If there is one thing that Americans have learned during the last six months, it is that ‘business as usual’ no longer exists. That can also be said about physicians who are looking for a new career opportunity. Obviously, not every aspect of a physician job search has changed, and the high demand for doctors isn’t going to resolve itself anytime soon. But with some healthcare organizations still hitting the pause button on their recruitment efforts due to reduced patient volumes, there are fewer opportunities available – at least for now.
To stand out in a more competitive job market, building an authentic, digital brand that gets noticed by medical groups and hospitals will help you secure an on-site physician interview. Hiring organizations are also digging deeper into a candidate’s online presence to make sure any job offers made are to physicians who are a strong fit professionally and culturally.
Keep in mind that a digital brand extends further than how you market yourself to employers, it also includes how colleagues, industry partners and patients perceive you. When defining who you are as a doctor, it is important to assess how your unique attributes, skills, ambitions and values could appeal to or deter those involved in the hiring decision.
Before you begin working on your digital brand, it is important to spend some time in self-reflection. Naturally, part of your brand is your specialty, but taking the time to understand yourself (and what is important to you) facilitates the development of an authentic and relatable brand. Here are a few things you should ask yourself to best define and understand your own professional brand.
- What are your biggest passions?
- In which skills or environments do you excel?
- What are your personal and professional values?
- What do you want to achieve? By when? With whom?
Now, let’s review two paths you can take to communicate your brand digitally.
Boost Your Digital Footprint
Make it easy for potential employers to find you online by engaging with social media. While some physicians haven’t made the leap to building a social network, it’s really just a digital version of networking – an activity in which we all need to undertake to advance our careers. Follow these simple tips:
- Regularly review your online profiles. It sounds simple, but many physicians neglect to simply Google themselves. Clean up any outdated profiles and address any unfavorable reviews.
- Check your privacy settings on personal social media accounts. Not every picture, meme or thought you post needs to be available to the entire world. Ask yourself if you would want your patients to see what you’re posting?
- Don’t rely on a single source for your online professional presence. Yes, more than 700,000 physicians are using Doximity, and you are probably one of them. It is a great tool for getting referrals and for promoting your brand. LinkedIn has grown in influence beyond just healthcare administrators. More physicians are using the platform to engage with professionals from a variety of industries.
- Stay engaged on the social media sites. Write a blog article, share a post that illustrates something of interest for you, and follow thought leaders. It is essential to stay active, so potential employers who visit your profile don’t find it covered in virtual cobwebs.
Seek Publication in a Medical Journal
While it requires some work, one of the ways a physician can build a digital brand and an enhanced reputation is to seek publication in a medical journal. If you successfully publish a paper in a respected venue, you are firmly establishing yourself as a thought leader.
However, the digital age we are living in makes it even more important to avoid the common pitfalls. Here are a few tips from the National Institute of Health for those interested in medical writing.
- Focus on originality. Being original is a two-pronged requirement. The first is to find a subject that is compelling and hasn’t been covered excessively. While this can take some time, the result will be an article that sparks the attention of your reader. The second component of originality is to avoid plagiarizing the thoughts and research of others.
- Find an innovative approach. It is nearly impossible to craft a compelling paper if you are revisiting a medical challenge from the same angle as five previous authors. That’s not to say that an old problem should always be off-limits, but tackle it with a new treatment approach.
- Stick to the accepted format. Scientific and medical papers are formal in nature, and deviating from the accepted organizational approach will limit your ability to achieve publication. Another aspect of your work that should never be overlooked is having enough data to back up your conclusions. Once your paper is exposed to the online world, you can count on digital detectives and keyboard warriors trying to find cracks in your theory.
- Persistence usually wins. Your first attempt at publication may fail. At least that is the approach you should take because most medical journals will not accept a paper the first time it is submitted. Not succumbing to discouragement and redoubling your efforts to fine-tune a paper you believe in will be key to publication success.
A great deal of uncertainty remains in the healthcare industry. The professionals at Jackson Physician Search have been at the forefront of physician recruitment and placement for many years and have the established relationships and experience to help you find the best opportunity. Contact our recruitment team today and learn how we can make a difference in your physician job search. Or, search our open jobs and apply right away at jobs.jacksonphysiciansearch.com.
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