With three weeks left of the dietetic internship you would think the stress levels have come down to an all-time low, right? WRONG. My next task is to take the CDR exam and secure my first job. I would be lying if I said that taking the first steps into the “real world” is not a bit scary. Luckily, I came across several resources that make finding and applying to jobs a little less stressful.
Employment websites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster have become tremendously popular in the past few years. The concept is simple: businesses and organizations with openings post their listing to the websites; from there all it takes is a keyword search to find the perfect job. Employment sites are great because it allows anyone to easily see which companies are hiring. One of my favorite features is that you can create a list of jobs that you can access at any time, allowing you to apply immediately or at a later time. Since the listings are posted by the hiring business they are updated or taken down instantly and contain links leading to more information about the position and organization. I have taken advantage of an option which sends me email notifications about new openings related to my recent searches. I uploaded my resume to some of these sites where it will be reviewed by recruiters who may reach out with an opportunity. Employment sites are beginning to transition to phone apps, allowing the job search to continue from virtually anywhere. I personally take advantage of those few minutes before getting out of bed to scroll through job apps and see if there are any new postings.
One of the mantras given to us at the beginning of this internship was “think of this as a 10.5 month job interview.” This set the tone for networking during rotations and inspired me to create my own personal connections. What many do not realize is how connected practicing dietitians are to other dietitians in the field. Assuming some connections have been maintained from their DPD and dietetic internship, a dietitian typically has is a minimum of 10-15 contacts. I have been fortunate enough to establish and maintain a connection with a dietitian I shadowed for some time during my undergrad career. She has not only been immensely helpful as a mentor, but has offered to aide me in my job search by contacting clinical nutrition managers in her network. Whether it’s serving as a preceptor for dietetic interns or reaching out to a contact about a potential job opportunity, dietitians are more than willing to lend a helping hand. Luckily for us, establishing these connections can be easy as we are introduced to many of them through the course of our rotations.
One of the lesser known benefits of being a member of the largest professional organizations for dietitians, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is having access to their career resources. These resources include job boards similar to the employment websites, expert referral services aimed at those looking to start their own business, and a career development guide for those interested in creating a 10-20 year plan. When you become a member of the Academy, you are required to select a state affiliation. Most state affiliations have their own websites with a job board and will host an annual meeting, which is the perfect place to network. In addition to helping me search for jobs, the Academy offers resume templates and online marketing tips to its members which I have used to the fullest extent. Finally, a good reason to pay a yearly recurring fee!
These are just a few of the resources and methods I have been using to find jobs. Now if only I could get a call back from one of them…