Applying for a job, locum or permanent.

As the year marches on, we come to the beginning of Spring and the end of the financial year budgets. Within many organisations resources are reviewed, rotations rotate and the gaps in services are identified by managers look to fill new or existing posts and put them out for advert.

Simultaneously students in their final year begin to have a dawning realisation that the end is actually in sight and shock, horror they will have to start applying for jobs. Other levels of staff  will also think about if they should stay in their current post, move clinical areas or try for a promotion. This applies across the therapy workforce so although I'm talking from a viewpoint of Occupational Therapists this applies to all you Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists etc.

This first blog in a series of  3 walks you through the steps in that process.

First of all though I have to tell you what happened when I went for my first OT job interview;

Unbelievably now, the  District OT came to meet me at the train station and drove me back to the hospital. She then took me for lunch and after that we had the interview. I was the only candidate, I got the job and she drove me back to the station. How times change....

Now the interview applicants are capped after the xx person and obviously you have to make your own way there and back mostly without even a hint of a cup coffee, if you are applying through an agency for a locum position then you don't know how many other people you may be up against when your CV is sent across to a clinical manager for a desicion on who they will take to help them fill their current gap in their service.

That said, if  this is the job you want, you need to get that interview or their attention and in order to do that, you have to stand out from the competition, that goes if you're applying for a permanent job or a job as a locum Occupational Therapist. The first step and the first impression in this process is the production of a high quality application and/or CV.

It's important for you to demonstrate to the locum agency (like RIG Healthcare), the manager that they are sending your CV to or the interviewer/s themselves if applying for a permanent OT job that you have the qualities that they are looking for. The qualifications for the applications will be pretty much the same for whoever is applying. The personal statement is the thing to get you in front of the interview panel or grab the attention of the locum recruitment agency. The first thing to do is to is to print off the job description and highlight all of the key qualities that the post requires.

Everything highlighted has to be mentioned and evidence provided to illustrate how you have/could carry it out. This means you will have had covered all their criteria and added some more of your own. You should have examples either from your assessment booklets if you are a student  or from your supervision records if you are already qualified. If the job descriptions go on for pages try and combine groups of similar activities. If you applying for locum agency work you should think about clear bullet points showing what you covered at each hospital or clinic or in your rotations if you are just starting out.

Think about you, your strengths, what would you bring to the organisation, department and team. This is not a time to be shy, this is a time to tick boxes and sell yourself to someone who doesn't know you, and never will if you don't tick all the criteria for shortlisting or demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about. 

Before you hit the send button, re read, check for typos, ask someone to read it through and use your job description as a checklist against your application form.

Everything included? Then you’re good to go.

Next blog, preparing for the interview........

Any comments, suggestions please don't hesitate to get in contact margaret@ot360. I look forward to hearing from you.

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