You’ve finished school, passed the board exams, obtained a license, and now you’re ready to start your career as a respiratory therapist. So, what’s next?
The next step is to find a job that’s the right fit for you. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to know where to start. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to find a job as a respiratory therapist.
1. Make Connections Wherever You Want to Work
If you have your heart set on working in a particular hospital, it’s important to start becoming friends with the respiratory therapists who work there.
This is something can you can do during your clinical rotations as a student. Because, technically, your job interview begins on day one.
You are being watched at all times, and it’s important to make a good impression. Current employees will be watching how you perform to see if you’re a good fit for their team down the road.
Therefore, if you’re able to make connections, it will go a long way when it comes time to apply for a job in that facility.
2. Stay Motivated
You’ve already put in a ton of work by graduating and passing the board exams. While that is amazing, now is not the time to relax.
The respiratory therapy job market is very competitive, and you must stay motivated and on top of your game if you want to land your dream job.
Keep searching, reaching out, and applying until you find the right opportunity. It will be worth it in the end!
3. Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Applications
There’s no denying that we live in a digital world, and the internet has made job hunting much easier. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to only searching and applying for jobs online.
Some hospitals are old-school when it comes to hiring, and they may not even have their respiratory therapy positions posted online.
That’s why it’s important to reach out directly to the HR department of the facility where you want to work. They may have an opening that’s not being advertised.
4. Be Courteous to Everyone You Come in Contact With
You never know who you’ll meet during your search that may be able to help you land your dream job. This includes your instructors, teachers, classmates, preceptors, or even a random lady at the grocery store.
The janitor? Absolutely!
He might have a brother who’s the CEO of the hospital you’ve been dying to work at. You just absolutely never know.
So, it’s important to be kind, courteous, and professional to everyone you come across during your job search journey.
5. Be Prepared for the Interview
Preparation is key!
You should know everything there is to know about the hospital, the respiratory therapy department, and the team you’d be working with if you were to get the job.
The interview is your chance to shine and show the interviewer that you’re the perfect candidate for the job.
Be sure to practice going through common interview questions prior to your big day. This will help you feel more prepared and confident when it’s time to answer tough questions.
6. Use Being a New Graduate to Your Advantage
Although you don’t have years of experience, you do have fresh knowledge of the latest and greatest things going on in the respiratory therapy field.
Also, sometimes seasoned respiratory therapists tend to be stuck in their old ways and are resistant to change.
You can use this to your advantage by being open to doing things exactly how the hospital wants them done. By being new, you are essentially like a ball of clay that they can mold into their ideal respiratory therapist.
7. Follow up After Your Interview
You blew them away during your job interview, and you knocked it out of the park. Now’s not the time to sit back and wait for them to call you with an offer.
It is your responsibility to follow up after the interview to show that you’re still interested in the position. A simple phone call or email will do. Just be sure not to be too pushy or annoying.
It’s also a good idea to send a handwritten thank-you note to the hiring manager expressing gratitude for their time and the opportunity to interview for the position.
This will help you stand out from the other candidates and shows that you are serious about the position.
The job market is extremely competitive, especially in the medical field. However, by following these simple tips, you’ll be on your way to landing your dream job as a respiratory therapist in no time.
Be sure to check out our guide that covers the best states to work as a respiratory therapist. Thanks for reading, and good luck!
John Landry, BS, RRT
John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.
- “What Is an RT?” American Association for Respiratory Care, 26 Aug. 2021, www.aarc.org/careers/what-is-an-rt.
- “Respiratory Therapists : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” US Bureau of Statistics, 8 Sept. 2022, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/respiratory-therapists.htm.