If you’re currently working in medical office administration and are eager to move into a higher-level management post, there are some very specific things you can do.
While your current admin experience will help, there are many like you who share similar job backgrounds and credentials. To separate yourself from other candidates who want that management position, you’ll need more education. These days, a graduate degree can put you on the short list of candidates. But to give you the edge over these highly qualified individuals, you might consider using a healthcare recruiter.
“A recruiter could help if you’re seeking a position in healthcare management or healthcare information technology,” says Donna Cardillo, RN, a Sea Girt, New Jersey, speaker and healthcare career coach. There are two types of healthcare recruiters: Internal HR recruiting professionals who hire top-level executives directly for their employers; and Retained executive recruiters work with client organizations to find high-level executives.
So where can you find a recruiter that’s keyed in to your healthcare field? One place is The Directory of Executive Recruiters. You can also get a list of the top 40 healthcare executive recruiting firms published every April in Modern Healthcare. Barbara Folb, MHA, RN, a healthcare recruiter for Bedford, New Hampshire-based Stat Search, suggests sending your resume to recruiters who specialize in your area. Once you’ve culled down you list to five, call each of them to see if you “connect.”
The impression you make on the recruiter is just as important as the one you leave with the potential employer. So practice and polish your pitch, putting your best foot forward. Make sure the recruiter understands exactly what you’re looking for in terms of job description, salary and location. That said, leave some options open and avoid hard line demands or ultimatums about titles or salary. Be flexible. Take all calls from the recruiter and hear them out before making any judgments about the job they are presenting.
It’s also important to work in parallel with a recruiter. Continue your job search by networking, interviewing and answering job ads. "Don't sign up with a recruiter and then sit back and wait for things to happen," says Cardillo. "You can't expect a recruiter to do the work for you."
One final thing to remember: contact recruiters before you need them. Keep in mind that in these tough times, it might take a year or two before the right opportunity comes along, so the smart move is to develop recruiter relationships early. Email your recuiter whenever you add a new certification, earn an advanced degree or receive any kind of award or recognition.
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