- 11 August 2017
- 6 min read
11 top tips when applying for radiography jobs
Alice O'Mahony, a Diagnostic Radiographer, gives us her top tips when applying for jobs in Radiography.
It is that time of year again when graduates have just finished their courses, received their final year exam results and in some cases, have already celebrated their graduation ceremony.
And now begins the job hunt. All those skills that they’ve been building on and learning can be put to use as they start work as an independent registered healthcare practitioner.
Many students, depending on their qualifications, have jobs lined up months before they even graduate. When I qualified as a radiographer two years ago, all the students in my year had job offers before even sitting their final exams.
1. I would definitely recommend any final year student to be pro-active. I know of people who knew they wanted to work in a specific location and saw a job advertised in the October of their final year. Whilst they thought it was too early to apply, they did so anyway, and were offered the job!
2. My main advice to someone who has either just graduated and is looking for a job, or entering the final year of their degree course, is to use the NHS jobs website to search for jobs as the majority of vacancies will be advertised for the UK on NHS jobs.
It is important to remember however, that NHS Jobs is not the only tool for a job search. Many professional publications may have a jobs vacancy section and this may prove very useful as many private hospitals or clinics may advertise through this. Niche Jobs for example, has their very own group of healthcare websites.
Here's the jobs board for Radiography Jobs.Also, you can look on specific hospital websites for jobs. Many have a jobs vacancy section, and will list any current job openings that they have. It can also be useful to contact any agencies as they can advise on job vacancies and keep you informed if they have any openings in the future.
3. Some hospitals hold recruitment fairs where they often interview on the day, giving tours of the department and allowing you to chat to existing staff. It is possible to approach departmental managers directly with a CV, explaining that you are looking for work and even if they do not have any opportunities, they can advise you on where else may be recruiting.
4. Some students will gain a job at the hospital where they undertook their clinical training and placements, and this has a number of benefits:
• You know the hospital,
• You know and are familiar with the department and your colleagues
• There can be another graduate off your course also starting work in the same department, so you have that support,
• More familiar with people, policies and protocols,
• More likely to feel more confident starting your job. However some people don’t like to consider gaining a job in the department where they completed placements for a number of reasons such as wanting a change, or wanting to gain more experience working elsewhere.
Graduates should do as much research as possible if they are trying to find work in a department they are not familiar with. I would definitely recommend if you are called to interview, to ask if a tour could be arranged, as this can give you a good feel for a place.
Asking questions about the job from either the manager or the interview board, or asking people who you know worked in the department can help enormously.
5. If there is any elective placement in your final year, you might consider undertaking this in a department where you might like to gain a job afterwards.
This would allow you to get a good feel for the department and how it works, and also the department would get to know you, so if a job did come up later they may remember you.
6. It is really important to read any job vacancy fully, to fully understand the role and the responsibilities. Most job vacancies have a job description and person specification and it is important to familiarise yourself for this, especially as employers will screen the applications to see how prospective candidates meet job specifications.
7. Many job vacancies will list a contact, a phone number and/or an email address or both and it is useful, particularly if not familiar with the department to contact the person (often the manager, and may be the person conducting the interviews and/or screening the candidates) to ask them more about the role and the candidates that they are looking for.
This often gets the ball rolling, and can be positive as it can show how keen you are, and you’re more likely to be remembered if you are called to interview.
8. Pay heed to closing dates, and also be aware that sometimes, depending on how many applications received, it is possible for vacancies to close early if the employer has received enough applications. I would advise not leaving it to the last minute.
On the other hand, it is important not to rush your application. Get someone you trust to read over it to make sure it flows and there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
9. Outline how you meet the skills listed in the person specification, for example if they are looking for good communication skills and team work skills, it is important to mention specific examples of how you worked within teams.
10. Draw on previous experiences, for example if you are a newly qualified professional but you had a job as a volunteer while you were a student, you can draw on this and mention skills gained from this experience such as team work and communication skills as these are transferrable skills gained.
Adapt each application for the specific role you are applying to, and highlight what is special about you, drawing on your previous experiences and any awards and achievements you have gained.
11. Finally I would definitely say to keep calm and not to get too upset or stressed if rejected for a role.
Remember there may be many candidates applying for one advertised position, so do not get too disheartened and remember to keep your options open as much as you can.