If you’re a resident physician or a recent grad from a medical, PA, or NP program, chances are you’ve received at least one invite to attend a healthcare job fair. For some, the thought of a job fair can be overwhelming. Who do you talk to? How can you make the best use of your time? Is attending a job fair really a good way to get a job? The answer is yes!
From networking opportunities to learning more about potential employers, there are plenty of reasons to attend a healthcare job fair. That said, you’ll get the most out of your time if you know what you’re getting into, come prepared, and follow up appropriately. Here are six ways to get the most out of your next job fair.
1. Do your research
Once you’ve decided to attend an event, make sure you review the list of employers who will be attending. This information is typically available from the organization sponsoring the job fair, and it can help you decide where to focus your efforts.
“Do your research in advance to optimize your time while at the event,” says Kerry Wagner, resident and fellow specialist for CHG Healthcare. She cautions against waiting until you arrive to review the list of employers, as it’s not an efficient use of time.
Not only will this help you decide which employers you most want to approach, you’ll also have time to learn more about each facility, what it has to offer, and the community where it’s located.
2. Come prepared
Arriving at the event well-prepared is a sure way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Follow these tips to make a great first impression on any potential employer.
- Upload a copy of your CV when you register for the event. Doing this ensures employers have easy access to your information and can contact you later if needed. While it doesn’t hurt to bring a few physical copies of your CV with you, Wagner says it’s more helpful for employers to have it electronically.
- Dress in professional attire — after all, you are attending a job interview of sorts. You want to make sure that your first meeting with a potential employer shows you’re taking your job search seriously.
- Prepare a short elevator pitch about yourself. The better you’re able to articulate who you are and what you’re looking for, the easier and more effective your interactions will be.
- Arrive near the start of the event if possible. Wagner says the first hour of a job fair is generally pretty slow, which means potential employers will have more time to spend with you. Avoid arriving near the end of the event. Some employers may pack up and leave once things start to slow down, and you don’t want to miss your chance to speak with the right employer by waiting until closing.
3. Be engaged
The opportunity to meet face-to-face with a recruiter is one of the top reasons to attend a job fair. “Speaking with recruiters in person is going to help them put a name to a face,” says Wagner. “If there’s a facility or position that you’re interested in, getting in front of somebody is going to be more beneficial than just submitting a CV electronically by email or talking over the phone.”
Once you have the recruiter’s attention, it’s important to express your interest in the position. Show the recruiter that you’ve done your homework and know something about the community as well as the health system. Wagner says anyone who expresses a true interest and wants to be part of the community — and is not just looking for a job — will always stand out.
4. Follow up
After the job fair is over, be sure to follow up with an email to anyone you spoke with, especially if you’re interested in a specific position. You can ensure that you have the correct contact information by asking for the recruiter’s business card.
Your follow-up email can be short and sweet, according to Wagner. “Just say, ‘Thank you for talking with me. It was nice to meet you,’ and briefly recap your conversation.” Then send an electronic version of your CV along with a cover letter to remind them of your qualifications.
5. Go virtual
If you’re unable to attend a job fair in your area or you’re interested in working in a region far from where you live, virtual career fairs can also be an option. The format of these fairs depends on who’s hosting it, but in most cases you’ll receive a list of participating employers and be able to interact with those you’re interested in.
It’s important to keep in mind that even though you may not be speaking to a recruiter face-to-face, you should remain as professional as you would for an in-person job fair. Make sure you follow the same advice listed above to make a good impression.
6. Start early
Even if you’re a couple of years away from finishing residency, attending a healthcare job fair can be a great way to understand your career options and create a positive impression with potential employers. It can also make you more comfortable speaking with recruiters so you’re better prepared when you do start submitting applications.
“It’s never really too early. It’s always good to get out and see what it’s all about and get a feel,” says Wagner.
Weatherby can place many physicians in locums jobs right out of residency, as well as PAs and NPs with 1-2 years of experience. Give us a call at 954.343.3050 to learn more or view today’s job openings.