The health care industry is considered to be a field where jobs are plentiful, meaning that a recent graduate only has to complete an application and wait to be called. This might be true for health care professions such as nursing and other direct care areas where there are often shortages. However, there are several opportunities in the healthcare sector that do not require a nursing or medical degree, but they are competitive because of the job security that the health care sector offers.
With more people deciding to enter the health care field for job security, it pays to gain some experiences prior to graduation that will strengthen a resume and set a candidate apart from the competition. The following are some resume-builders that will impress future employers and help give you an edge over the competition when trying to land a job in the healthcare industry.
Volunteer at a Hospital
Hospitals offer a variety of volunteer opportunities from answering telephone inquiries regarding visiting patients, to delivering books and newspapers to patients. Volunteering in these areas helps a person interested in healthcare to develop excellent communication skills and learn more about the inner-workings of a hospital. These skills are transferable to permanent positions such as volunteer coordinators and patient advocates for those who have an interest in hospital management or health administration.
Get Certified Nursing Assistant Training
CNA training in most states takes less than a year to complete. Once the classroom portion is complete a CNA takes a state exam for certification. This training is often offered at no charge by hospitals and nursing facilities when there is a critical need for nursing assistants. After completing the training and passing the certification exam, CNAs are expected to work for a period at the sponsoring facility. This is a good way for a high school or college student to work part-time in a responsible position that will help enhance a resume. Having legitimate certification before applying for a job will show the employer that you are not only qualified, but driven to move up in the medical field.
Find a Part-time Clerical Job in a Lab
Medical practices, hospitals, and free standing labs often have full and part-time positions for people who can greet patients and assisting with data entry. The longer you work with a lab, the more responsibility they will give you, and the more you will learn. If you wish to help with research or tests within the lab, you can become a lab assistant, which will provide you with invaluable experience in this realm of the medical world. Gaining clerical experience in a hospital lab while in college can open the door for a position as an office manager for a lab later, and working as a lab assistant could lead to a job as a lab technician later down the road.
Take Courses in Internet Technology and Social Media
Healthcare has moved into the information age, meaning that the need for people who can make the technology work smoothly are needed. Electronic medical records and the use of social media in marketing are innovations that require the skills of persons with working knowledge of Internet technology and social media. Being well-versed in the use of technology can really help your chances of getting a job, especially in a clinic that is looking for younger professionals who have both medical training, and are familiar with technology.
Look for an Internship in Healthcare Administration
The student who is a candidate for a business administration or health administration degree should seek an internship in healthcare administration. Working as an intern in healthcare administration will provide opportunities to learn the business side of healthcare. Look for internships or even volunteering positions with non-profit organizations who specialize in public health. You can help with the administrative side of things, and the experience you gain will be especially impressive to hospitals and clinics after you graduate and want to work in health administration.
Get Involved in Professional Associations
Belonging to a professional association demonstrates the desire to grow as a professional and keep abreast of new developments in a profession. The healthcare professionals who will be hiring you are likely members of these organizations, or know of them (especially the reputable ones). You can start small by joining health-related organizations at your university or institution. There are leadership skills that can be gained by serving as an officer in a professional organization, and joining an organization will likely lead to contacts, opportunities, and projects that will also look good on a resume.
Though there are a lot of jobs available in health care, the more specialized your career aspirations are, the steeper the competition gets. The great thing about participating in extra activities is that it will not only boost your resume, but you’ll actually get the experience needed for a position in healthcare. Words on your resume won’t mean much to a potential employer if they don’t feel that your experience has turned you into a skilled professional. No matter the path you want to follow within the world of healthcare, you’ll have a much easier time getting a job after graduation, if you put in a little extra time and effort to gain experience.