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Volunteer, Train, Diversify: Key Words for Getting Hired in Healthcare

By Experience

Sometimes getting a health care job requires more than sending in a resume.

The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in the field and increase your chances of finding a permanent position.


Opportunities for volunteering in health care are so abundant that organizations need to hire full-time workers to coordinate all the volunteers. Volunteering is a good way to break into the business for two reasons. First, it necessarily expands your knowledge of certain aspects of the field. Second, it gives you cooperative contact with health care professionals. Performing volunteer duties well can impress the right people, but keep in mind the flip side of this advice and never volunteer unless you have the time and focus to do a great job.


Frustrated by failed attempts to snag a desk job at your local hospital? Health care is a whole lot more than doctors and nurses- the field encompasses an almost impossibly broad range of occupations and organizations. Give some thought to peripheral businesses like pharmaceutical and insurance companies, or professional organizations. In many cases, the work you would do at these related organizations is similar to what's involved in a clinic or hospital job. The more facilities you're willing to consider, the more likely you are to land a job.


Many positions in health care require more occupation-specific training than do jobs in most other industries. You may find it difficult to break in or advance without training beyond a bachelor's degree. Whether this training takes the form of a computer class to boost your word-processing skills or a multi-year R.N. or M.D. program, a commitment to health care requires a reexamination of your academic credentials and learned skills.

Resume and cover letter tips

Health care employers process thousands of resumes each year, and it takes a stand-out applicant to get through to the interview stage. Your cover letter and resume need to convince an overworked and under-staffed department head that you can make her life easier. The following tips and examples will help you tailor your resume and optimize the impact your cover letter to give you an edge in landing the job.

Give them what they want

Health care employers want their entry-level employees to possess many of the same basic skills and traits as do people at every level of the industry. If you're interested in a direct care job, your cover letter should express your sincere desire to provide quality care for patients, your interest in working closely with other staff members, and your willingness to persevere through hectic days when schedules and plans may change at a moment's notice. If you want a job in administration, you should be able to convey your flexibility, dedication, and desire to contribute to upholding the quality standards of your health care organization despite constant cost-cutting.


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