As a healthcare professional, you’ve been privy to how quickly the field has grown over the past decade. Factors such as an aging population, an increase in the number of insured Americans, and advances in technology have created an unprecedented number of new healthcare opportunities for clinical and non-clinical professionals.
Fortunately, this momentum shows no signs of slowing down! According to new projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare sector is expected to create about 2.3 million new jobs by 2026. At a 10-year growth rate of 18%, the healthcare industry is projected to add more jobs than any other sector.
The only challenge for employers? Finding qualified candidates to fill these open positions.
“The supply of qualified candidates cannot keep up with the demand for care,” explains Amanda Cruse, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Healthcare division. “Since healthcare facilities will not compromise on quality when bringing on new talent, many of these newly created positions remain unfilled. As a result, the competition between employers for qualified professionals is stronger than ever before. Those wishing to take advantage of these healthcare opportunities, however, first need to prove their worth.”
To position yourself as one of these top candidates, Amanda recommends taking the following steps:
Improve your computer skills: It was just a few short years ago when clinical and non-clinical professionals did not need to possess an aptitude for certain computer programs and systems. Today, however, these tech skills are almost critical for long-term success. If you want to be marketable for future healthcare opportunities, improve your proficiency in an EMR system as well as Microsoft Office. If you aren’t already, ensure you feel comfortable using a computer and a tablet device.
Get active on LinkedIn: In a similar vein, all clinical and non-clinical professionals should establish and maintain an active LinkedIn presence. This site is not only great for exploring new healthcare opportunities, but it is also a powerful personal branding tool that can help you network, establish yourself as a thought leader, and stay current on industry news and trends.
Update your resume: Employers want to see that your skills are up-to-date. Make sure the beginning of your resume highlights all your renewed certifications and any continuing education classes you have taken. On a related note, you’ll want to omit any outdated skills or certifications.
Ensure you have all your credentials: When applying to clinical jobs, you must be prepared with copies of your registration, your license, diploma, and CPR certification. If you are a registered nurse with an associate’s degree, Amanda suggests going back to school to attain your BSN. “An increasing number of employers will only consider nursing candidates with this degree, so enrolling in a BSN program will make you more marketable for new healthcare opportunities,” says Amanda.
Be flexible: If you are looking to increase your marketability, it’s important to be open to a variety of healthcare opportunities. “While you might have your sights set on a full-time job, temporary roles and travel assignments are two alternatives you should consider,” explains Amanda. “Since these assignments are shorter-term in nature, they can help you gain experience with different specialties and technologies. Not only does this give you the opportunity to find the best fit for you, but it also allows you to keep your skills sharp in an ever-evolving industry.”