Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Physician Career Fairs – Making the Most of Them

I recently had the pleasure of attending the CareerMD Career Fair in Chicago. For those of you who don’t know, CareerMD is a terrific resource for physician training and job finding info. Their website at features a comprehensive and centralized source of information on physician training and employment opportunities. They also host career fairs in various locations throughout the US.

I did happen to notice that most of the physician attendees were prepared for the event, but also noticed that many hadn’t given much thought to their expected outcome. I’d like to make some suggestions on how you can get the most out of time attending career fairs.

As you know from other posts, I’m a huge believer of “beginning with the end in mind.” In this context that means that physician job seeking attendees would arrive expecting to: 1) talk with prospective hiring authorities about opportunities; 2) have additional copies of their CV’s in hand to share on the spot; and 3) know what types of opportunities they are interested in seeking and possible locations/geography as a destination.

Usually the career fair sponsor can advise you about the number of employers or recruiters to expect in attendance so you may estimate how many CV’s to bring with you. Also, in many cases the career fair sponsor will collect your CV and make all of the job seeker CV’s available to the hiring authorities who attend the event. This is a nice service so as an attendee you don’t have to schlep 150 copies of your CV. But, you do still want to have 15 to 20 copies to distribute to those companies/recruiters where you want immediate follow up.

Last, don’t hesitate to ask for the business card from practice situations you are especially interested in. You may need to contact them directly, if they are slow to get back to you. As a recruiter/hiring authority at these events, I know I’m juggling a lot of paper, and a display plus traveling and might not be as quick to respond as I like post event. I’m never put off if someone contacts me in follow up – I know they are very motivated about my opportunities and will be a good candidate.

Last, be flexible. It might be that as you are wandering the career fair event you learn something about a practice style or location that you haven’t previously considered. You never can tell when that info might come in handy as your career morphs over your lifetime.

Happy and healthy job searching.

Happy holidays too.