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.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

1. Make Connections Wherever You Want to Work

First and foremost, you will need to start befriending the Respiratory Therapists that already work at the hospital of facility that you want to work.

You should have been doing this, like, yesterday, in your clinical rotations. As I always say, your job interview starts Day 1 of your clinical rotations.

The minute you step foot in the hospital as a student, you may not realize it but you are being looked at by the staff to see if you are a future potential employee. So it’s super important that you treat it as such and make as many friends as connections as possible during your time there.

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. Their approval of you is crucial towards your chances of landing a job because they can put in a good word for you (or a bad word if you were rude, disrespectful, or didn’t perform well).

2. Stay Motivated

You’ve just put in a ton of work! You passed RT school, graduated, and passed the board exams. At this point, it would be easy to just want to take a break. I get it.

But this is not the time to relax. You must stay focused and motivated and keep your eye on the prize until you land a job.

It may seem that there aren’t many positions available, depending on your location. This is why it’s so important for you to stay positive and motivated. Keep looking and reaching out— you WILL find a job.

3. Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Applications

There’s no denying that we live in a day and age where everything happens over the internet. Sure, nowadays most organizations post their jobs openings online. But many places are old school and 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. It’s best to go in person if possible, but you can also ake 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 for the Interview

As in most life situations, preparation is key when it comes to a successful job interview. Be sure to study up on the most common interview questions. You should have an idea of exactly what you would say to all the commons questions.

And don’t forget to practice your responses — preferably out loud! 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 help 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 that you can use this to your advantage.

As you’ve probably heard before, many of the old-school Respiratory Therapists 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.

You’re probably thinking, “So what, how does this help me?”

This helps you because you can position yourself as a ball of clay — ready to molded into the Respiratory Therapist for the world we live in today. No more old-school bad habits.

You must explain this to whoever is giving you the interview. 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.

As the old saying goes, “The fortune is in the follow up.”

This is so true, especially after an interview.

Be sure to send them a thank you note or email expressing your gratitude for the time it took 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 the interview. This shows that you are serious about the position.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Now you know exactly what it takes to land your first Respiratory Therapist job. You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are on your journey and you’re almost to the finish line.

Don’t stop! You must keep pushing forward. Use the tips you learned here in this article and you’ll land your dream job in no time. Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to share this article so that you can help other land their dream job as well.

I want to wish you the best of luck and as always, breathe easy my friend.

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