Gone are the days of cold-calling dermatology offices and Med Spas asking if they’re hiring. Gone are the days of relying on Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn for finding open positions. Sure, these sites are beneficial, but never underestimate the power of showing up. I have created my own version of the grassroots approach to finding your first job in dermatology. I call this approach, “The Derm Job Journey.”
The Derm Job Journey is based on the saying, “It’s who you know.” The Journey helps you to get out there and KNOW people! (And look good doing it!) I like the word “journey,” because like any expedition, you will have highs, lows, meet remarkable individuals, some odd individuals, come across OTHER opportunities, and at the end of the day, you will be a wiser, better person regardless of the destination!
All of these steps are in no specific order (although some things have to come after others), and not all are necessary, but the more you follow and include in your Journey, the more likely you will be to have some call-backs and interviews. And even if you don’t get a call-back right away, following these tips will help leave an impression on whoever you interact with, so they will have you in mind when they are hiring.
1. Ask previous professor(s), employers, or previous preceptor(s) for letters of recommendation
Ask them to specifically point out key skills relevant to dermatology (flexible, quick-learner, team-player, dexterous, excellent bedside manner, etc). These individuals can also be listed as “References.” Not many people have letters of recommendation for jobs, so it may seem odd. But look at it from the lens of someone hiring for their practice. Wouldn’t you also want to hire the person that goes above and beyond to get a job at YOUR practice? (I know I would.)
2. Create a Clinician Portfolio.
If you have no idea what this is, let’s work together to make it happen. Click here to see the table of contents for a typical Clinician Portfolio adapted from a beautiful blueprint created by Dr. Veronica Sampayo, DNP.
In your resume, don’t forget to mention all of your previous experience that will stand out to dermatology employers. It doesn’t necessarily have to be directly within “dermatology.” To see some ideas on ways you may have gotten experience, click here to see my post about ways to get derm experience without working in dermatology.
Canva has creative, elegant, and professional yet artistic designs. Have the document printed in color at a local print store. It can even be spiral-bound if you really want to stand out.
3. Plan a few days off.
In the next week or two, plan some days off and make a set plan with a map and pre-scheduled route of the offices you will be visiting.
4. Research each location in advance.
Check out their websites and LinkedIn pages and have the cover letters addressed to the practice owner or hiring manager if you can find it on their website. Each cover letter should mention something specific that you liked about their website, practice or philosophy. If any of the providers have published, you can mention something you found insightful in the publication and mention how inspired you are to work with other professionals who believe in advancing medical knowledge and contributing to the literature.
5. Have copies of your Clinician Portfolio ready for each place.
Each Clinician Portfolio should have a cover letter that goes along with each office. If you would like me to proofread or give you feedback on your PDF version of your Clinician Portfolio, I would be happy to help! Click here for to schedule a quick call to discuss your goals and specific questions about your cover letter, resume and/or CV!
6. Dress for the job.
On the days you embark on your Dermatology Job Journey, dress professionally and neatly, and look and feel your best. Your experience and YOU are valuable! You got this!!!
Trying to get a job in dermatology truly is a journey, and it will take you to many wonderful places! I am here to be a guide for you, regardless of where you are in your journey. I will be your cheerleader, your bridge, your shoulder to cry on, and the shove you need to have the courage to get out of your comfort zone!