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Chapter 2 Objectives v Begin to create a product—your professional self—that you can offer with confidence to prospective employers. v Develop a professional appearance that is appropriate for the health care field. v Use the contents of your future resume as a planning tool for managing your personal and professional development. v Start collecting items you can put in your professional portfolio. v Begin self-promotion techniques such as professional networking and identifying references.
Your Resume Starts Now You have to take life as it happens, but you should try to make it happen the way you want to take it.
The Five Ps of Marketing v Recall the steps from the marketing process. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Planning – covered in chapter 1 Production Packaging Presentation Promotion
v Production: The Second P Production – using the information gathered from market research to design and put together a product that meets the needs of the customer. • All achievements begin as ideas, and what you picture mentally can become your reality. Positive images of yourself succeeding as a student act as powerful motivators. In addition to visual suggestions, your self-talk influences your success, or lack of it. • Behave as if you already are what you hope to become. You can increase your chances of becoming a successful health care professional if you start approaching life as if you already were that professional. • Be proactive and look for opportunities to increase your personal and professional growth. Turn mistakes into lessons and learn from them.
Packaging: The Third P v Even an excellent product may not sell if it is poorly packaged. v Appearance is especially important in the health care field because many patients form their opinions about the competence of health care professionals based on their appearance. Your effectiveness in meeting patient needs can be influenced by your appearance because patient satisfaction increases when health care professionals “look as if they know what they are doing. ” v So what are the desired characteristics of a health care professional’s appearance?
Packaging: The Third P (Cont’d) 1. Be conservative in dress and grooming. It is best to avoid fashion trends such as brightly colored hair, tattoos, and body piercing. The problem is that some patients may interpret them as signs of rebellion, immaturity, and a lack of common sense. Others are offended or even frightened by this type of appearance. 2. Strive for an appearance that radiates good health. The way you present yourself reflects your approach to life and your opinion of yourself. Failure to care for yourself can project a lack of selfconfidence and can undermine a patient’s faith in your effectiveness.
Packaging: The Third P (Cont’d) 3. 4. Issues of cleanliness and hygiene are vitally important for professionals whose work requires them to touch others. Patients literally put themselves in the hands of health care professionals and must feel assured that they will benefit from, and not be harmed by, any procedures performed. It is natural to want the professional to look clean and neat and be free of unpleasant odors. Consider the safety and comfort of both patients and yourself. Safety on the job cannot be compromised to accommodate fashion trends.
Personal Reflection Is there anything about my appearance I want to improve in preparation for working in a health care setting? a) Fashion trends b) Health habits c) Cleanliness and hygiene d) Safety issues 2. How am I willing to change the way I dress, at least during working hours? 3. What can I do now to create a professional appearance? v Note: If you are not sure about any aspects of your appearance or grooming, speak privately with your instructor or someone else you trust. 1.
Case Study/Trouble Ahead? and Questions Group Work
Fourth P of Marketing
Presentation: The Fourth P v Your resume, a written outline of your qualifications for work, is an important tool for presenting yourself to prospective employers. Starting to plan your resume now will help you do the following: 1. Recognize what you already have to offer an employer 2. Build self-confidence 3. Motivate yourself to learn both the technical and nontechnical skills that contribute to employment success 4. Identify anything you might want to improve about yourself 5. Know ahead of time what kinds of experiences will enhance your employability 6. Get started gathering information and collecting examples to demonstrate your value and skills
Resume Building Blocks Introduction 2. Education 3. Professional Skills and Knowledge 4. Work History 5. Licenses and Certifications 6. Honors and Awards 7. Special Skills 8. Volunteer Activities 9. Professional and Civic Organizations 10. Languages Spoken 1.
Building Blocks 1: Introduction v The introduction, or first section of your resume, can be written as a career objective, professional or career profile, or as a summary of your qualifications. v Until recently, most resumes began with an objective: a brief description of the job the applicant was seeking. v Many career experts are now advising job applicants to omit the career objective from their resumes because it comes across as being more about what you want rather than about what you can offer the employer. They suggest that instead you provide a career profile or list of your qualifications for the target job.
Building Blocks 2: Education v The education section contains a list of all your education and training, with emphasis on health care training. v Start your list with the school you attended most recently. Include your grade point average and class standing (not all schools rank their students by grades) if they are above average.
Building Blocks 3: Professional Skills and Knowledge v Professional skills and knowledge refer to the technical skills and knowledge that contribute to successful job performance. v The way you organize this section when you actually write your resume depends on your educational program and the number and variety of skills acquired. v Even if you decide not to include a skills list on your resume, starting a list now will keep you aware of what you know and have to offer an employer. Employers report that many recent graduates do not realize just how much they really know, and therefore they fail to sell themselves at job interviews.
Building Blocks 4: Work History v The work history is a list of your previous jobs, including the name and location of the employer, your job title and duties, and the dates of employment. v You can benefit from this section of your resume even if you have no previous experience in health care. There are three ways to do this. 1. Review the duties and responsibilities you had in each of your past jobs. 2. In a phrase or two, describe how you contributed to the success of your employer. 3. Include your externship experience. Although you must clearly indicate that this was a part of your training and not paid employment, it still serves as evidence of your ability to apply what you learned in school to practical situations.
