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Medical Professionals: Using References in a Job Search

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Surviving a failure gives you more self-confidence. Failures are great learning tools.. but they must be kept to a minimum.” – Jeffrey Immelt

So you’ve decided you’re ready to take the next step in your career journey. You plan to start looking at various medical careers to see what’s available in your area of interest and then send out resumes accordingly.

Here’s a question: do you plan on submitting references with your resumes and applications?

You don’t necessarily have to; it’s such a standard practice for recruiters to ask these days that unless you specifically state otherwise, it’s implied that you’ll provide them upon request. And that brings us to our first point: don’t include a line on the bottom of your resume offering references if requested. That’s wasted space you could be using to put something more important in writing. If a Recruiter wants references from you he will ask.

With that said, here are a couple of other things to think about:

  • Asking Permission – Far too many of us just assume all of our colleagues are willing to give us a good reference when we switch medical careers. Hopefully that’s true. On the other hand, counting on it could lead to some very embarrassing conversations if one of the references you’ve chosen turns out to be unappreciative of the phone call he received. Before you begin your job search you should always check with your references to make sure your colleagues are still willing to help you out.
  • Check Phone Numbers and E-Mail Addresses – If you’re looking for a new job, doesn’t it seem reasonable that some of your references from the past have also moved on to other positions? For some reason, medical careers experience some of the most frequent turnover rates among all major job categories. So it’s important for you to track down phone numbers and e-mail addresses to make sure they’re accurate. Otherwise the Recruiter may pull her hair up trying to get in touch with to someone who knows you.
  • Keep Them Recent – We most definitely live in a “what have you done for me lately” kind of world. It’s to your advantage to use individuals you have worked with most recently as references. That’s because references tell your prospective employer who you are today and what they can expect from you. They’re not necessarily interested in who you were 10 years ago unless there’s something in your past specifically related to the job you’re seeking.
  • Try to Keep Them Local – There’s not much to say here except that you should try to keep your references local. That makes it much easier for your prospective employer to contact them as necessary.

In closing, we want to remind you that providing good references does not necessarily guarantee you’ll be hired. But providing bad ones is almost always equal to the employment death knell. You can increase your chances of getting good references by always doing your job the best you can, cultivating your relationships for mutual benefit, and refraining from burning any bridges.

search for Locum Tenens Physician Jobs and Healthcare Employment Opportunities at CompHealth.

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Good luck in your search.

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