Finding a Healthcare Job: A Ten Step Guide to Help With your Search from Start to Finish

You’ve decided to look for a healthcare job, but where do you start? That’s a good question and a loaded question at that. One that can snowball quickly and even cause you to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Don’t worry you will be able to calm your nerves because Caring Support is here to help you out with your Ten-Step Guide for Finding a Healthcare Job.

Step One in finding a healthcare job: Complete Education – If Required

For many healthcare jobs, there will be a certain level of education required to obtain the job you are seeking. If you have already completed your education in your desired field, you can move on to step two. If you have not completed your education, you will want to start by researching what education you need and where you can get said education. Caring Support has a whole section of articles dedicated to healthcare education that will be able to help you on your educational journey.

If you’re headed back to school don’t forget to check out this article Survival Tips for Healthcare Students for tips and tricks on how you can make the most of and survive your healthcare educational career.

Step Two:  Get Organized

You will want to gather all your important information in finding a healthcare Job so that you can build or update your resume as well as have everything easily accessible for when employers start calling. For ease of access no matter where you are in the world, we suggest creating a Google Drive or OneDrive, or cloud-based folder with your certifications/diplomas/degrees/background checks etc., so that you can pull up that information no matter where you are, and you won’t have to keep track of paper files. If paper files are your thing, just make sure you are taking photocopies of your important certificates/papers so that in the event that they are forgotten or lost you will still have the originals at home.

Step Three: Research and Self Reflection

In process of finding a healthcare job, taking some time to do some research about the jobs that are currently available, where they are located and the companies that are hiring will help you to determine if you need to widen your search area or possibly move to land your dream healthcare job. Now is also the time for you to write down a list of “would be nice to have”, “non-negotiables”, and “no way” job/employer features that you want out of your new job and the company that hires you.

Make sure you put extra time into researching what current wages are for the job that you want. Below is a list of the current wage expectations* for some healthcare positions in Ontario & Canada. Assess The Cost Of Living Before Accepting A PSW Job

healthcare salary

During finding a healthcare job, it is also important to look at the unemployment rates of the city/community as well as the demographic and the number of open jobs in the area.

For example, Ottawa currently has an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, making it one of the lowest rates in the country. A quick search reveals that there are more than 2000 open healthcare positions in Ottawa and that application rates are lower meaning that when you apply for a job you likely won’t be competing against very many people for that position. This does not mean that you should assume that you will get any of the jobs that you apply for or that you shouldn’t prepare yourself for the interview. Companies are pickier now about who they hire, and they are willing to wait for the ‘perfect’ candidate. That can be you if you go in prepared and confident in your skills and abilities and sell yourself accordingly. New Role Types On Caring Support

*Wages seen above are sourced from jobbank.gc.ca

Step Four: Check Your Social Media Privacy Settings

ALL employers are using all social media channels to vet potential new employees. This means you need to check the privacy settings on all your social media accounts. This is a very important step in your healthcare job search process. If you have pictures or other posts on your pages that are publicly viewable that may be seen as distasteful or unprofessional, you will want to change the settings to private or take the pictures/posts down entirely. Making sure that the first impression you make is a good one is extremely important.

Check out this Caring Support article to see How Social Media Affect Your Healthcare Career

Step Five: Create Your Free Caring Support Account

Yes, it is FREE for healthcare workers to create an account with Caring Support where you will have access to hundreds of jobs in your area and where you just might find your dream healthcare job. Our platform currently supports over 90 different role types, and we are adding more all the time.

Make sure you check out these Caring Support articles below so that you can get the most out of your Caring Support Profile:

Step Six: Build Your Resume

It’s never been easier to build your resume because you can build a free resume using your fully filled-out profile on your free Caring Support account! All you must do is fill out your profile with as much detail and information as possible and the resume builder will generate a professional-looking resume that you can download to send to employers and bring to your interview.

For New Nursing School Grads: Tips to Write an Effective New Graduate Nurse Resume

For Healthcare Students: How To Build a Resume for Healthcare Students

Step Seven: Start Your Search for finding a healthcare job

Now the fun part starts the healthcare job search. This is where you get to start looking through the available jobs in your area that match your skillset/education level but don’t hit that apply button just yet. Scroll through the jobs and save your favourites.

Don’t let yourself get lost in the scrolling. Set a timer for half an hour to an hour and only scroll through job listings for that long. When the timer goes off take a break. Your eyes and your brain will need it for the next step.

You may need to repeat this step several times as new jobs are added to the Caring Support platform daily. You can sign up for email notifications for jobs that get posted in your area as well so you never miss a job that could turn out to be your dream healthcare job!

Step Eight: Hit That “Apply” Button

It can be nerve-wracking to hit that apply button when you are searching for a new healthcare job. The healthcare job search process is made much easier when using Caring Support.

Caring Support was designed so that the job search process is always a two-way street. You can (and should) apply to any and every job that matches your skill set, education level, and location requirements.

You may also get contacted by healthcare organizations who are looking through their list of available candidates in their area that matches their requirements so make sure you are always checking your messages and have your notifications set to “On”, so you don’t miss messages from potential employers.

Step Nine: You’ve Got an Interview! Now What?

First, do a happy dance. You deserve it! Congratulations!

Even if you’re confident in interviews it’s still a good habit to make sure you take some time to research the company that you are about to interview with. Get to know the company, and what they stand for, and read reviews from clients and from employees. It will show initiative and that you are interested in the company and the job giving you a leg up to your competition that may not be as well prepared.

