by Daryl Rogers RRT
Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with upcoming respiratory graduates who were both excited about their new career and yet discouraged about limited job openings. The excitement of opportunity wasn’t there as it had been in times past when recruiters would meet with students and “beg” for prospects. Attractive packages with sign-on bonuses accompanied these offers and students were swallowed up by organizations even before they graduated. But, the winds of time have shifted and, particularly in this economic climate, the job market is slim. Those soon-to-be RT retirees are no longer leaving and per-diem spots are being snatched up to supplement existing incomes. So what’s the new graduate supposed to do? Don’t be discouraged! Here are 2 helpful and encouraging tips to help you land your first job quickly!
- Start strong! In our field, I have sadly seen some of the most pitiful resumes ever submitted by respiratory therapists. Sell yourself upfront and secure that interview! While you’re respiratory work experience is at a minimum, list clinical practices you’ve participated in. Moreover, list extra-curricular activities that demonstrate personal commitment and a willingness to grow. Bear in mind, you are going up against seasoned clinicians who have had years of experience in this arena. Secondly, never submit a sloppy resume. Present a well-organized, error-free auto-biography of who you are. A slapdash resume tells the recruiter 2 things. First, you didn’t care enough to take the time and effort up front to present yourself well on paper. Second, if you’re this disorganized now, how will you conduct yourself in front of the patient? Again, your resume is a brief life story of who YOU are.
- Look! There are a multitude of places for respiratory therapists to work. So often, a student, because of clinical experience, will tell me they are going to apply to one of the few “trauma” hospitals where they had clinical rotations. Well, it’s you and every other graduating student in the state looking for those per-diem jobs. Diversify your outlook! There are over 70 General (Acute Care), Medical and Surgical Hospitals in New Jersey. Additionally, there is an abundance of long-term care facilities, rehab centers, home care companies, sleep labs, and more who seek out RT’s! While your commute may be a little farther than initially planned and the working hours are not exactly what you sought after, think opportunistically!
You have chosen an awesome career with numerous possibilities! While openings are less common than years past, solid respiratory therapists are always needed and sought after. Keep your head up and get looking!