6 Tips to Land Your New Job in Healthcare

March 6, 2024

The process of landing your first job in healthcare is multifaceted and requires dedication, preparation, and a positive mindset. As you embark on entering the workforce, here are 6 tried-and-true tips to get you started.

1. Craft a Professional Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter are often your only chance to make a first impression, and you want to make it a good one.

Tailor Your Resume to Highlight Relevant Experience

When crafting your resume for a specific role, be sure to highlight relevant experience, skills, and achievements. Even if you don’t have much experience in the field yet, that’s okay. Emphasize the specific experience you received in the lab portion of the class or the skills you learned in lecture. Search online for examples of resumes for the job you’re applying to for inspiration and to help you get the ball rolling.

Write a Stand-out Cover Letter

A well-written cover letter can significantly improve your chances of landing an interview. It should be personalized for the employer and the role you’re applying for. If possible, address the cover letter to a specific person and explain why you are passionate about the role and how your experiences make you a perfect fit. Try to keep it to one page and make it easily scannable, so the hiring manager can quickly see why you’re a good candidate.

Did you recently take a CALRegional program and need some help getting started? Head to the CALCareer Portal, click on Resumes, and from here, our portal will assist you in generating a professional resume and cover letter.

2. Stand Out With Your References

Your references can strengthen your application and provide additional credibility to your work ethic and accomplishments. Select references who are familiar with your work and can speak to your strengths. Ideally, these should be former supervisors or colleagues who can provide details about your job performance and character. Be sure to ask for their permission before sharing their contact information with potential employers.

However, if you haven’t had experience working a job in healthcare yet, that’s okay too. Previous managers can still attest to your job performance and character, which carries over to your new career. Pro tip: Ask your CALRegional instructor if they will be a reference for you.

3. Be Open to All the Possibilities

Don’t limit yourself by hunting for only the ‘perfect’ job. Sometimes, the perfect job may come in a different shape than you originally imagined. Be open to applying to multiple places—not just hospitals but also private practice offices. They often have more entry-level positions available. If a job sounds interesting but the title doesn’t exactly match what you’ve been looking for, don’t discard it. Read the job description thoroughly to see if the responsibilities align with your skills and career aspirations.

Interested in teaching? CALRegional often hires our graduates as Skills Instructors. You can view our job board here for up-to-date postings in your area.

4. Don’t Let Qualifications Discourage You From Applying

Job postings often list a long list of ‘required’ qualifications, but very few candidates will have every single one. Review the qualifications listed and determine if you have equivalent skills or experiences that make you a good fit for the role. Make sure you distinguish between what is “required” versus what is “preferred.”

Your cover letter is the perfect place to address any qualifications you might not meet on paper. Explain how your related experiences have provided you with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the role. For example, if a job posting says it requires 1+ years of experience, you can acknowledge that while you do not have previous work experience, your educational background has prepared you for the field. You are “job-ready.”

5. Do Your Research on Positions Available in Your Area

Understanding the job market in your area is crucial for finding and landing the right job. Search popular job sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter frequently. Very important: Ensure you’re searching for the correct terms that fit your field. For example, if you’re looking for a job in healthcare as an EKG Technician, don’t limit yourself to searching just “EKG tech.” Instead, expand your search with relevant terms like “monitor or diagnostic technician,” “heart and vascular,” and “cardiology.” You may be surprised how many more results will open.

6. Stay Motivated

Job searching can be a challenging experience, but staying positive and persistent pays off. Set daily or weekly goals for your job search and stick to a routine, such as taking 1-2 hours every day to apply for jobs. Creating a schedule will help you stay focused and organized.

7. Bonus Tip: Take Care of Yourself

Job searching can be a job in itself. Getting burnt out is easy, but caring for your physical and mental well-being is critical. Make time for exercise, hobbies, and relaxation. Surround yourself with friends and family who can encourage and energize you. And remember, your CALRegional family believes in you!

By following these tips, you’ll present yourself in the best light possible and increase your chances of landing your new job in healthcare. Remember, job searching is as much about the quality of your application as it is about your attitude and approach. Stay resilient, and you’ll soon be on your way to the next step in your healthcare career.