Next, research some of the most common interview questions for your position and be prepared to answer them. Below we will go over some of the most common interview questions and how you can answer them.

Q: “Tell me about yourself.”

Advice: It can be tempting to talk about your personal life with this question as that’s usually how you would answer this question. Instead, focus on why you became a nurse/PSW/Social Worker etc.

Sample Answer: I have always had a calling to help people and that calling got stronger when after high school I volunteered at my local long-term care facility where I worked alongside some amazing nurses. I decided then that I wanted to go to nursing school so I could give back to my community in the same way that was modelled for me by my mentors.

Q: “Why did you apply?”

Advice: This is where your knowledge of the company comes in and will make you shine. Reply to this question by aligning your values with the mission statement and values of the company that you are interviewing with.

Sample Answer: I am applying for this position because of my passion for social work and helping others navigate difficult times in life aligns with the core mission of your organization to always be there for your community. I am excited to work with your team because I know that I will bring just as much care, attention, and compassion to the position as your organization does for your clients.

Q: “What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?”

Advice: Relate your answer to the industry. Sometimes you will be asked this question in two parts, it’s ok to be prepared to answer both at the same time if you can.

Sample Answer: My biggest strength and weakness is that I am a perfectionist. As a strength, it works in my favour because I will always ensure that I am doing my best work, my work area is tidy, and the paperwork is completed efficiently and fully legibly. My perfectionism can be a weakness in that it can affect my time management as I know that nurses are always on the go and need to move from one task to the next quickly. However, I have been working on my time management skills and have greatly improved in that area in the last year and am looking forward to further growing those skills and putting my perfectionism to increase the productivity of your team.

Q: “How do you handle difficult patients?”

Advice: Healthcare workers will all, inevitably, deal with a difficult client or patient. Knowing how to handle this situation and putting that knowledge into practice are two different things but being prepared to answer this question is one step towards having an arsenal of tools in your pocket to deal with these situations when they arise. Take a moment to think about this situation and how you may have handled it in the past vs. how you would want to handle it in the future.

Sample Answer: I know that being a healthcare worker means dealing with difficult patients. The best thing I have found is that I remind myself to remain calm even if they are yelling or angry. I always remain respectful and speak to them in a calm reassuring tone so as not to add to their stress. If this does not calm them, I will take a step back to assess the situation by saying I am going to talk with my manager or a co-worker about their situation. In taking that step back, even if I don’t actually go and talk to someone, I can clear my head for a moment and likely figure out a different angle to come at the problem.

Q: “Why should we hire you?”

Advice: This should be an easy question to answer, but how you answer this question is very important as you don’t want to come off as too cocky, but you also don’t want to look to passive either. Use this question to show what you know about the company and how your skills will benefit them.

Sample Answer: Your organization values compassion, trust, and caring for others the way that we would want our own family members to be cared for. I am confident that my skills, education, and knowledge will add value to your organization and that my positive demeanour and work ethic will prove to be very valuable to your team and your patients.

Q: “Why did you leave your last job?”

Advice: Do not use this question to talk badly about your previous company, work environment or team. That will only be seen as negative behaviour and it will negate any positive attributes that you have shown prior to this question and the truthfulness of any answers that you give after this one could be questioned.

Sample Answer: They didn’t have anywhere for me to grow within their company which is why I am so excited about this opportunity with your company.

You can read more about interviews and interview questions in the below Caring Support Blogs:

Most Common PSW Job Interview Questions

Tips for a Great PSW Interview

34 Tips To Get Hired In Healthcare Faster

Step Ten: You get “the call”.

The phone rings, your hands are sweating, it is the company you interviewed with and they’re calling you back. You answer and are told that they have gone with another applicant. Your heart sinks, but before you hang up, use this opportunity to ask some questions of your own like: do you have any feedback about my resume, do you have any feedback about how the interview went, am I missing skills or experience to obtain a job such as this, should I apply for jobs with your company in the future do you have any advice on what I can do to secure the job, etc. Never miss an opportunity to learn how you can improve your skills, so you have the best chance at landing your dream job.

Your phone is ringing again. This time you are cautiously optimistic. When you pick up the phone a happy voice on the other end tells you that you got the job. Congratulations! Don’t scream in their ear and unless you are 100% certain that this is the job that you want, don’t accept it on the phone at that moment. Thank them for giving you this opportunity. Then ask them to email you the job offer so that you can have the night to look it over. Take that night to look over the contract/offer and read it fully.

Then call them in the morning, do not make them wait until the afternoon, and tell them whether or not you will take their offer. Keep in mind that you can negotiate with them when it comes to wages, vacation time, paid time off, etc. if you have grounds for the negotiation. Meaning, do your research (yes, more research) because asking for the moon could be seen as pretentious and could mean a reversal of the job offer.

When you accept the job offer don’t forget to ask them to include details about your first day; where you should park, what time to arrive, who you should ask for upon your arrival, and what the dress code is. This way you will be fully prepared for your first day on the job.

Caring Support: Your Healthcare Job Search Platform That Cares

Our goal is to simplify and expedite the healthcare hiring process and to make it easier for healthcare organizations, employees, students, and educators to connect. We love being a part of this process and are here to help every step of the way. If you have any questions or suggestions, we would love to hear from you! Also, you can read more about Complete Guide On How To Find Your First Job As A New Grad

Until next time, good luck with your healthcare job search!

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