New Graduates – Heed My Advice

Remember when we were all children and our aunts and uncles and grandparents would all ask us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most of the adults followed the question with an ambiguous statement: “You can be anything you want to be.” This is not entirely false, but to a child, this statement sounds like there’s some magic occupation wand that you stand in front of when you’re older; declare you want to be a superhero, and then POOF! You’re a crime fighting cyborg impervious to bullets and rockets.

 

Maybe my ambitions as a child were somewhat different from yours, but the point here is that when we’re told we can be whatever we want to be, the adults conveniently leave out all it takes to achieve our goals, all the hard work involved, and the fact that as we mature, our personalities may lead to different roads in the career path. Very few can say they followed their ambitions as a child and became what we told adults we wanted to be.

 

I’ll spoil my story for you; I’m not a crime fighting cyborg.

 

But, you’ve made it this far, completed all the educational requirements, got your degree and now you’re faced with another challenge: the job interview. YIKES!

 

It can be tough to predict the questions you’ll hear during the job interview, but in the healthcare field, there are a lot of likely questions that are typically geared towards new graduates you can prepare yourself for.

 

  1. Landing the job interview.

Frequently, new graduates experience tremendous difficulty in even being considered for a job. When facilities obtain your resume, they quickly recognize that you’re a new graduate and they’ll put your resume to the side in favor of someone who has experience. It’s prudent to make yourself known on a more proactive level, and maintain persistency. On a weekly basis, plan a route to visit facilities in person to drop off your resume instead of emailing it. Ask the receptionist who you need to speak with at the facility to discuss employment opportunities, and if that person is unavailable, revisit the facility the following week and ask to speak with that person again. You’ll be turned away quite often, but don’t be discouraged; eventually the right people will take notice of your persistency.

 

  1. Facility concerns.

The bottom line is: all facilities are worried about longevity. How long will they be able to retain you as an employee? Usually, healthcare facilities are not open to the idea of accepted a new graduate because of concern about spending valuable resources to train personnel that may result in wasted effort once you’ve been exposed to the true nature of the job and decide that this isn’t what you had expected. Make it known in your interview that you have a ‘never quit’ attitude, that you’re eager to fulfill the employers’ expectations of a model employee, and that you can easily adapt to changes in your environment.

 

  1. What made you decide to pursue healthcare?

This is a question commonly asked, and the most common answer is: “I like helping people.” While this isn’t the wrong answer, there’s probably a better one, or at least a more euphemistic one. As a new graduate, there are hundreds of others with the same credentials giving the same answer for the same position. What makes you stand out? Dig down and find out what really made you want this particular career. There’s something unique to you personally that encouraged this endeavor. Tell the story in as much detail as possible.

 

  1. What do you know about the facility?

Any employer is always impressed when the interviewees knows a bit about the company. Do your homework. Find out how long the facility has been open for, how many beds there are, how many units, and the track record of the facility during state reviews.

 

  1. Educational background.

This isn’t necessarily something that you should spend too much time on, but it’s important to discuss what challenges you experienced in school, and the steps you took to overcome these challenges. This will show your discipline, something every employer wants to see.

 

  1. Make yourself available.

Healthcare is a 24 hour job, and if you lay down the law and limit what shifts you’ll be willing to work, the facility will have no interest in you. At the same time, you don’t want to appear too desperate by telling them you’re available “whenever”. Tell them your preferences, but make it known that you’re anxious to take on the challenges of any hour and that you’re in an ideal position personally to offer flexibility with scheduling.

 

 

The first job you’re offered may not be exactly what you had in mind when you started going to school, but the most important aspect of your professional profile that you’re currently missing is experience. By all means, you shouldn’t jump at the first opportunity either. Make sure you feel comfortable with what you’ve already been exposed to with the facility. Once you’ve gained at least a year of experience, many doors will open up to you and you’ll be well on your way towards following the career path you initially had in mind.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jesse Rose

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About Saleem Mohammed
PROFESSIONAL PROFILE: I have substantial experience in Healthcare Marketing and PR, Human Resources Management, Medical Staffing, Outsourcing & Backroom Office Establishment and Management, Healthcare Account Management, and Multimedia Marketing. My recruitment experience covers nurses, therapists and other allied healthcare workers that are sourced all over US and overseas. As BDO, I brought a start-up company to its highest revenue mark, expanded its menu of services, designed & streamlined HR procedures and built effective cost-cutting measures. SPECIALTIES include, but is not limited to: Healthcare Marketing, Human Resources Management, Medical Staffing, Staffing Coordinator, Healthcare Recruitment, Account Management, Business Development, Healthcare Sales and Pricing Strategy, HR Training & Development, Career Coaching

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