Are you ready to land your first job as a Respiratory Therapist? Maybe you’ve just passed the TMC and CSE board exams and are ready to start applying. If so, congratulations! That’s a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Unfortunately, though, there’s still one major hurdle that you must conquer: landing a job.

In this article, we will discuss some of the best tips to help you land your first job as an RT. If you don’t know where to start, that’s okay! Follow these tips and you’ll be hired before you know it.

1. Get friendly with the Respiratory Therapists at the hospital where you want to work

You should have been doing this yesterday, today, and every other day in your clinical rotations. But if you didn’t, don’t panic. I’m sure you made friends with a few of the RT’s in that department, at least. Reach out to them! Now is the time to let them know that you are applying for jobs. They’re approval is crucial. They can put in a good word for you which will be the key to you getting the job.

2. Stay motivated

You’ve just put in all that work, passed school and graduated, and passed the board exams. It would be easy to just want to take a break. I get it. But this is the time you must stay focused and motivated until you land a job. And with today’s economy, it may seem that there aren’t many positions available in your city. Stay positive. Keep looking and reaching out.

3. Don’t limit yourself to online applications

Sure, nowadays most organizations post their jobs openings online. But many places fill all their positions even before the job listing makes it online. That is why I recommend reaching out to each department you want to apply. Make a phone call or send over a polite email asking if there are any positions available.

4. Be courteous to everyone you come in contact with

This is just a good tip for life in general, but it applies to the job search as well. This includes your instructors, teachers, classmates, preceptors, or even a random lady at the grocery store. The janitor; everyone, you name it. Treat everyone with respect. You never know who might help you land your dream job.

5. Be prepared

Study up on the most common interview questions. Know exactly what you would say to each question and practice. This helps you build confidence. The more you know about yourself, the better you will do in your interview.

It’s also a good idea to study up and learn a thing or two about the organization you are trying to work for. See if you can learn anything about the hospital or respiratory department before your interview. This could push you to the top of the applicant pool.

6. Use being a new graduate to your advantage

The lack of experience is always one of the biggest obstacles for new RT’s trying to land their first job. But there’s a way to use this to your advantage. As you’ve probably heard before, many of the old RT’s are, for lack of better terms, stuck in their old ways. Whether it’s good or bad, they do things how they learned over the years and are unwilling to change.

So you must explain to them that you are like a blank canvas. They have the opportunity to mold and teach you exactly how they want you to do things. Sell yourself.

7. Follow up after your interview

You’ve finished your job interview. You blew them away and knocked it out of the park. Now’s not the time to just sit and wait. It’s your responsibility to follow up with your interviewees.

Send them a thank you note or email expressing your gratitude for the time to interview you. Get in touch with your contact about the progress of the position you are seeking. Don’t be annoying and call them every day. But it is important to follow up after your interview. This shows that you are serious about the position.

Final Thoughts

So there you have. Now you know exactly what you need to do to land your first job as a Respiratory Therapist. You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are on your journey of becoming an RRT. Don’t stop, keep pushing. You’re almost to the finish line. Use the tips you learned here and you’ll land your dream job before you know it.