Greetings Health Scholars!
This week on the For Health Scholars Podcast, I have been sharing my insights on how to find and apply to healthcare administration and management-related master's degree programs in Europe and how to find and apply for international healthcare jobs.
As I round out the week on this series, I wanted to spend some time in today's blog post sharing my expertise on five crucial mistakes that job seekers should avoid when applying for global healthcare roles.
Here's What I Know About The International Healthcare Job Market
The international healthcare administration, management, and public health employment opportunities have grown tremendously as the world becomes increasingly interconnected. These roles not only offer a chance to make a meaningful impact on global health but also allow professionals to broaden their horizons by working in diverse cultural settings.
As someone who has lived in Nigeria and actively engaged in various international healthcare and workforce development projects in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, my international consultancy experience has allowed me to gain valuable insights into the key elements necessary for healthcare professionals to secure international positions successfully.
But even with my international background, there were a few things I wished I had known to avoid while I was experiencing life and working in the global healthcare market.
Here is why...
As more employment opportunities appear in the worldwide healthcare market, there also come more significant challenges, particularly challenges of trying to stand out among the influx of international job candidates.
If I were given the opportunity to re-enter the international healthcare workforce, here are five mistakes I would avoid:
Mistake#1- Neglecting Cultural Awareness
Working in an international setting demands high cultural sensitivity and adaptability. One common mistake applicants make is underestimating the significance of understanding local customs, norms, and values.
Each country has unique customs, norms, and values significantly influence healthcare practices and interactions. These include communication styles, social etiquette, religious beliefs, and even attitudes toward healthcare professionals. A successful candidate must invest time and effort in researching and understanding these aspects of the local culture. Demonstrating knowledge of local customs and respecting them in your interactions will leave a positive impression on hiring managers.
Additionally, hiring managers are prone to hire candidates who can integrate seamlessly into diverse environments. Showcasing your cultural awareness through previous experiences, language proficiency, or cross-cultural projects will demonstrate your ability to navigate complex global healthcare challenges.
Mistake#2- Using Generic Cover Letters and Resumes
Sending out generic cover letters and resumes might save time, but it won't impress international employers. Tailoring your application materials for each specific job opportunity is essential. Research the organization, understand its mission, and align your skills and experiences with their needs. A personalized application shows dedication and attention to detail, setting you apart from candidates who rely on a one-size-fits-all approach.
Here are a few quick tips on how to customize your resume and cover letter for international employers:
a. Research the Organization: Thoroughly research the healthcare organization or institution you are applying to. Understand their mission, values, and the specific programs they offer. Look for any recent initiatives or projects they are involved in. This information will help you tailor your resume and cover letter to align with their goals and demonstrate your compatibility with their mission.
b. Customize Your Objective/Professional Summary Statement: Include an objective or summary statement at the beginning of your resume. Also, tailor this section to emphasize how your skills and experiences align with the international healthcare role you are applying for.
c. Focus on Transferable Skills: Even if you have yet to work abroad, highlight transferable skills valuable in an international healthcare setting. These include adaptability, cross-cultural communication, problem-solving, and team collaboration. Connect these skills to real-life experiences from your professional life or any cross-cultural engagements.
Mistake#3-Overlooking Language Proficiency
In international healthcare settings, effective communication is paramount. Fluency in the local language, and some cases, additional languages, can significantly boost your chances of securing a job. Many international employers require candidates to demonstrate language proficiency through standardized tests or interviews. If you need more fluency in a required language, consider investing time and effort into language courses or immersion programs to improve your language skills.
Mistake#4-Failing to Highlight Relevant International Experience
Applicants with prior international experience have a competitive edge in this field. If you've worked or volunteered abroad, emphasize those experiences in your application. International exposure demonstrates adaptability, cross-cultural competence, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. Whether it's a global health internship, a research project in a foreign country, or collaboration with international partners, highlight the valuable skills and insights you gained from those experiences.
Mistake#5- Ignoring the Importance of Networking
Networking is a powerful tool in any job search, and it holds particular significance in international healthcare administration, management, and public health. Attend conferences, seminars, and webinars related to your field to connect with professionals already working in global health. Engage with industry leaders on social media platforms, and consider the value of informational interviews. These connections can provide valuable insights, job leads, and even recommendations for future employment applications.
With all that was shared in today's blog post, do note that applying for international healthcare administration, management, and public health jobs can be challenging but rewarding. By avoiding the pitfalls mentioned above and approaching your application strategically, you increase your chances of landing your dream job in this dynamic and impactful field.
Need Immediate Job Search Assistance?
Also, if you need immediate assistance in your job-hunting process, check out my course, From Healthcare Graduate to Hired. In this course, I provide the right strategy and tools to help you go from active job seeker to hired. Learn more about the course here 👉🏾https://bit.ly/40E5O5v
I hope today's newsletter has provided helpful information for those considering a healthcare career. Make sure to subscribe to the For Health Scholars YouTube channel!