Prescription for Effective Healthcare Resumes/Interviewing
In an interview, a nurse might say that his greatest strength is the ability to improve patients’ quality of life. A hospital administrator might focus her resume or LinkedIn profile on the concept of balancing high-level quality care with cost control. Due to its major impact on people’s lives and well-being and its unique regulatory requirements, successfully navigating the hiring process within the healthcare industry can be particularly challenging.
Here are a few key factors to keep in mind during your healthcare job search:
A. Will you need a resume or CV?
Typically, administrative, nursing, and support staff roles will require a resume with a traditional reverse-chronological format. This allows hiring managers to quickly skim qualifications and determine fit. Medical doctor and research roles will require a more lengthy and detailed CV, outlining not only qualifications but also extensive publications and information about residencies or other professional development credentials. The rule of thumb is to let the job advertisement be your guide in determining which type of career history document is necessary.
B. Do your career branding materials contain specific keywords/phrases?
Each industry and field has its own set of unique skill sets and areas of knowledge; as a massive industry with a variety of fields of work, healthcare has a plethora of distinctive skills and concepts that must be conveyed within career branding materials when searching for a job. Look to job postings and hiring specifications for relevant keywords and phrases, and be specific in your resume, CV, or LinkedIn profile. For instance, “regulatory compliance” is relevant to a wide range of industries; however, “HIPPA compliance” is specific to healthcare. Be sure to emphasize the keywords and phrases that are critical to your target roles.
C. Can you answer tough healthcare-related questions during an interview?
In the healthcare industry, there is often a major focus on ethics and dealing with high-pressure situations because the health and well-being of patients is at stake. During an interview, you must be ready to answer challenging questions about ethics, emotions, and difficult decision making. For instance, a nursing candidate might be asked if she has ever had to follow a policy or procedure she disagreed with. A medical student applying for residencies might be asked how he would handle a situation where he disagrees with an attending doctor. You must be ready to answer these industry-specific questions with confidence.
Many people love the rush that comes with a fast-paced, high-pressure environment like an ER. Others enjoy the process of caring for and nourishing patients in a long-term care setting. Still some gain satisfaction while helping healthcare system operations run smoothly. Healthcare can be a high-stress industry, but it can also be extremely rewarding. If it’s an industry that appeals to you, consider these factors as you navigate your job search.