All healthcare practitioners should be employees of substance. How can you be recognised as a high performer and avoid red flags that could dent your prospects of that dream registrar position or senior dentist role on which you’ve set your sights?
- Loyalty and staying power, ie at least one two+ year positions
- Change and adopt a mindset for personal/professional development
- Be enthusiastic, even if sometimes you don’t feel enthusiastic
- Focus on patients and patient care
- Act with initiative and take on responsibilities
- Expand your horizons beyond the confines of your job
- Job hopping, ie under two years for every job
- Career plateaus and backsteps
- Any lengthy employment gaps (ie more than a month)
- Vague or passive language during your interview (eg no specific examples)
- In your CV/cover letter: Typos and inconsistencies
- In your CV/cover letter: Irrelevant or inflated information
Be a high performer
If you are leaving your job every two years, you can easily be labelled a job-hopper. Even in today’s market place where people move more often, there is still value in demonstrating that you can stay in a role for two or more years. A three to five-year tenure at a hospital or surgery would be a good sign of someone who can see things through to fruition. Most employers are interested in why you left previous roles as they are trying to get an insight into your work ethic.
With growing experience, we evolve as professionals and your CV should demonstrate this. If you can demonstrate that you’ve taken on more responsibility or expanded your skill set over the years, this may help you avoid looking as if you’ve reached a career plateau, which can potentially make you less desirable to employers who will more readily hire eager and more enthusiastic candidates.
Be curious and show motivation
If you can show an employer your willingness to take on responsibilities, even ones that might normally fall outside your responsibility, this will reflect well on you. This shows a desire to make improvements to things such as patient care in general, the business’ bottom line (if in private practice) or the overall productivity of your ward/surgery.
Be patient centred and outcome focussed
Healthcare is becoming more customer focussed, especially where cosmetic services are provided. Patients have consumer rights in Australia not too different to when they purchase other professional services. If you can demonstrate to employers that you have a high capacity for good patient centred care they will look on it favourably. In interviews, providing specific examples of diagnosis, follow-up, on-going treatment and patient recovery is a good start.
In any cover letter or CV try to hit upon every dot point in a job ad/selection criterion even if it is just briefly. Once in a role, ensure to widen your focus to safely and successfully deliver treatment to patients or meet the expectations of the organisation. Being able to handle a patient you might not normally is an added bonus to an employer that is likely short on well trained staff – that is provided you don’t step outside of your training, qualifications or experience without appropriate supervision.
Do something extra
Running the social society or being an active member of professional organisations in addition to your work shows your passion for your role. Even if the work is not career related and is simply philanthropic, this can show your greater desire to be a positive force on the world and those around you.
Make a good impression
You have one opportunity to exchange information and to convince potential employers that you are the right person for the job. Being professional and polite will help you stand out as an applicant. Try to relax; being yourself and smiling will relax you and others. The interviewer/s will want to confirm and expand on the information you have provided in your application.They will be looking for signs that you 'fit in' with the culture of the workplace and that your values match.