While you’re reviewing the innovative services offered by AmeriClerkships, here are four career traps you may just be finding yourself in (without realizing it!):
1. Your E-mail address.
If you’re using Earthlink, AOL, Hotmail, your local cable provider, or a company email domain with a long name, you could be inadvertently shooting yourself in the foot.
We rarely see AOL, Earthlink or Hotmail email addresses these days. If you’re still using yesterday’s email providers to represent yourself professionally, it could be sending a message that you’re not comfortable with new technology or you’re too set in your ways. Using your local cable provider or your 20 character company name’s default e-mail increases the chances of a typo leading to a bounced emails and missed connections.
Every student at Advanced Colleges of America uses, or has a secondary gmail.com. Because gmail is well-known for its ease of use, utility, and power, using gmail as your address is a smart move that also sends the message that “I’m up to date with the times!”
What comes before the ‘@’ sign deserves attention as well.
‘Family’ or ‘household’ or ‘joint’ emails such as ‘thejonesfamily@’, ‘johnandjamie@’, or ‘ourfamilyloveshouston@’ are not good e-mail addresses to use on your resume, or professionally for that matter. Professionals want to write directly to other professionals; requesting that they e-mail your spouse & kids when contacting you is just plain weird.
The best email address is “first name[dot]last name”, at gmail.com: email@example.com.
If that’s taken, then: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’re probably going to be using this e-mail address into 2015 anyway and starting now makes you seem ahead of the times. And who doesn’t want to work with a healthcare professional from the future?
2. You’re misusing your overqualifications.
Almost all of the students in Advanced Colleges of America are international physicians who are receiving training on how healthcare is practiced in the United States as Advanced Medical Assistants. Why would they succumb to a lesser title?
The answer is simple: no employer will consciously hire a “neurosurgeon” or a self-proclaimed “medical assistant” who hasn’t proven that they’re willing to swallow their ego and learn what a U.S. employer requires of them.
This is what I call the “Overqualified Syndrome”, whereby a perfectly intelligent and capable candidate sabotages their future by sitting idle and not retraining for a less intense transitional career in order to get ahead. Now some employers offer “on the job training”, so you may not need to go back to school, but those are exceptions. Even residency programs will require that you perform as of day one, just like any other employer would. So if your time is valuable to you, then you should think about getting re-educated in a related field (like our International Medical Graduates do by using Advanced Medical Assisting to get a foothold in U.S. healthcare).
Which brings me to the next term I’ve coined during my spare time: the “Underqualified Overqualified Syndrome”. This is an overqualified applicant who applies to less intense healthcare jobs in the U.S., based on having held more advanced jobs abroad.
A good example is a foreign physician applying for a medical assisting position in the U.S., not even knowing what different color-top vacutainers are used for.
Let me ask you this: “Will the President of General Motors make a great car salesman?” Why not? they’re both selling cars, aren’t they?
3. Your curriculum vitae misses the point, and you knowingly use it anyways.
Print out your curriculum vitae. Tear it in half and hand either piece to someone who is not in healthcare. Can they tell you with ease, what you want to do next in life?
For too many, the answer is no. The reason is that in your curriculum vitae, you’re telling the reader about things that that they can’t possibly prove, such as being a team player, trustworthy, positive, or a multitasker, and you may even have your marital status mentioned too!
You know what I look for in a curriculum vitae? Does this person “have the experience to do a good job?”, “provide an asset or a liability to our clinic?”, “show commitment, or bounced from job to job?”, and “have a bunch of grammatical and spelling errors?” That last one is my biggest pet peeve.
Obviously, given that you spend all the time with yourself, its completely obvious to you what you’re looking for, but a stranger does not. And, chances are, your curriculum vitae will be read by a stranger, so make it easy for them to like you.
Show everyone, at the top of your curriculum vitae what job you’re looking for (first sentence), and why you’re the best fit for it (second sentence). No need to name all of your subjective attributes or marital status, just plain professional facts. A “to-the-point” approach shows that you’ve worked out all the kinks in your mind, and can form a solution to a problem quickly (maybe in 2 sentences).
4. You’re not speaking with one employer a day.
The internet is awesome: it delivers us news, movies, Yelp, reviews, and of course, acmedical.org!
Therefore “bravo!” for the internet.
But here’s the truth — the internet is not going to read your curriculum vitae; it will be read by humans who hire other humans. An employer.
So ask yourself: did you try to speak with an employer today? Have you called your former classmates? Returned the call from the clinic that perhaps you’re only mildly interested in? Have you taken a former colleague to lunch? Did you call back the Advanced Colleges of America representative you’ve spoken to six months ago?
It’s absolutely vital, while you’re seeking, qualifying, and selecting the healthcare program at Advanced Colleges of America that best fits you, that you realize that a part of becoming successful is to learn how an employer thinks, so you can fulfill what’s on their minds, and ultimately get hired and continue to build your curriculum vitae.
When it comes to competing for that perfect healthcare job, you need to exercise by “speaking with an employer” every day.
Put these tips to work, and you’ll get 4 steps closer to capturing success right at your fingertips.