Dr. Wei places ads in the local daily newspaper, which has both print and online versions, as well as on social media and Craigslist.
Ms. Taylor says she has found that local newspaper ads work better than ads in regional publications, because they target local candidates. “Traffic in the Washington, D.C., metro area is a nightmare,” she says. “I’ve found that when the commute is too long, an applicant will accept the position, but they keep looking for something closer to home.”
Dr. Wei throws a twist into the application process. “We require candidates to hand deliver their résumé and cover letter,” he says. “If someone can’t follow a simple direction like that, then that tells us that they aren’t right for the position.”
After you’ve netted a pool of applicants from your ads, it’s time to sort through résumés. But sifting out top candidates from a stack of one-page bios isn’t always easy.
When screening résumés, Ms. Taylor prefers candidates with two years of continuous employment for each position. “Stability indicates that someone is more likely to stay with the practice for a while,” she says. Applicants who have more than one job at the same time are also appealing, because it demonstrates ambition and willingness to work, she adds.
Even though Ms. Taylor favors candidates with experience in the medical field, she will hire someone without such experience if the applicant shows interest and ability. “I would hire the applicant on a temporary basis,” she says. “If it works out, I would offer them a full-time position.” She has also hired both high school and college students, if they are motivated to learn and work hard.
Résumés can also offer clues to a candidate’s future job performance. Dr. Wei says candidates whose résumés have large gaps between positions or show jobs held for only three to five months are red flags. “Past behavior predicts future behavior,” he says.
Ms. Taylor is wary of boilerplate cover letters. “Some applicants are looking for more than one type of job,” she says. “I had one applicant say that she was looking for a medical assistant position, yet her cover letter stated that she was applying for a security guard position. This inconsistency told me she was applying to many different positions and was not committed to, or passionate about, her career.”
Mr. Dickerson says he would avoid someone who has been demoted or regressed in their career, or someone who submits poorly written application materials with multiple grammatical and spelling mistakes.