The Top 5 Things That a 2nd Year PA Needs to Know
How to be a Viable Job Candidate Upon Graduating from Your PA Program
Congratulations, as a 2nd year PA you are getting ready to graduate and go to work!
In today’s competitive job market, more and more new graduates (especially in healthcare) are recognizing the value of working with a dedicated Healthcare Recruiting team. As experts in PA recruitment, linkPAs is devoted to helping candidates find great jobs.
Right now, the reality is that if you’re not being introduced by a reputable recruiter, your resume is likely not even getting seen.
Lynda Gregg, PA | Team Leader & CoFounder linkPAs
A qualified recruiting firm can help get your resume on the shortlist, but there are many things BEYOND credentials that are going to matter when resumes are being compared.
If you’ve been accepted to a PA program, now is the time to start thinking about your first job.
The hardest part for a recruiter is to be the ones to tell an eager new grad that they lack the experience to even be considered. We’re here to tell you that the time is now to begin preparing for your job search! At the very latest, we want the 2nd year PA entering clinical rotations to read this article and take full advantage of this opportunity to network.
Here’s what a 2nd year PA NEEDS to be doing to hit the job market running….
Define your goals.
This might seem obvious, but the best way to chart your course is to have a good understanding of where you want to end up. Are you tied to a geographical area or open to experiencing a new locale? Is tackling debt your top priority? Consider working in a Federally Qualified Health Center as they offer tuition forgiveness.
Check your credentials.
Once you know your goals, make sure you’re up to snuff academically. Work to improve lagging GPAs or achieve additional certifications in your desired field of expertise. Consider taking courses that will certify you in botox and fillers if you want to work in Dermatology. If you want to work in Addiction Medicine, consider credentialling in MAT.
Know your employer.
Working through your goals while you’re still in school gives you some insight as to where you want to end up. Hospitals and clinics have unique hiring protocols and requirements, do you know what they are? The website for the employer may list the providers. Use this tool to gain insight about their existing staff. Where did they train? Do they have particular medical interests like infertility in Women’s Health or Motility disorders in Gastroenterology?
Getting informed early on can help you close gaps in your training or experience so you’re prepared for the job market fresh out of PA school. A fun way to play this out is to jump on a job board and read through the postings. What are employers looking for? What jobs excite you and can you get an idea of who the decision-maker would be?
Experience & volunteerism.
Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of where you wish to be you can outline the requirements needed to get there. It is easier to ensure the experience you’re gaining is going to support your future goals.
Things that look good on a resume and help to differentiate you from the crowd:
– Volunteer Work (A good option is a free medical clinic on weekends or a medical clinic for sporting events, marathons, etc)
– Mission Trips (some schools have this as one of the rotations!)
– Fluency in another language
Networking, networking, networking!
Pulling it all together and leveraging EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO NETWORK is key. Hospitals and large group practices are full of contacts. The cafeteria, the elevator, the halls – the entire building is full of people just like you. Anyone in a white coat is a great new contact.
Make a great impression and ask for introductions to decision-makers. If you are on a Hospitalist rotation and want to work in Cardiology, then make efforts to meet Physicians, PAs and NPs working on the Cardiology service. It is always possible that you could be their next hire.
If you summarize what you’re thinking so far you can start making lists of opportunities to network as you go through your second year of school.
Let’s break it down…
- Know your employer: if you know where you want to work can you establish any contacts or connections now? Can you devote some shadowing hours to the hospital or clinic that you’d love to join? If so, build on the relationships. Make sure that decision-makers know your name and let them know that you’d love to be considered for a position when you’re done school.
- Volunteering and outreach: make sure you’re fully leveraging the time you’re spending now to benefit you later. Connect with superiors and request letters of recommendation. Not sure how to approach it? Click here to download our free resource, which includes a sample request and makes building your resume along the way a cinch!
- Clinical Rotations: Saving the best for last, this is often the most untapped opportunity. We get it, many students are stressed to the max and just getting through the daily grind can feel like an awful lot. But with very little effort you can use this valuable experience to make inroads in a future job.
In summary, we are in an extremely competitive market. PAs that wait until they graduate to start thinking about their first job are going to have a tough go.
The last thing we want is a candidate coming to us and saying “I wish someone would have told me this sooner”.
The time is now to think about the future.
linkPAs Specializes in Working with PA or NP Job Seekers
Who is Lynda Gregg?
Lynda Gregg practiced as a PA in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology. She desires to help, heal and network. It is no wonder that Lynda has progressed from practicing as a PA to serving PAs. She is a tried and true connector with a passion for the industry and for helping medical professionals flourish in their careers. Click here and connect with Lynda on LinkedIn.
Not only can a dedicated medical recruitment firm help you launch your career with a great job, but they can also support you on the journey, working to determine what is the best job for you. Click here to read “How to land the best Healthcare job, the first time!”
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