason, it helps to treat your search like a full-time job and look for opportunities every day. A few online resources for medical job seekers include:
Other general job search sites that are considered among the best include:
You can also search employers’ websites and job boards of professional organizations in your desired field. Apply to as many openings as you can, but avoid wasting time with jobs you wouldn’t take. Remember to check out other resources like job fairs, temporary agencies and newspapers.
4. Follow Up
Don’t wait to hear back. Aim to follow up with companies you’ve applied to a week later. When you reach out to a potential employer after applying, you put your name to the front of their mind and help yourself stand out from the dozens of other candidates. Contact the hiring manager by email or phone and briefly restate your interest in the position and why you’d be a good match.
5. Be Flexible
If you struggle to find a position in your field right after graduation, consider volunteering or taking an internship at a local hospital or medical facility, even if it’s a non-medical role. This will help you network, gain experience and land a job when one opens up. You might also consider looking for work outside of your major or in a different location.
6. Prepare for the Interview
The interview is one of the most critical aspects of your job search. It’s your chance to show a potential employer how you can meet their needs. It’s also the time to ask questions and determine if the company is right for you. The key to making a lasting impression is to properly prepare. Here are tips to help you enjoy a successful interview:
- Research the employer and the job opening.
- Prepare thoughtful answers to common interview questions and practice.
- Compile a list of questions to ask the employer.
- Bring copies of your resume and a list of references.
- Dress appropriately.
- Bring a notepad to jot down information.
- Show your enthusiasm, focus on the positive and respond honestly.
- Plan to arrive ten minutes early.
Reach Out to Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania
The Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania (OIP) understands that the ability to help patients live healthy pain-free lives makes a medical career worth it every step of the way. If you live in central Pennsylvania and are interested in joining a team of dedicated and empathetic professionals, we invite you to browse our open positions. To connect with a team member and learn more about our mission and services, contact us today.