Picture this: You are a hiring manager and have your whole day planned out. The job candidate is five minutes late for the scheduled interview and hasn’t called. Should you wait and risk delaying your schedule?
If you happen to be that candidate, this situation is obviously not going to be in your favor. You want to avoid raising healthcare red flags like this, marking you as a potentially undesirable job applicant. It begins with doing everything in your power to submit a perfect resume.
A typical previewer will spend only a few seconds skimming even the best resumes, so the last thing you want is for yours to stand out for the wrong reasons. Whoever does the screening will usually check for imperfections like gaps in work history or excessive changes in job location. These healthcare red flags will not necessarily rule you out, but if you get past the screening process, you had better be prepared to explain them satisfactorily.
In fact, perhaps the best way to stay in the running is to write a cover letter that clearly and succinctly explains the reasons for any shortcomings. Your goal is to preempt concerns about how reliable or stable you may be as an employee. You don’t want the previewer assuming the worst about you and deciding you aren’t worth the risk.
It would also be a mistake to submit a resume that does not reflect solid achievements or fails to give the previewer a real sense of who you are—two additional healthcare red flags.
The interviewer may ask questions like why you left your last employer, if your departure was voluntary and whether you left on good terms. The goal is to bring to light any involuntary resignations or firings, and determine if you have had any professional sanctions or ever been placed on probation.
Potential employers sometimes ask if they will get a good reference when they call your former supervisor. If you pause before saying yes or answer by saying no, expect more probing questions to follow. The key is to be ready ahead of time. Before you go in for your interview, you need to have already resolved all healthcare red flags within yourself so you can speak about them clearly and comfortably.
This also applies to any difficulty you have had passing professional exams. Otherwise, you are likely to fumble and raise yet more healthcare red flags, giving the impression you are not being transparent or forthright.
Employers are looking for positivity, so make sure you can explain their concerns in a way that shows you have taken responsibility for what occurred and grown from the experience. Make it clear that you learned from your mistakes and have corrected each situation—documenting your remediation of the issues and your recent successes, or how you have now set yourself apart by going above and beyond minimum requirements.
Never display negative feelings toward a previous employer. This is a clear red flag that recruiters and hiring managers watch for. The image to portray is that of a team player with a great attitude—extremely important when it comes to healthcare jobs.
Also on the list of healthcare red flags are the following:
- Not a workplace contributor
- Unreliable or unstable
- Lack of expertise in your field
- Going your own way / lack of camaraderie / not a team player
- Push responsibility off on others
- Looking for any job / not concerned about whether this position is a good fit
- View the position as a short-term steppingstone to something better
Besides negative items revealed in a background check, the last of the healthcare red flags that the employer looks for is a lack of personal references. Make sure you have them. Job references are used to check that you have not omitted or been dishonest about important information. They also shed light on aspects of your personality that may not be apparent from your resume or interview.
The hiring manager may feel you have wasted his or her time if you name people that can only provide your dates of employment and job title, so make sure your references know you well. Try to include at least one supervisor.
Being aware of these red flags and how to deal with them maximizes your chances of success when looking for a new job in healthcare.