Graduating with your ND degree is a huge accomplishment that should be enjoyed and celebrated. You have just reached a major milestone, and are well on your way to a career with a high level of job satisfaction, flexibility, and stability. 1 2 Congratulations!
With graduation, inevitably comes the stress of looking for your first position as an ND. Applying and interviewing for jobs or residency positions can feel overwhelming, but with more and more people becoming interested in holistic medicine, demand for naturopathic doctors is on the rise and opportunities for new graduates are increasing. 3 The more prepared you are for your job interviews, the less stressful and more successful they will likely be. Here are some simple tips for newly graduated NDs on the job hunt.
Do Your Research
Learn what you can about the clinic or organization where you have applied. You will impress the hiring committee by showing that you already have some knowledge of their institution, such as its mandate, clinical and/or research focus, and services provided. Learning about the organization and culture before your interview will also give you a better understanding of the role that you are being considered for, in addition to helping you determine whether it is right for you. Remember, interviewing is a two-way street.
Think About What You Will Bring to the Position
Give some thought to examples of what you will bring to the position if you are hired. Any future employer needs to see you as a value-add for their company/clinic/organization. These examples can include relevant clinical experience, training, and research, but you should also consider anything that is uniquely yours that would be of help in the position, such as particular life experiences, personality traits, and anything specific to you that you know would make you an effective candidate for the position.
Think About What the Position Will Bring to You
In addition to thinking about how you will bring your unique skills to the job, it is a good idea to think about what this job will do for you. How does this job fit into your overall career trajectory? How will it help you reach your goals? Think about why this position is the right fit for you and specifically how it will help you achieve your goals to become the ND that you want to be. Hiring committees will be pleased to hear that the position is particularly suited to you and that you have given thought to how it fits into your long-term career plans.
Dress for the Job You Want
While researching the company, it is acceptable to inquire about the dress code or expectations for attire. The key is to dress professionally, and choose something that feels comfortable and empowering for you.
Professional Communications at All Times
Office staff opinions are often an integral part of the hiring process. Please don’t make a common mistake by discounting receptionists, schedulers and other support staff as part of the team approach to hiring. They will often provide insight into communication and interactions on candidates.
Be Mindful of Your Social Media Footprint
Employers are increasingly checking social media accounts for future hires. A good tip is to regularly search your name, and to make sure your public presence is one that conveys professionalism, aligned with the professional brand you are creating for yourself.
Bring Your Questions
It is a good idea to have some prepared questions in mind before your interview. Often, when job candidates are asked if they have any questions, it can be difficult to come up with thoughtful responses on the spot. However, it is a good idea to ask one or two questions to demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in the inner-workings of the role that you are applying for, and to show your genuine interest. Come up with a list of three or four questions before the interview and ask any that you still do not have the answers to by the end of the meeting.
Follow Up with a Thank-You Note
After your interview, follow up with a quick thank-you email. It does not have to be anything complicated–keep it brief, thank the interviewers for their time, and reestablish your enthusiasm about the position. This shows your interviewers that you are respectful, appreciative of the time and energy that they are putting into the hiring process, and helps you stand out from the crowd.