It’s that time of the year when all of the University Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Graduates start thinking about the next 12 months and further into their career. Questions asked will be “Have I had enough experiences to be able to choose a career direction or do I need some further experience in order to achieve this?” A big decision here is to decide whether to put your name into the hat for allocation in NSW Health or to apply for Private Practice positions.
When we graduated we didn’t have to think any further. There were less students wanting to do allocation than places so a job was guaranteed. The specific hospitals didn’t advertise their FYG positions elsewhere, there was no interview process – it was computer generated. But now and into the future there will be over 700 graduates for less that 200 positions. Hospitals must be wanting to choose from those wanting to work for them and the only way to do that is by interview process.
And we are seeing the beginnings of this… Westmead Children’s Hospital is currently advertising for the New Graduate Physiotherapy positions. I wonder is this the beginning of the end of allocation? How much longer can this process hang on? And it will mean that more Private Practices are taking new grads and what experiences do these Practices have to offer a New Grad? Whilst it’s not ideal for us at Rehab Health and Fitness Australia to have an unsupervised New Grad working in the community however moving forward we will support the education and training of the future of our profession. We believe we have a great team and skill set to offer a New Grad, we just have to work out the logistics and finances.
Now moving forwards a hospital advertising for their New Graduate positions will need to decide on an interview process. What if 100 people apply for your jobs advertised? How will they decide on who to interview? And, how, as a New Graduate, can you ensure that you stand out from the crowd and score an interview?
As an employer I thought a few tips can be shared from reading resumes. You do not want a reason for a potential employer not to contact you. These are only a small number of little things that can make a difference. More on interviews later!
- Firstly – Do not have a dodgy email address. As a professional it is no longer cool to have firstname.lastname@example.org as your address. That alone can be a deal breaker. Get a professional one or use your university email address.
- Ensure you have a cover letter. Address this correctly, outline why you want the position / why you are applying for the position. Address any listed criteria. We get more information out of your cover letter than your CV. Don’t label it “To whom it may concern”. If the potential employers name isn’t listed call the department. Ask for the name of the Head of Department.
- If the company/practice isn’t listed on the job add Google it. Google the listed phone number, try to narrow down practices in the area listed and do all that you can to establish who is advertising. ASIC list the owners of all companies on line, as well as Practice websites list their staff. Being able to address to letter to “Mr Peter Locke and Mrs Julienne Locke” shows that you have done some research into our practice and have taken the time when applying for the job. Even if you have used a stock standard letter that you have sent off to 50 positions the receiver now knows you have taken the time to review them. Another way to stand you out when compared to someone it may appear is just uploading their CV and standard cover letter to all jobs on Mycareer or Seek or APA classifieds.
- Simple one – PDF your correspondence. Don’t send it in MS Word. Different versions can show text, graphics or symbols differently. You may have taken a hour to format something perfectly that now doesn’t show correctly at the other end.
- Consider what you put in your CV. It is really not relevant any more to have where you completed your primary school education. I don’t want to know in detail about your bartending skills gained throughout university or the individual sporting events you attended along the way. If you have done strapping or observational experience throughout your years list it all together in the one paragraph. It shows that you have taken some time to get professional experience during your studies but it’s not important to list every single one. In detail. Day after day listed having spent strapping ankles.
- If you did this “valuable” experience don’t list the individual things you did in the role. You are applying for a job to a Physio. We know what you do on the sidelines of the local football team.
- Put most important things up front. Start with your most recent experiences and work backwards. Once you have some experience up your sleeve I believe you should re-do your resume format anyway and not just keep adding to the back page what you did last.
Most importantly in the future there will be 100’s of people applying for jobs. mAs employers we know we have a fresh range of grads/first year out every 12 months commencing in Jan/Feb. We want to get the best person for both the Practice and the role and fits in well with our team. But I can tell you I am not going to interview more than 10 (as a private practice owner). Hospitals will do more. You need to be able to score an interview and even the littlest thing (like a dodgy email address) may mean that you haven’t made the cut.