Neuroradiology job search – part II – Applying and getting a job
This is the second part of a piece about getting a job as a neuroradiologist. The first section covered some general steps that you might take, including deciding on your interests, preparing your CV, and finding a mentor. If you haven’t read it already, you might consider going back and checking out Part 1.
This article focuses on what to do once you are ready to apply.
The importance of networking is tremendous. The majority of job openings are known before they ever reach a job board. Knowing about a job prior to its broad posting can give you an advantage, as you may be interviewing for a job while others are just applying. If you know people in your desired area or practice (from residency, meeting contacts, etc.), it is reasonable to politely contact them and ask if they are looking to hire in the upcoming year. In the best scenario, there is a job available and they want to know more about you. If no position is available, you have still put yourself on the radar if a position becomes available.
In addition to people that you are close to, you should also consider secondary networking and new contacts. Our faculty come from multiple geographic regions and many trained at other institutions. Additionally, neuroradiology is a relatively small community. For these reasons, faculty often have contacts in other regions and may be able to introduce you to new people that can help in your search. Society meetings, such as American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR), are great places to meet people from areas you may be interested in and learn about jobs in other locations.
It is much easier to get introduced to someone by a known party than to simply cold call or email. People get many emails and will often ignore solicitations for jobs. However, if there is a practice or area you are interested in, it may be reasonable to contact them. Blanket emailing or calling of numerous practices may be successful in some cases but is probably the least effective technique.
Blanket emailing or calling of numerous practices may be successful in some cases but is probably the least effective technique.
6. Use online job databases
Online job databases are another extremely useful to find out about job opportunities. Although word of mouth is faster, many jobs eventually end up posted on online job boards. The most useful resources are the society online job boards. Postings can be filtered by type and location to tailor the search further. You can create saved searches and alerts which will email you automatically when jobs meeting your criteria become available. This can save you from compulsively rechecking these sites. Many of these postings will direct you to an online application or recommend you email your CV and/or a cover letter. If you don’t hear back about an application within a couple of weeks, a follow-up call or email may yield more information. The most useful online job boards include:
Several of these resources include jobs for non-radiologists, including scientists and researchers. RSNA and ACR cover the entire radiology field while ASNR covers neuroradiology only. Other job posting sites exist although their signal/noise ratio may be lower due to difficult to interpret postings from recruiters and spam.
7. Prepare for the interview
To a certain extent, this goes without saying, but it is still worthwhile to prepare for your interview. Brief telephone interviews are common before in-person interviews and are a good opportunity to introduce yourself to a practice. In-person interviews often involve meeting more people throughout the course of a day. Probably the most important part of the interview is being able to articulate your qualifications and reasonably describe why you are interested in a program. This will be easiest if you learn a bit more about the practice and geography of the reason. You need to be able to state what your goals are and how this job would help you achieve them. Otherwise, the best advice is to relax and be yourself. People want to hire a normal human being, so try your best to be one.
8. Be patient – but not too patient
Each step of the job search is going to take time, as practices are often large organizations that take a while to make decisions. Expect this to take anywhere from days to months, but don’t let a lead get completely cold. When pursuing a job, you should remain in contact until you have either taken the job or it is clear that one or both parties are not interested. Ideally, at the end of each interaction (phone interview, email interview, etc.), you should set up a clear timeline for what will happen next. For example, after an interview set a clear time for follow-up. You can do this by saying something like, “It was great meeting you and your group. I know it may take some time to discuss it with the partners, but it would be great if we could follow up on the phone in two weeks.” This will give you clear time frame without looking overly desperate/anxious about the position.
Ideally, at the end of each interaction (phone interview, email interview, etc.), you should set up a clear timeline for what will happen next.
Many things may change over the lengthy job search process. Your interests and goals may change. New positions will become available. It is a fluid situation. While the peak time to get jobs for the following summer are probably late fall to winter, very good jobs can become available in the spring. The timing of hiring can vary with fluctuations of the job market in general. It’s important to not let your anxiety about the process cloud your judgment and pressure you into taking a job where you won’t be happy. It may also depend on your personal needs. If you are looking for a job with very specific requirements, it may take a bit longer. Seek advice from your colleagues and mentors throughout the process and they can help.
This document is by no means all inclusive, but it is designed to give you some general notion of how to approach the process. Other topics, such as negotiating the terms of your employment and salary although important, are not discussed here. Hopefully it is informative and helps allay some of the anxiety from this inherently stressful process. With preparation and patience, this can be a rewarding process in which you finally move on from being a trainee to an independent radiologist. Good luck.