The career field of medical imaging is doing very well these days. Nationwide, there are a wide variety of job openings, and the expectation is that even more jobs are going to be created in the near future. However, this does not mean that the great jobs will drop right into your lap without a diligent effort on your part. To land your dream job in the radiologic technology field, you’ll have to do some work. Here are a few tips to help you secure employment and get you the job you have always wanted.
You should start thinking about your job prospects even before you are actually ready to enter the workforce. For example, you may want to consider getting a bachelor’s degree instead of an associate degree. The majority of radiologic technicians have either certificates or associate degrees, and by getting a bachelor’s degree, you will stand out more. Attending a school with a good reputation in the field of medical imaging will also result in better job prospects. You should only go to a school that is approved by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). There are two reasons for this; the first reason is because the ARRT has strict educational requirements for schools that it approves, and if you’ve attended an ARRT approved school, employers will rightfully assume that you have gone through a rigorous program that provides quality education. The second reason to attend an ARRT approved school is because this is a requirement for ARRT certification. ARRT certification is not mandatory, but getting certified will make you a more attractive candidate.
One excellent way to get a leg up on your competition is to do an internship during your educational program. An internship is a win-win situation for both you and your mentors; you get free training from professionals, and they get free help. Most internships combine hands-on clinical experience with classroom instruction. Typically, formal clinical internships in the medical imaging field are a part of the education process; many schools will not award you your degree if you do not do an internship. When you have completed your degree, in addition to receiving the actual degree, you may also receive a clinical internship completion certificate. Some internship programs are operated by the school that you are attending; others are stand-alone programs that are not affiliated with the school.
During your internship, you will be exposed to different kinds of medical imaging. If you’re not sure which medical imaging procedure you want to specialize in, then this can be quite helpful. In addition, the most attractive candidates on the market are the ones who know multiple medical imaging techniques, so learn as much as you can while interning! You will meet many radiologic technicians and other health care professionals during your internship; make sure to talk to them, and cultivate relationships with them. These people may have valuable information for you, and if you need a reference later on, these would be the people to ask. Be on your best behavior while interning since many hospitals and clinics like to offer jobs to the best interns; internships are basically recruiting tools for many institutions.
In today’s digital age, it’s a good idea to be active online. You can talk to other job seekers and get information about potential jobs on online job boards the likes of IHireRadiology, Radworking, MedicalWorkers.com and MedHunters. You can also find job opportunities on general employment websites like Craigslist, Indeed.com and SimplyHired. One major mistake people make while searching for jobs is to have a bad resume. You may have gone to the best medical imaging school possible and gotten the best grades in your class, but if you have an ugly and hard to read resume, no one will notice or care. Take some time to craft your resume; there are plenty of examples available online for you to look at. It’s also a good idea to write a cover letter; although employers may not require a cover letter as a part of the application process, it’s a good idea to include one anyway. At a minimum, a cover letter is an introduction to your resume, but you can do so much more with it than just that; for example, in a cover letter you can go more in-depth about important skills you have acquired. You can demonstrate your ability to communicate well in writing through a cover letter, and by personalizing each cover letter, you can indicate to the potential employer that you aren’t just casually sending out resumes en masse.