Building Blocks 5: Licenses and Certification v Some professions require you to be licensed or have specific types of approval before you are allowed to work. The kind of approvals needed vary by state and profession. Most licenses and certifications require certain types of training and/or passing a standardized exam. It is important for you to clearly understand any professional requirements necessary or highly recommended for your profession. v Learn as much as you can now about the requirements for the occupation you have chosen. It is not advisable to wait until the end of your studies to start thinking about preparing for the required exams.
Building Blocks 6: Honors and Awards v The section on honors and awards is optional. Your school may offer recognition for student achievements and special contributions. Community and professional organizations to which you belong may also give awards. Acknowledgments received for volunteer work can also be included in this section. v Investigate what you might be eligible for and use these rewards as incentives for excellent performance. Keep this in perspective, however. Awards should serve as motivators, not indicators of your value. They are nice to have but certainly not essential for getting a good job.
Building Blocks 7: Special Skills v Special skills are those that don’t fit into other sections but add to your value as a prospective employee. Examples include a proficiency in desktop publishing or the ability to use American Sign Language. v Research the needs of employers in your geographic area. • Do you already have special skills that meet these needs? • Would it substantially increase your chances for employment if you were to acquire skills outside the scope of your program; for example, becoming more proficient on the computer?
Building Blocks 8: Volunteer Activities v Volunteer activities can be included on your resume if they relate to your targeted occupation or demonstrate any desired qualities such as being responsible and having concern for others. If you are already involved in these types of activities, think about what you are learning or practicing that can help you on the job. • If you aren’t, consider becoming involved if you have a sincere interest and adequate time available. v To find opportunities in your area, check the local newspaper or search the Internet by entering the term “volunteer” and your city or town. •
Examples of Places and Programs that Need Volunteers v Homes of seniors and the disabled v Homeless shelters v Assisted living and senior centers v Hospices v Hospitals v Meals on Wheels v Volunteers in Medicine v Adaptive sport programs
Building Blocks 9: Professional and Civic Organizations v Professional organizations provide excellent opportunities to network, learn more about your field, and practice leadership skills. v Participation in civic organizations, groups that work for the good of the community, promotes personal growth and demonstrates your willingness to get involved in your community. v Consider joining and participating actively in a professional or civic organization while you are in school. Find out whether your school or community has a local chapter.
Building Blocks 10: Languages Spoken v In our multicultural society, the ability to communicate in a language other than English is commonly included on the resume. v Find out whether many patients speak a language other than English in the area where you plan to work. v Consider acquiring at least some conversational ability or a few phrases to use to reassure patients. Patient benefit greatly, during the stress of illness or injury, when health care professionals know at least a few phrases of their native language. v Also consider learning about the customs, especially the ones related to health practices, of ethnic groups in your community.
Portfolios v A portfolio is an organized collection of items that document your capabilities and qualifications for work. It can give you a competitive edge at job interviews. v Starting to plan your portfolio now can cast your class assignments in a new light. More than work you hand in to your instructor, they can serve as demonstrations of your abilities to an employer. Strive to perform consistently at your highest level, producing work that will represent you well.
Examples of What to Include in Your Portfolio 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Assignments Certificates of completion or achievement Grade records or transcripts Employer reviews or evaluations Recognition of your contributions Attendance record Honors and awards Licenses or certifications (copies) Photographs Letters of recommendation
The Fifth P of Marketing You have to take life as it happens, but you should try to make it happen the way you want to take it.
Promotion: The Fifth P Think about how companies use promotional campaigns to give new products maximum exposure. • They advertise (sometimes endlessly, it seems!) on television, in magazines and newspapers, and on the Internet to spread the word to as many consumers as possible about how the product will fulfill their needs. v You will undertake a similar campaign when you conduct your job search. As with your resume and portfolio, you can begin to prepare now. Networking, references, and the job interview are three main ways to promote yourself during the job search. v
Networking v Networking refers to meeting and establishing relationships with people who work in health care. • It is an effective way to learn more about your chosen career. At the same time, it gets the word out about you and your employment goals. Many career experts report that networking is the best source of leads for job seekers. • Examples of networking opportunities include attending professional meetings and career fairs; going on class field trips to health care facilities; and listening to guest speakers who come to your school.
Networking (Cont’d) v Another benefit of networking is building your self-confidence as you introduce yourself to people. • You can improve your speaking proficiency and increase your ability to express yourself effectively. These are valuable skills you will use when attending job interviews. • Start now to create a web of connections to help you develop professionally and assist you in your future job search and career. v To increase the effectiveness of your networking, consider making or purchasing personal business cards to give to people you meet.
References v References are people who will confirm your qualifications, skills, abilities, and personal qualities. • Professional references are not the same as personal or character references. ü To be effective, professional references must be credible and have personal knowledge of your value to a prospective employer. Your best references have knowledge of both you and the health care field. ü Examples: instructors, externship supervisors, and other professionals who know the quality of your work. Previous supervisors can also be good references.
Job Interview v Job interviews provide the best opportunities to promote yourself to prospective employers. v Interviewers often ask for examples of how you solved a problem or handled a given situation. v Start thinking now about your past experiences and begin to collect examples from your work as a student, especially from your externship experience, that will demonstrate your capabilities. v It is not too early to start preparing so you can approach your future interviews as opportunities to shine, be at ease and confident that you are presenting yourself positively.
Personal Reflection v What opportunities can I take advantage of now for professional networking?
Trouble Ahead? and Questions Group Work