Entry-Level Hospital Jobs: Job Search Tips

If you are about to graduate from high school or college or are planning a career transition into a hospital job, these tips can improve your chances of landing a job in this industry.

Get Hospital Volunteer Experience

If you have applied to several hospital positions without being called in for an interview, the reasons could include a lack of experience and an ineffective resume. You may lack some experience in the health care industry that the hospital human resources personnel consider essential. In this case, look for volunteer opportunities at a local hospital or clinic. These positions will expose you to the routine of the hospital and allow you to experience different, usually administrative, functions in a health care setting. Volunteer work at a hospital may put you directly in touch with supervisors who will recommend you when you apply to newly opened positions. A relevant volunteer experience lasts at least six months, and you should volunteer no less than three hours a week, regularly, to demonstrate your interest and determination. Volunteering will also help you decide if a hospital job is the right fit for you.

Get Basic Experience

Most entry-level hospital jobs ask for CPR and first-aid training. If you are currently enrolled in high school or college, your school may offer CPR and first-aid training, and you should complete these courses and add them to your resume. Some job postings will ask for the completion of an American Heart Association Basic Life Support class; however, registration in that program is usually limited to current hospital staff. Current nursing students may be able to take this training. Completing this training may take only a few days.

Other basic experience includes that with word processing and database or spreadsheet software. Some high schools, colleges and adult learning centers will offer this training, so take advantage of these options if you are currently a student. If you are currently unemployed, you may be eligible for funds for upgrading or retraining for a career in health care. Contact your state Department of Labor to determine if you are eligible for any funds or assistance they offer for career training, including computer skills' upgrading.

Rewrite Your Resume for Hospital Jobs

Your resume should highlight the relevant experience that you have for employment within a hospital. This means adding the basic first aid and CPR course to the "Highlights of Qualifications" section at the beginning of your resume. You should also show any computer certificates, especially with data entry and database software, in the highlights section. Place any unpaid volunteer work in the health care industry, especially if it was in a hospital or care center, that lasted for longer than six months in the "Relevant Experience" section of your resume. Moving your experiences and skills to prominent positions on your resume can bring your transferable experience to the attention of the human resources personnel at the hospital.

Monitor the Hospital Website

Some, but not all, hospital jobs are posted on major Internet job posting websites, like Monster. Others are posted on specific hospitals' websites since hospitals save money by posting only on their websites. Monitor the website of a hospital where you are interested in working by checking the job posting section every day. This way, new jobs that will be posted only there will come to your attention immediately.