Lab Grad to Lab Pro in 4 Easy Steps
How medical lab students can leverage social media to land their first job before and after graduation
If you’re a medical laboratory student approaching graduation with some trepidation about landing your first job, you’re not alone. There are so many qualifications to consider when determining the perfect position for your desired life style. Whether you want to continue your education, are supporting a family, want to relocate, or are looking to advance quickly, representing yourself accurately on professional social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, is an important step in this process.
Your professional network and value start with your profile. Recruiters are looking for specific information to help them determine which candidates are right for the company they represent.
Here are four tips to help you land the perfect lab job in the next few months:
1. Create a compelling profile
Students may not have much medical laboratory experience before graduation, but there are ways to make your professional profile scream industry engagement.
|Student membership: The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) have student membership options. Benefits include free registration to annual meetings, mentorship, and scholarship opportunities. Displaying membership with these societies creates a sense of commitment to the field before becoming a certified professional.|
|Volunteerism: Medical-, laboratory-, or STEM-related volunteering activities also show enthusiasm for the field. For example, the American Red Cross is always seeking volunteers to host or help with blood drives and other opportunities.|
|Student competition ranking: Medical laboratory education programs have the opportunity to compete annually in local and national competitions, such as the national hematology Cell Bowl competition created and hosted by Medical Lab Lady Gill and sponsored by ASCP or the ASCLS Poster Competition. Enhancing one’s professional profile with a competition ranking indicates enthusiasm for the field and willingness to improve.|
|Current certifications/licenses/proficiencies: Students with previous credentials or proficiencies should include them in their profile as well. Phlebotomy certification, CPR certification, and Microsoft Office proficiency are some examples. Clinical laboratories may consider hiring students as a phlebotomist or medical laboratory assistant before graduation from a degree program to enhance their current workforce. Hiring internally for vacant medical laboratory technician and scientist positions becomes a preferred transition than waiting to hire someone after graduation.|
2. Be open to work
Possibly the most important part of the representation equation on professional social media platforms is to indicate that you are open to work opportunities. This can be in the form of a profile picture frame or banner. Also, indicate graduation and/or prospective certification date(s) in your profile content when applicable for potential employers.
3. Establish a network
Once you’ve established a professional profile, start to leverage the power of social media by using the account. Connect with established professionals to help you expand your professional network. Engage with posts that relate to your areas of interest within the field. Follow companies that contribute to your employment vision and tag them on posts that describe your interest.
4. Maintain a presence
Monitor the activity of your account and check your inbox at least weekly. Recruiters may contact you through private messages. Professional social media accounts often also have a job search function with the option to use specific filters. Use the job search function as much as you desire. Applications will require an updated resume, as well as a written cover letter.