Sometimes it seems like it’s impossible to get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. It’s an age-old problem, but luckily, you have new social media tools to help you make the contacts you need to land the medical assistant job you’ve worked so hard for.
The numbers of social media sites available can be overwhelming. All social media sites have a “personality” that attracts certain types of people or jobs. You’ll want to focus on a few so that you can be sure your profile is perfect and so you can respond quickly to any inquiries and responses. As you get more comfortable with managing your profiles, you can expand your reach to add additional sites.
Which sites to choose?
LinkedIn: LinkedIn tends to draw established professionals, and it discourages individual-to-individual contact unless introduced by a mutual acquaintance. Search for your favorite instructors from your medical assistant training, and ask to connect with them. Once connected, you can ask them to write a reference. Profiles on Linked In that have references are positioned at the top of applicants for a job, so you want to get a few references if possible. You will also want to ask them to refer you to anyone they know that is looking to hire.
You can search the job postings here, but most positions will be higher level. If you do find something you’re interested in and qualified for, try to find a connection to the hiring manager among your contacts. LinkedIn makes this easy to do.
BeKnown: BeKnown is owned by Monster, the job site. The site is young and hip, and has very few restrictions on contacting people. There is a specific group dedicated to medical assistant jobs. Many of the posters are just starting out. Employers know that, so you will likely find a lot of jobs you qualify for on this site.
Many user posts here are similar to “Anybody know any medical assistant jobs in …?” Make yourself stand out from the crowd by posting a thoughtful message about an aspect of medical assisting. It may be a comment on an article you read recently, or a comment on an aspect of HIPAA. Whatever it is, try to make sure that it projects a professional image. You never know who might be looking at the group to find their next hire.
BranchOut: BranchOut can only be accessed through Facebook. If your existing Facebook connections also have BranchOut accounts, they are automatically connected to you. Think about your other connections before you open your BranchOut account. Make sure you want them connected to you professionally. If you’re not certain, get another email address and use it to open a new Facebook and BranchOut account.
That’s good advice for any social media site. If you don’t want pictures of Saturday night’s party to color anyone’s professional opinion of you, keep your work and personal lives separate. This is especially true online where information can live forever and be impossible to erase.
Even though an employer can’t click directly from BranchOut to your Facebook profile, nothing prevents them from searching for you there.
BranchOut has many medical assistant jobs posted. If you find one you like, it’s easy to search for someone who works there to connect.
Twitter: Twitter is one social media site where it’s OK to just ask for a job. Pick a hash tag like “#med_assist.net” and send it on its way. You never know who will end up reading your plea when it’s retweeted.
The American Association of Medical Assistants: While not an electronic social media site, the organization does have a mentorship program that could be worthwhile and possibly open some doors for you. Definitely join this group, and attend local chapter meetings. You will meet interesting people with established careers. Ask them how they got their start in the field. Listen carefully and make a mental note of any good tips. After chatting for a few minutes, ask for a business card. Follow up with a short email, but don’t ask for a job in this message.
Do’s and Dont’s
- Do keep your profiles up to date and professional
- Do keep separate personal and professional profiles and emails
- Do ask new contacts for advice, mentoring or referrals
- Do respond quickly and professional to all contacts
- Do sell yourself to contacts
- Do spell and grammar check all emails
- Don’t ask someone you don’t know for a job
- Don’t badger contacts if they don’t respond to your initial contact requests
- Don’t respond to inquiry messages in text language.
- Don’t send out responses with abbreviations, or spelling or grammar errors
Social media has made searching for a medical assistant job easier than ever. Like all social interactions, there is etiquette to be followed. Make sure you follow the rules and always appear professional when searching for a job.