Medical residents and fellows all over the country attend career fairs to explore professional opportunities. There are all types of career fairs, from national medical conferences, specialty physician conferences to local hospital fairs. If you’re well-prepared, these career fairs can be a one-stop-shop to connecting with recruiters, administrators, executives and HR professionals. To make sure you have a rewarding experience at your next career far, consider these ideas for making the most out of your event:
Physician Career Fair Tips
Get Organized. Career fairs can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared, so develop an efficient approach. Set up an organized system using folders, checklists, a calendar, or a smartphone. Your system should help you easily evaluate each opportunity, communicate with representatives, and keep up with appointments. If your event has an app, download it to help with planning and navigation.
Decide Where You’ll Go. Read all career fair materials beforehand. Review the organizations that will be in attendance and decide where you’ll visit. Check out their websites. Contact their representatives ahead of time and set appointments to meet during the event.
Prepare Your Medical CV. Bring several printed copies of your CV and make sure it is up to date. See our tips for Writing a Medical CV That is Flawless before you consider yours complete. Also, have cover letters and letters of recommendation on hand in case you need them.
Dress Professionally. Attire at career fairs is often less formal than at interviews – but do dress professionally – business casual at minimum. And don’t forget your brief case! That way you won’t be shuffling loose papers or toting around a plastic bag at the job fair.
Explore Your Options. You’ll be exposed to many ways you can apply your medical degree in clinical, research, teaching, and administrative avenues. While you’re at the event, consider whether you’d like to join a hospital, private practice, community health center, government agency, specialty group, surgery center, or academic organization. Do you want to work with underserved populations, rural or urban communities, veterans, or native Americans? Would you rather commit to a long-term position or test the waters through a locum tenens assignment?
Expand Your Network. Get to know your peers, recruiters, administrators, and possible employers. Use the medical career fair as an opportunity to practice speaking comfortably and confidently about your skills and strengths while remaining warm, friendly, and enthusiastic. Practice in advance with family or friends.
Ask Questions. Prepare a list of questions you will ask recruiters and representatives about their organization. What are the specifics about the work environment, schedule, patients, technological resources, and clinical expectations? What about the area, culture, and community? Visit our Physician Interview Questions and Tips for a comprehensive list of questions you can ask. Don’t forget to take notes.
Attend Workshops. Here’s your opportunity to learn some things they didn’t teach you in med school. Medical career fairs often host workshops about topics like malpractice insurance, networking, and doctor-patient relationships. Take advantage of these opportunities!
Follow Up. Be sure to thank representatives for interviews. If you’re interested in a position, convey that with enthusiasm in your letter. Follow up in building your online professional network based on connections you’ve made at the event. Use the job fair or conference hashtags to connect with your professional social media accounts as well.
Enjoy the Experience. Remember that you’re laying the groundwork for your future and that you should do it with great consideration and forethought. Also, know that all of your hard work is beginning to pay off. You’re embarking on your career as an attending physician. Grab a coffee and a snack, pick up your briefcase, head out into that crowd, and go find your perfect match!