Monday, October 30, 2006

Doctor - want a job? The best candidates are……

In the going on a jillion years that I’ve been in recruiting, there are similarities across the best candidates. The same is true of the best physician candidates - the best ones have the following attributes nailed. I’ve been working recently with lots of final year residents and fellows. I’ve noted that many aren’t clued into the job search process and don’t have their act together about what they want to be doing. I’m not faulting anyone for not having a crystal ball, however; being articulate and confident about what you want to do next is crucial if you want to rise to the top of the CV pile on a hiring authority’s desk.

Things to think about (outside the CV):
1) Know your strengths and what you can add to a new practice situation (whether it is an employed or partnership track opportunity). Even if you are new to being in private practice you still have something to offer in the form of cutting edge skills, a manner of dealing with and contributing to patients, or your personal disposition – a steady eddy or a humorous harriet. Be prepared to distinguish yourself from all the others. I know I know you’ve been studying for the last quarter of your life and don’t think of yourself as needing to have self promotion skills but in the job search process you need to blow your own horn.
2) Know the part of the country in which you’d like to work. Hiring authorities are going to be interested in you if you have some link or tie to the community. If you want to practice in Dallas for example, it helps that your wife’s family all live in the area. That makes a difference. The bottom line is that the hiring authority wants to have you fit in with their medical community and if they are going to be making an investment in hiring you they want you to stay in their community.
3) Know the size of community you want to be in if you don’t have an absolute destination in mind. Also know how close you want to be to a metropolitan area or to a larger/international airport. This can make a difference as you are reviewing job openings
4) Know how much call you prefer and know the type of practice you want – solo, solo with call, join one (partner); more than two single specialty group, multispecialty group, hospital employed or other employed or academia? Or industry? Where do you want to be?
5) Know when you can start – this should be as unambiguous as possible.
6) Know if you will need special help with your relocation – do you have a special needs child or a spouse whose career will need to be relocated too! This shouldn’t make a difference as you go through discussions about your qualifications, but will make a difference once you have an offer and are considering all the issues about how to get you to your first day.

There are many things to consider, but getting clear about them in advance of your conversations with a recruiter or hiring authority is important if you want to be perceived as a key candidate or player in the search process. If you’d like help with aspects of this process check for job search tools to help you manage your search more effectively. If you get clear about the six points mentioned above you will be well on your way to launching the search process and giving yourself a running start.

Happy and healthy job searching!