Improving Health Through Medical Physics

Report From New Professionals Subcommittee

AAPM Newsletter — Volume 43 No. 6 — November | December 2018

Job Application Tips for New Members

Some of these tips will be useful for any job applicant, while others may be specific to residency applications or first job after residency. In this series, you will find guidance to the job application process including how to apply for a job, how to write an effective CV and resumé, and how to formulate a personal statement. Also see our article in the previous issue on how to request reference letters and how to write reference letters.

Are you Board eligible?

According to the ABR, Board Eligibility begins either upon completion of a CAMPEP residency or upon acceptance to take ABR Part II, whichever comes first. Acceptance to take Part II typically occurs in December or January. Unless you were grandfathered in prior to October 31, 2012, you will not be board eligible at the time you apply for a CAMPEP residency.

When should I apply for a job?

Your strategy for applying will be different in the early and late stages. It is wise to begin looking at job ads 6 - 9 months before you will be available to start. At that early stage, you can be very targeted in applying to positions that are exactly what you want. Even if you don't think you're ready to apply, it's still great to look at job ads so that you know how your preferred jobs are being advertised (and if you don't have the right experience or skill, go get it!). Be aware that some positions need to be filled soon after the ads are posted, and good applicants might be rejected simply because of timing.

As you become closer to being available to start, if you haven't locked down an offer already then you may wish to apply more broadly for jobs that are appealing but are not exactly what you hope to do (or where you hope to be) long-term. Spending a few years at a job that would provide good experience or connections will help you move towards your dream job. There are many stages to a career, and you may have to spend time in your second or third choice before your first-choice job is available.

How do I network or make connections prior to applying for jobs?

  • Attend professional meetings,
  • Ask your colleagues or faculty to introduce you,
  • Attend the Chapter meeting in a geographic area you're interested in,
  • Connect with the individual at the center you are interested in, in person first. Maybe at local meetings.

Where should I look for a job?

  • Everywhere
  • AAPM Career Services
  • General websites with job listings, like:
    • Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, Simply Hired, ZipRecruiter
  • USA Jobs (All government jobs advertised here)
  • MedPhys and DXIMGMedPhys ListServ
  • Emails from colleagues
  • Cold calling or e-mailing physicists in geographical areas where you'd like to work
  • LinkedIn
  • HR at a facility you're interested in
  • IAEA

How do I know whether to submit a resume or CV?

  • If the ad specifies one or the other, give them what they asked for
  • If the ad doesn't specify, or if it requests a CV/resume:
    • Make a judgement call
    • Call someone you know who's familiar with that facility

When and how should I query receipt of job application?

  • If you don't receive an acknowledgement, you can contact after one week
  • If the ad doesn't specify a timetable, it's reasonable to contact and ask — then follow up again when it reaches the time indicated
  • Reach out to a hiring manager, not necessarily the HR department

How many jobs should I apply to?

  • All of them!
    • If you're interested
  • Consider applying to jobs for which you do not have enough experience
    • If the ad says they want someone board certified and you're Board Eligible, it's worth a try
    • If the ad says five years experience and you're just finishing residency, it's worth a try
    • Sometimes the job ad is a wish list

What do I do if I am rejected?

  • It's very common, especially early in your career, to be rejected many times
    • Keep trying and don't get discouraged!
    • If the same job is re-listed, depending on the institution, they might consider you again
  • Consider jobs outside your narrowest interest, and build your skills up over time
  • If you're rejected, consider calling a physicist at the facility to find out if your application got blocked in HR, but the physicists are really interested in you
  • Ask your colleagues to review your application materials and critique them

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)