Published 3/23/2021
Alison Burki

Job Search 101: Where to Begin?

Editor’s note: The following content is provided by Health eCareers, which supports the Academy’s Career Center. For more information, visit www.aaos.org/quality/career-center.

Congratulations! You have spent years in training to become a physician and surgeon, and now it’s time to start thinking about your career and future. That can certainly be an intimidating task, but this article may help make the process a little easier.

What to do pre-search

Before you begin, check your social media profile. If you Google yourself, what do you find? Do your photos on LinkedIn and Doximity look professional? Is your Facebook account private? Recruiters often do a search, and what they can—or cannot—find can make all the difference. When you are satisfied with what you see, the next step is to create a separate email account to use as you search for jobs. Once you put yourself out there, recruiters will be able to find you, and it will be much easier to have a separate account that is used only for your search. Be sure to use a professional email address, such as firstnamelastname@gmail.com.

Firm or in-house?

Will you choose a search firm or an in-house recruiter? Search firms do all the legwork for you and can negotiate on your behalf. If you are flexible regarding location, firms are able to share jobs that are available nationally, which can be very helpful. The downside is that these firms only know what they know. They don’t always know the culture or understand the salary or benefit details. Something else to consider is that search firms are commission-based, so there will be a fee attached to your hire. Fees can range anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000, and sometimes even more. Many organizations are struggling financially right now, and if they are choosing between you and another candidate who has no fee attached, you may not be their choice. If you do decide to work with a firm, select one or two to start. Choose a recruiter the way you would choose a lawyer or other trusted professional.

On the flip side, in-house recruiters are employed by their organizations and are dedicated to recruiting for their employers. Their priority is to make the best match possible—for the group and candidate. An in-house recruiter will have a much deeper knowledge of the organization, practice culture, and community, as well as a full understanding of the benefits, salary, and other principal components of the practice.

Where to look for jobs

You can peruse numerous websites for a comprehensive look at available jobs. The best places to start are sites where recruiters post jobs and search for candidates. If you are registered on some of those sites, you can find jobs, and recruiters can find you as well. Start with specialty organizations, AAOS, and hospital or health system websites. Next, consider PracticeLink.com, PracticeMatch.com, and Healthecareers.com. Doximity is another excellent resource where you can link to recruiters and colleagues. Lastly, you may have attended job fairs, so careermd.com is another excellent tool.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” The path you chose is worth everything. Good luck!

Alison Burki is a senior physician recruiter for Advocate Aurora Health.