The day after I posted my last blog, I got a phone call from a friend from school. “There is a position at my job, I already told the clinical Director about you” she said. I didn’t even remember telling her that I was looking! This is what networking is about, letting other people help you in your search. It works. So keep it up. Tell everyone you know! In addition, try making new connections, reach out and introduce yourself to new people.
So lets network more indirectly with the internet and search for company advertisements for open positions. You can begin your search broadly to see what is out in the market or a more narrow focus if you know an exact direction you would like your career to take, for example “only hospitals”. Taking a broad view here are a bunch of sites that are some of my favorites:
There are many titles to search try “clinician, family therapist, therapist, social worker, marriage and family therapist”. At most sites you can search, set up email alerts to let you know of recent postings and in some places post your resume for employers can search you. I have alerts coming to my email all the time, even when I am not looking I like to know which employers are hiring.
Lets say you know a particular place you want to work, go directly to that site. Figure out the management team, see if you know anyone that works there and search for a way to make an introduction through a connection. Even without a connection still apply. Most emails are on the website. Even if they aren’t looking now they may be later or they haven’t advertised yet and you resume came across someone’s desk.
You recall in my first post, your resume and cover letter may get a 30 second look. When you apply for a position you are thinking of the reader. You want to make it as easy as possible for them. If the advertisement states we are looking for X, Y and Z. Don’t let them try to figure out how you qualify. In your cover letter you state, here is how X, Y and Z are presented in my resume. Remember your cover letter is the first impression the company has of you, make it a good professional one.
Reach out to me at the email below with questions/comments or wanting to make in introduction!
Finished your resume? I received an email from someone who read my previous blog entry, what a nice feeling it was to be asked a question! Thank you JD! I really do welcome your comments/questions.
Now that your resume is ready and you are prepared to provide it when opportunity knocks, what steps do you take to begin to search for a new job? First step, tell everyone you know that you are looking for a new opportunity. Everyone? You think. But not everyone I know is in the mental health field? Is your second thought. The book the Tipping Point, by Malcom Gladwell describes the statics that most people have about 180 social connections and we know everyone else by six degrees (the study Six Degrees of Separation in 1967) or six human connections. Another known statistic is you often get a position through networking more frequently rather than by responding to advertisements. Therefore, you want to get your network of people you know informed that you are seeking new opportunities.
How do you inform them? Do you have a facebook account? Linked in? Create them. Call people. Email. Reach out to everyone letting him or her know and also letting them know you are available to assist them should they need it. You are looking for introductions, them keeping you in mind should they hear of an opportunity or pointing you in a direction. In the book Networking Magic by Frisman, (2004), the art of networking is examined more closely. It is really a life long skill. Some important items on the checklist from the book are as follows:
Believe it will work
Make a strong first impression
Network those you emulate
Talk to everyone you meet.
Be genuinely friendly.
Be willing to help.
Be honest, courteous and fair.
Keep referrers informed.
Do you know and believe the value you bring to a company? Review your resume and be able to speak about the value you bring to an organization. Can you articulate your talents, skills and values. It’s harder than you think. Practice. I stopped for a moment and updated my facebook and LinkedIn status to tell people I am looking for a part time clinical opportunity. Then I am going to write individual emails to everyone. What are you going to do? Remember I am here to help you, contact me at my email below.
Marriage and Family Therapy was voted one of the 50 best careers in 2010 by US News and World Report! Obviously others have discovered what we already know. Click the link below to read what USNews & World Report had to say about the benefits of becoming an MFT.
If you are like me, you are excited about 2010. At new beginnings, people often think of resolutions. If one of your resolutions involves a career goal, this article is for you! I am writing a series of articles to provide you with tips on finding that new clinical position, as I look for an additional one myself.
Let’s begin with our resume. Is it up to date? Your resume is a marketing tool that represents YOU as the product. It has been said that hiring managers and/or HR will give your resume less than a 30 second look. You need to make those seconds count. There are plenty of resources online and at the library for more detailed explanations on each section but for the most part your resume should have the following:
Contact Information, Objective or Summary Statement, Education and Training, Experience, Skills.
Optional: Activities, Organizations, Honor and Awards
Once you have put it together. Take a step back and look at it through a different lens, this time how it looks not the words. How is the format? How is the appearance? Does it look balanced on the page? Can someone scan it and pick up important elements? As a recent graduate your resume should be one page, more seasoned therapist two pages. Never more than two pages! Print it out to be sure. Check your spelling and ask others to proof read it for you. Your resume will evolve overtime and you may consider several different resumes based on the position you seek.
Make a commitment to sections at a time. It may seem a daunting task but you have and will have more challenging tasks. If you need assistance or someone to proof, feel free to send it to me at the email address below.
When you are confident your resume is a strong reflection of YOU, you can begin the search! More on the search next time…
Susan E. Kotulsky graduated Fairfield’s MFT program in May 2009 and is currently working per diem for Horizon’s in Bridgeport, CT. Horizon’s is an inpatient substance abuse facility for individuals with a primary diagnosis of substance dependence. She is also an HR Consultant and worked in the Human Resources profession for 20 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.