If you are considering becoming a locum nurse or doctor, then it is essential to know how to effectively market yourself, enabling you to receive a constant stream of work. There is a considerable disparity between working as a locum and having contracted, permanent hours. The biggest difference is that, as a locum, you’ll need to market your skills in order to secure work. Even if you possess the skills, qualifications and experience needed to exceed in a position, you need to effectively demonstrate these qualities to the relevant person making decisions.
As a locum, you should think of yourself now as a business, and therefore treat the process of obtaining work as a business venture. This is a skill you may not have been taught before but will be relatively easy to adopt with the help of our guide on how to effectively market yourself a health care locum.
As a health care locum, who is your customer?
For any business to be successful, you need to be aware who your customers are and have a thorough understanding of them. It is important to perform meticulous research into specific clients before approaching them for work.
The NHS Choices website provides useful information all about the individual surgeries in your local area. It also displays the demographics they serve and the number of doctors and nurses already working there. Once you have short-listed several that you would be willing to travel to, it is a good idea to perform further research into the surgery’s individual dynamics.
Here are some points you need to consider when researching into potential customers.
- How far are you willing to travel in order to find work? (The more flexible you are when it comes to location, the more work you will receive).
- Which organisations have you found that are specifically after your skill set?
- What kind of communities does the organisation serve?
- Ask for further information from one of the organisations about the skills they are in search of. Avoid targeting areas where your specific abilities won’t be needed.
Alternatively, you could opt to join a healthcare recruitment agency that will scout the work out for you. Most recruitment agencies will assist you in your plight, whether you are looking for private healthcare work or a position within the NHS. Locum recruitment agencies will also help to find you the roles that best suit you based on your preference, flexibility and location. Nevertheless, in order to receive work through an agency, you do still have to successfully market yourself.
Update Your CV
Throughout your career, no matter what experience you have or how old you are, presenting a well-constructed and highly impressive CV to a potential employer is likely to get you far. It is effectively an introduction document showcasing all of your skills and therefore, should be up to date. If you are stuck on how to improve your current CV, then here is some guidance on what you should include.
Your CV should condense all of experience, qualifications and skills into a short document. It should be concise, straight to the point and composed of short paragraphs spread across only a couple of pages. The contents of the document should include only information that is relevant to the particular field you wish to become a locum in. However, you should remember to include any teaching experiences, clinical interests or other spoken languages that could come across as desirable. It is essential that your CV clearly demonstrates how your skill set is relevant for the job. Any information that is not relevant should not be included in the document.
Remember to incorporate your past jobs and current position into a summary at the beginning of the page. It should also contain why you have decided to start down the route of a locum and what your long-term aims are.
Although it may seem obvious, it is also imperative to include referee contact details in case the employer or agency wish to get in contact directly. It is also worth adding in what your flexibility is like and whether or not your lifestyle allows you to cover busy periods. This can be included in the covering letter.
Over time, as you move from job to job, it is important that you update your CV. It should accurately reflect your most recent qualifications and experience. As your career progresses, you should make time to periodically review the contents of your CV and make sure it is up to date.
Continue to Develop
Ensuring that you continue to develop your career and skills not only helps you to stand out on the locum market but prevents you from stagnating in your job. Participating in clinical audits, extended research, gaining teaching experience and learning about new IT systems are all great ways of strengthening your marketing power as a locum.
Although it is a requirement for medical professionals to partake in the Continuing Professional Development process, furthering your knowledge and experience can only benefit you in numerous ways. Developing your skill set not only makes you more employable but will considerably help to extend your abilities, expand your experience and boost your confidence within the job.
It is essential to have an active approach to securing locum work. Whether or not you decide to work with a recruitment agency, or find work yourself, you must be proactive in ensuring your CV gets noticed by the right people. As a locum, it is essential to spend an ample amount of time marketing yourself just in the same way that a business would. If you are looking for a steady stream of work within the healthcare sector, then why not get in touch with a member of the Medical-Locums Group team today.
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