Women in Healthcare: Navigating the Road to Your First Job

At the moment, your life is consumed with late nights studying, plenty of exams, internships and

certifications, but graduation draws nearer each day. As a young woman studying to be in the

healthcare field, you have a lot on your plate, but your future is bright.

Start Preparing for Interviews Now

Although you might be months or even years away from that first job interview, it never hurts to

start preparing. You might carry yourself with poise and grace in most social situations, but a job

interview can certainly test you if you don’t practice your interview skills. Start by researching

the position and organization to get an understanding of the skills and tasks expected of you, as

well as the general vision and mission of the company. Practice your answers to interview

questions, especially the tough ones such as:

● Why did you choose this sector of healthcare?

● How have you improved yourself over the last year?

Where do you see yourself in two years?

● In your opinion, what is the future of healthcare?

Get Your Resume In Order

You did all this studying and got your degree and/or certification, but the true ticket to landing a

job is your resume. In fact, it is estimated that hiring managers take about six seconds to skim

your resume before determining if you are worth a second or third look. Your resume is truly

your time to shine, until the interview of course.

When it comes to creating your healthcare resume, MAS Medical Staffing suggests tailoring it to

the position you are applying for by using the keywords in the job description throughout your

resume. As a recent graduate, feature your education prominently, including all licenses as well

as the certifying body, the date you obtained it, and date of expiration. Be sure to detail specific

healthcare-related skills as well.

Craft the Perfect Cover Letter

While a cover letter isn’t a requirement, it can certainly help your resume and application stand

out and prove you are a serious candidate. Check out online cover letter resources to walk you

through the process so that you can take a more personalized approach to your job application.

Just like a resume is quickly skimmed, the first few sentences of your cover letter need to hold

the hiring manager’s attention. This can be achieved with a combination of the following:

displaying your knowledge of the needs/expectations of the employer, drawing attention to your

noteworthy achievements, and displaying enthusiasm. The paragraphs after the intro are where

you discuss what you bring to the table and how you’ll fit in.

Look to the Future

It may be hard to imagine returning to school immediately after you get your diploma, but by

quickly enrolling in an advanced program, you’ll be primed and ready to build on your current

education and skills. This can also make you an attractive candidate for employers. And while

working and going to school at the same time may seem impossible, online programs provide

opportunities for flexibility so that students can take courses that fit their schedules.

Be Wary of Sexism

Women have come a long way in the working world, but sexism is unfortunately still present,

and it’s possible you’ll encounter this once you land your first job.

Remember: Sexism is more than just those scandals that make the headlines. Career Contessa

explains it as sexism that’s a little more casual: “Casual sexism could also be called latent

sexism -- it's so ingrained in company culture that it often passes by unnoticed.” It can rear its ugly head in the form of demeaning jokes/comments, “mansplaining,” or being treated differently by your boss than your male colleagues.

If you ever experience anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, make an appointment with

human resources. HR should be your first resort, not your last, so use them as an ally. It can

also be helpful to find allies in other women you work with to talk, share experiences, and build

power in numbers. As a woman in the healthcare field, this is also your opportunity to help stop

sexism in the healthcare industry by speaking up when female patients appear to be treated

differently, and becoming their advocate.

It might seem like the studying will never end, but you are well on your way to a career in the

healthcare field. Start preparing yourself now by practicing interview questions, filling out your

resume, putting together a cover letter and keeping an eye toward the future. As a woman, you

will face many obstacles, but healthcare is your passion, and you have the power to change the

future of medicine and women in the workplace.

Beyond Dreams provides extensive tutoring, instructive webinars, and informative blog

posts to help students prepare for the future.