The general consensus in the healthcare field is that if you can make it through med school, you can do anything. Finding a job as a physician, whether you’re just out of residency or have lots of experience, can be a daunting task, though.
The main obstacle for doctors is that, unlike most other jobs, employers aren’t willing to take on a novice to handle people’s health. If you can’t prove you know your stuff, they’re less likely to take a chance on you.
This doesn’t have to be a difficult hurdle to overcome, though. With foresight and strategy, you can optimize your job search and get hired anywhere that meets your preferences.
These seven easy tips will get you organized on the job search path so you can get started doing what you do best—treating patients!
1. Organize Your Documentation
Keeping your curriculum vitae, resume, and documentation up-to-date should be an ongoing system. By always updating your licenses, training, and insurance, you’ll stay on top of any upcoming expirations.
This organized system also comes in handy when you have to go for an interview. You’ll have your license, proof of education, recent training evidence, and more at your fingertips.
As a bonus, an organized system makes you look impressive to employers. Physicians should be detail-oriented by nature. Your documentation speaks volumes!
2. Determine Your Job Search Area
Most people already know where they want to work before they start searching for jobs. They go where they already have a professional network established or they have family close by.
However, if you’re not tied down to one specific area, you can use other factors to decide where you’ll start your job search. Finding the best places that compensate for your specialty might be one way to look. Physicians Thrive has a breakdown of the compensation trends by region here.
Once you’ve narrowed down the general location where you plan to live and work, you can start your job hunt. Keep in mind that searching slightly outside of your main preference could be more lucrative and worth the extra drive.
3. Know Your Must-Haves and Compromises
As you start scanning the job boards, it’s easy to get overloaded by all the jobs available in certain areas. Before you jump in and start applying for everything, start by making a list of your must-have features.
If you have a solid reputation in an in-demand field, it’s okay to be picky. It can’t hurt to look for the cream of the crop positions and apply to them first!
Look for job postings that offer a salary that’s competitive for your area by checking Glassdoor or Indeed. Watch the benefits and perks that are offered, not just the annual income. Sometimes, the perks outweigh the lower salary.
There are some things you’d like but are willing to compromise on. Include those in your list as well. This part comes in handy if you’re torn between two jobs that offer all your must-haves and are equally tempting.
4. Keep a Spreadsheet
With all of those must-haves and want-to-have features, how are you going to keep track of which jobs have what?
The answer, of course, is a spreadsheet!
Create an Excel or Google Sheets file to track every job you apply to and the status of your submission. Make columns for the features you’re looking for and put an X in each row if the position offers them.
Update the spreadsheet throughout the process as you hear back from the company, get an interview, and so on. Use this document to add notes after each communication, too.
5. Integrate Your Calendar
If you have a lot of jobs you’re applying to, you don’t want to accidentally miss an interview. When you nail down a time and date, add it to your phone’s calendar and set it to give you a reminder the day and hour before.
Google Calendar is one of the most popular organizational software options out there. Using Drive’s spreadsheet option, Google Sheets, to keep up with your job applications lets you easily integrate all your appointments.
6. Use the Job Search Site’s Tools
Reputable physician job boards have processes in place that make it easy for you to search for your specific preferences. You shouldn’t have to set up your preferred categories each time you login.
Check the tools in the job sites you’re using. There may be a job alert option that notifies you via text or email when a new job posting shows up that meets your preferences.
This saves you time and helps you get to that job opening quickly before someone else does.
7. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
When you’re in between jobs, it’s common to feel pressured to apply for everything. But the time you spend filling out questionnaires and submitting your resume to low-quality positions could better be spent scouring the job boards for better opportunities.
It takes a long time to fill out an application for most jobs. The importance of a doctor’s role means those applications are often more time-consuming and detailed.
You’ll also have to pass a background screening, drug test, and jump through other hoops for almost any physician position. Why do all of that work for a job you’re not going to be happy with when you could keep looking a little longer for a better role?
Keep referring back to that spreadsheet with all your must-haves. Only apply to the postings that meet your criteria.
The job search process can be complicated, but when you’re organized, it makes it so much easier! Putting these little tips into place before you start checking the job boards saves you time and energy. With a system in place, you can focus on finding the best positions out there!