Yes, dermatology is a very desirable specialty. Some people pursue dermatology because of a passion for skin, beauty, anti-aging, and health. Some pursue it because of its unique blend of cosmetic and surgical. Others pursue it because of the work-life balance associated with private medical practices and traditional working hours. Regardless of your motivation, it is a desirable specialty and that means it can be competitive. So, if you dream of a career in dermatology, you may wonder how to get started.
As the Program Director at Advanced Training in Dermatology, that is a question I get asked often. There is no one sure-fire way, but here are a few suggestions:
Having experience eases the burden of on-the-job training for the practice. We have all been in the position of applying for a job and being told that you need prior experience – but how do you get experience if no will hire you to give you experience? Right?
Volunteer. Connect with your local advocacy groups and hospitals about opportunities to volunteer in education and out-reach programs. Not only will volunteering help add experience to your resume, it will also demonstrate your commitment to the specialty. For example, many organizations including hospitals and non-profit organizations need volunteers to assist in skin cancer screenings or educational programs. Look up other dermatology advocacy groups in your area (the National Psoriasis Foundation and the National Eczema Association are 2 popular ones) and explore ways to help with their outreach programs.
Classes & Certificates. Research and take advantage of additional education opportunities in dermatology. Certificate program and continuing education credits demonstrate that you have important and valuable dermatology knowledge and are prepared to work in the specialty. Our program, Advanced Training in Dermatology, was designed to provide education and training (with a Certificate and CE) to prepare you to join a dermatology practice knowledgeable about the specialty. (Learn more about www.dermtraining.com) Be sure to showcase your advanced education on your resume, and talk about it in your interviews.
Networking is a great tool to help in a job search. It can help you find out about open jobs before they are posted, and sometimes can provide a connection that can introduce you and/or actually recommend you!
Social Networks. LinkedIn and Facebook are the most popular platforms. Be sure to join groups that interest you and actively participate — comment on posts and private message thoughts or an introduction to the author. In addition to professional organizations, consider joining support and advocacy groups that focus on skin conditions that are meaningful to you.
Professional Organizations. Memberships in professional organizations, like the Dermatology Nurse Association, not only can provide you with valuable professional connections, it can help keep you informed of relevant industry news, and further shows your dedication and commitment on your resume.
Recruiters. There are recruiters that specialize in dermatology placement. Join their Facebook and LinkedIn groups. And be active participants by commenting on posts and sharing information too.
Your resume is your introduction to your prospective employers. There are a lot of resources available online to help craft a strong resume. Tailor your resume for the job you are applying for to show how your skills match up to what the position requires. So if you are applying for a dermatology job, don’t just include your dermatology education, experience, and community involvement on your resume – showcase it!