Job-Search Checklist

By MedHunters Staff

Thinking about starting a job search? This checklist will help you with your plans and ensure that you are equipped to address questions from a prospective employer.

Step One: Identify Your Job and Career Goals

You feel as though you want a change, but a change to what? Do you want a big change or a little change? Do you want a new location, a new work environment, a new specialty, or a new field all together? Making this list will help to ensure that you apply for the right jobs and will stop you from wasting your time and the recruiter’s.

  • Identify your skills, interests, objectives, and priorities and write them down.
  • Identify the type of employers that have jobs that would interest you, e.g., hospital, home health, government, or education.

    Step Two: Create Your Résumé

    A résumé is a tool that prospective employers use to assess, quickly and easily, whether you have the right qualifications for the job. The quality of your résumé is extremely important. Here’s how to make sure your résumé lands you an interview rather than landing in the recycle bin.

  • Identify a résumé format that will best showcase your experience. There are three types: chronological, functional, and combination. The chronological is the most popular and puts information in order from most recent to most distant, thereby, showing your educational and career growth and illustrating job continuity, professional growth, and achievements. The functional type focuses on credentials, skills, and accomplishments. This type emphasizes what you did, not where and when you did it, so it can be misleading about the currency of your skills in a particular area. A combination, just as it sounds, uses both styles – including a listing of skills and a listing of education and employment in reverse order.
  • Read Write the Right Résumé.
  • Ensure that your résumé includes your work history, skills, interests, education, and licensing.
  • Obtain copies of written professional references from previous jobs or education, or maintain up-to-date contact details of former employers or teachers who have agreed to act as references for you.
  • If you want to attach a cover letter, read Write an Effective Cover Letter.
  • Make sure you proofread the résumé and cover letter and/or have a friend or family member do it. Do not rely solely on the computer’s spell check – even if a word is spelled correctly, it may not be the right one!

    Step Three: Prepare for the Interview

    Congratulations! You have an interview. The job you want is in sight, and you don’t want to miss out now. Remember to take the interview seriously. You don’t want to be halfway through an interview, find that you are really excited about a job, and then lose the opportunity because you were’t prepared.

  • Research the employer to ensure you know about the hospital or company: its mission, its strengths, and its weaknesses. This knowledge will also demonstrate your interest to the interviewer.
  • If it is a different job than you’ve held in the past, talk with people in the same area of practice to find out more about it.
  • Read the job description, to know what is expected.
  • If the job will entail a move, research the geographic location to assess whether it would be an attractive place to live.
  • Be able to answer questions such as: “Tell me about yourself?” “Why are you interested in working with us?” “What do you hope to be doing in five years from now?” “How would others describe you?” “What kind of work environment is best for you?”
  • Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer. These may include a request for contact details for people in the department/unit in which you will work, details about benefits (e.g., continuing education and child care), specifics of work expectations, etc.

    Step Four: Interviewing

    Read our article Interviewing for Success.

    Step Five: Assessing the Offer

    You aced the interview and have an offer. You should have decided already that you’re serious about starting a new job, but, with the new information you received in the interview, is this job right for you?

  • Were all your questions answered in the interview? If any remain, contact the interviewer.
  • Is the salary/pay scale offered comparable to what others are offering?
  • Even if the salary/pay scale is not quite what you want, do the benefits, cost of living in the geographical area, work environment, etc., make up for it?
  • Is there an opportunity for career advancement?
  • If you decide you are not interested in the job, politely decline the offer as quickly as possible. Don’t become discouraged – continue your search for the job that is right for you.
  • If you do want the job, congratulations and enjoy your new position!