When it comes to healthcare jobs, the U.S. is experiencing a strong job seekers market right now. Broadly speaking, this is not good news as it leads to the lowering of standards as institutions try to snap up the best talent as well as to overstretched work teams and a high turnover of staff at any given institution. This is bad news for patients, but there is one advantage. As a healthcare candidate, you are in demand. This puts you in a stronger position, allowing you to push for better terms and even to get jobs for which you are strictly underqualified.
But surely, it can’t be the best idea in the world to take up a job you are underqualified for just because institutions are desperate for talent? Well, they are not that desperate, and there are strict laws preventing any seriously underqualified candidates being put in a position of healthcare responsibility.
You cannot, for example, get a job as a physician without the minimum med school education. However, there are other stated qualifications the law does not insist upon. It is here that there can be some leeway.
It all depends on what institution you apply to and in what role. Health Jobs Nationwide , an online healthcare jobs boards, do advise that going for the jobs you are sure you can do, even when you do not meet the exact qualifications, can be very much worth it.
How to Do It
Luckily, there is only one thing that will end your plans to get a job you are strictly underqualified for – they will simply knock you back. This means that it is always worth having a go; if you are invited to an interview, then it is safe to assume that the job is within reach. But how do you approach such a situation when you lack the qualifications? Here follows some tips:
Remember the Recruiter and the Posting are Different
One is a body of text outlining conditions, the other is a human being who will meet you in person and with whom you can negotiate. This means that the first tip is simply not to be put off if you don’t meet 100% of the stated qualifications. You might have other skills that will more than make up the slack. Remember, the interview is where it really happens.
Be Sure You Can Do the Job
Being underqualified can be one of two things. You could lack the requisite bits of paper which show you are 100% qualified for the role. You could also actually be underqualified. Be sure you can do the job. If you are not sure, then you’re probably not up to it.
Prepare Your Counterarguments
Specifically, this means a response to the question, “I notice you don’t have X experience or Y qualification – why do you think you can do this job?” If this question is being asked, then you’re in with a shot. You should be ready to explain what makes you suitable for the role.
Leverage Your Connections
It’s who you know, right? There is scarcely a job out there where this rule doesn’t apply. And for better or worse, it certainly applies in U.S. healthcare. Using your connections and network is a very good move. Not only because it could influence the recruiter, but also that it could let you know what vacancies you would have the best chance with – despite your slightly lacking qualifications.
So, should you apply for a job for which you are underqualified? That all depends – but there’s only rejection to fear.