It’s easy to get things wrong when applying for a cardiology job. We’ll show you some common mistakes, give some case studies and show you how to avoid the pitfalls.
It’s amazing how many people – cardiologists included – put themselves down when applying for a job. You know you’re good at your current job, but applying for a new job is scary. You start to doubt yourself and minimise your skills and experience. It’s a shame, as this is the time when it’s most important to emphasise everything you have to offer!
Mistake #1 – Under-confidence leads to interpreting the job description too literally
When a cardiology employer – or human resources officer! – writes a job description, they tend to write in an academic and impersonal way.
In the real world, a job is an organic thing that grows with the individual – at least to some extent. For example, if you are good at a particular task then you will end up doing it more often, whereas tasks that your cardiology colleagues excel at will become their responsibility. Of course you have to do the tasks that are essential for the job, but beyond this, the nature of a job can be fairly fluid.
Yet a job description forces the employer to write everything in a very official manner and describe the skills needed for the job in an absolute way. Long words and jargon often creep in. As always, this can impede good communication and make the job description harder to understand.
When you read a cardiology job description, it’s easy to be put off by the academic wording. Even if you use a particular skill every day in your current cardiology job, seeing it worded in such a formal way can make you doubt yourself. It’s easy to overlook important skills or qualities that would be really important to an employer, and take yourself for granted. If you don’t believe in yourself then it’s impossible to convince an employer that you’re the perfect person for the cardiology job you’re applying for.
Solution – Read between the lines and don’t take yourself for granted
When reading a cardiology job description, try to look past the exact wording. Instead, ask yourself what the employer is looking for. Think creatively about how you have used the skills they’re asking for in your current job.
Cardiology job application case study
An Electrophysiologist Cardiologist wanted to apply for a promotion to a senior position. The job description stated that “successful candidates must be able to demonstrate leadership and management experience”. He didn’t think he had this skill because he had never managed staff before, so he decided not to apply.
When he mentioned this in the staffroom, a colleague pointed out that he actually had quite a lot of leadership and management experience from helping with the induction of new colleagues and mentoring a colleague who was having problems. He mentioned this in his application and got the promotion.
Mistake #2 – Over-confidence can make you expect the employer to do the work
Applying for a job is a bit like playing a game. You need to know the rules. This means that you sometimes have to look beyond the obvious, and play along with the game.
If you’re applying for a new cardiology job with your existing employer, it’s easy to assume that they already know all about you so you don’t need to bother writing an effective application. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
When an employer decides who to invite to interview for a job, they have to look at each application on its own merits and treat everyone equally. They have to go through each of the requirements on the cardiology job description and match each application against those requirements. Anyone who hasn’t shown they meet all the requirements is unlikely to be invited to interview.
Solution – Don’t assume the employer knows how great you are
Even if the employer knows you really well and knows you’re perfect for the job, they still expect to see this on your application. However confident you feel, take the time to prepare a good application.
Go through the job description and write a list of everything they’re looking for. When you write your application, make sure you’ve covered everything on the list.
Cardiology job application case study
A Cardiac Nurse had been working for a cardiology charity for 2 years on an agency basis. When a vacancy for a permanent position was advertised, she decided to apply.
The Cardiac Nurse completed an application form and was surprised to receive a rejection letter saying that she had not demonstrated that she had the skills needed for the job. On the ‘Knowledge, Skills and Experience’ section of the application form she had simply written, “I am a qualified Cardiac Nurse” as the assumed the employer was already aware of her skills and experience.
The next time a Cardiac Nurse vacancy became available, she spent a few hours writing the application form and proving she met everything on the job description. She got the job.
Avoiding the pitfalls – know what cardiology employers want
These examples show just how difficult it is to know what employers want. On the one hand you can be under-confident and sell yourself short, so employers don’t realise what you have to offer. On the other hand, over-confidence can prevent you from promoting yourself properly.
Lots of people think they need to lie to get a job. We disagree. The key is to understand the employer and to link this to your own skills and experience. Use this knowledge to show that you’re the perfect applicant for your dream cardiology job.