Do you feel like successfully applying (being hired!) for a pediatric job is nearly impossible?

I felt the same way. It took a while, several months to be exact, after I finished my dietetic internship.

I still have 30+ cover letters saved on my laptop from that first experience…Oy Vey is right!

After being on the other side of the interview table a few times, I have some help for you.

Here’s the deal…

There are specific strategies you can take to land the job:

1. Time it right- You most certainly can apply for jobs while you are an intern or an #RD2B, but hiring managers usually need someone NOW. They don’t necessarily want to wait for you to take your RD exam, because credentialing with the institution can take 1-2 months (and then if it’s an outpatient job that bills insurance, those contracts also take months and you must first be licensed). Credentialing isn’t always a requirement, especially if the job is housed under a contract food service agency (Sodexo, etc), but you never know. These are also things to ask about in the interview as it will give YOU a good idea of when you’ll actually get to start working and seeing patients.

2. Be clear- Telling the interviewer you love sports nutrition while interviewing for a clinical oncology job may not be the best thing to say #truestory. Don’t apply for a job you won’t like; it will be apparent in the interview and you’ll just waste your time and theirs. Sure, everyone needs a job and you certainly don’t know if you like something until you’ve tried it, but stay true to yourself. You can always learn something form a job, even if it’s not the “dream job”, but it will take some sacrifice on your part if it’s not the best fit.

3. Show interest- Ask questions in the interview. Ask about QI (quality improvement projects), if there’s a “clinical ladder”, if there is “support” (i.e. compensation) for continuing education, research going on, etc. This is your time to shine if you’ve thought up some ideas you’d like to implement. Try to network beforehand with other dietitians in similar positions so you can ask them what a typical day is like, what projects they have, etc.

4. Follow Up- I’m a big fan of handwritten thank-you notes, but these days it’s easier and more practical to send an email. I like to type a note on my letterhead and save as PDF -> attach to email. This is the “professional” version of an electornic thank-you vs just “dropping a line” in an email.

PS. Have your contact info in the signature of your email. Name, credentials, professional email address, phone. I’d probs not put your Instagram/social unless it is relevant to the job