To land the job you want, make sure you get clear on what you want and bring this clarity to your search to find your best match. Then take the steps needed to highlight your expertise.” — Heather Prowd, Vice President of People, Mindpath Health 

Landing your first job after residency can be an exciting — and potentially nerve-wracking — time. Follow these tips to ensure you get the offer(s) you want: 

Know what you want: The best way to reach your goals is to first know what they are. Take stock of your likes, dislikes, needs, and “nice to haves.” Throughout your residency, you have explored different specializations, experienced various clinical settings, and worked with a range of patients and peers. Leverage these insights to build a solid list of absolute needs and definite desires for your first job. 

Be specific on what you want: 

  • Number of work hours per week  
  • Preference for a steady paycheck or entrepreneurial risk
  • Loan repayment considerations 
  • Preference for urban or rural setting 
  • Need to live close to family or friends 
  • Good schools for children (as applicable) 
  • Desire for telehealth, hybrid, or fully in-person appointments 
  • Spouse preferences (as applicable) 

The clearer you can be, the easier it will be to target the roles that match your requirements. 

Land the interview: Start applying for the roles that best match your requirements and preferences. Update your resume to highlight experience gained during residency. This will further distinguish you as the perfect candidate. Include things like:  

  • Unique aspects of your residency program 
  • Leadership positions (formal and informal) 
  • Participation on specific committees 
  • Number or types of patients you worked with 

Show up strong: Prepare ahead of the interview by researching the facility to ensure it aligns with your goals. Reach out to peers who have worked there or read employee reviews for insights on the company culture. During the interview, highlight your expertise and how it can support the mission of the practice. Bring some of your own well-crafted questions to the interview.  These demonstrate your awareness of the company’s history and help you understand how you will fit in with the culture. You can ask about: 

  • Growth: mentorship, leadership, and continuing education opportunities 
  • Culture: work-life balance, hybrid or telehealth availability 
  • Financial: benefits package, loan repayment 

Be yourself: You took the time to clarify your goals ahead of time. Now leverage this insight by bringing your authentic self to the table. Be willing to show up and ask for what you truly want. Not only does this encourage robust offers, but it builds a strong foundation for a working relationship should you accept their offer. 

Starting your career in psychiatry? Here’s what to expect 
Contract negotiations: 9 steps to get what you want 

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