Everyone seems to have what they think is rock-solid advice on how to land healthcare jobs. Whether online or in-person, these “armchair applicants” often pitch what seems like simple ideas that can help you go farther and find greater success in the job search. Some of these ideas actually work, but others can make your life harder with no real benefit. Many put you in the wrong state of mind to find a job you will like and actually get it.
To help you avoid these serious missteps, ignore the following bits of advice the next you hear them:
“Always Seize the Initiative”
Being too docile can make you look like a poor candidate in some positions, but too much aggression is actually a much worse quality. Healthcare settings abound with people who are too bossy and headstrong for their own good, so acting like you will be one of these people during the application process will likely hurt rather than help.
Instead of being aggressive, be persistent. Do not tell hiring managers what to think or that you will “be in touch to schedule an interview” because it will send negative signals and likely offend them from a professional standpoint. At the same time, make sure to politely follow up on job prospects if you have not heard back for a week after the last stage in the process.
“Just Be Yourself”
This bit of advice is an important counter to being completely fake and sycophantic during the application process, but it should be modified to say “just be the version of yourself you would be proud of.” Taking pride in our actions means holding ourselves to a higher standard than, say, showing up to an interview with pajamas and uncombed hair. It also means being aware of how our actions could be interpreted by others.
So make sure to do your homework before an interview, look nice and strategize how to answer questions in an honest but professional way. The person who shows up to an interview well-prepared is still you, just a version of you you would want to hire.
“Demonstrate How Passionate You Are About the Company”
Going off of the “be yourself” motif, try not to come on too strong when talking about how much you look forward to the possible position. Highlighting examples of things you have seen that you like about the company is one thing, having all the CEOs since 1936 memorized and copied to DIY baseball cards is a bridge too far.
Make sure you tread this path lightly so that you do not come off as fake or creepy. Definitely study up on the company to learn about their work, their mission, their vision, their core values and other important cultural factors, but engage them in a discussion with this information rather than resorting to obvious flattery.
“Focus on One Application for Healthcare Jobs at a Time”
You should most certainly devote the appropriate amount of time and energy to job prospects that are the most promising, but never let that take you away from exploring the market. You never know when a new opportunity may pop up, and you also want to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.
You can keep an eye on the best healthcare job listings available at any given time by looking to staffing companies and online healthcare jobs aggregators. Keep applying, and always take sage-sounding advice with a grain of salt to prevent getting steered in the wrong direction.