10 Tips to Kickstart Your Dietetic Career as a New Graduate
Congratulations! You’ve completed your dietetic internship or your dietetic undergraduate degree. Now what? How do you find a job? Where do you start? Here are 10 tips to kickstart your dietetic career as a new graduate.
1. Be Persistent. “Be persistent, since dietetics is an extremely competitive field. Do not get discouraged easily if you do not get a job right away,” notes Nicole A. Withrow PhD, MS, RD, Assistant Professor/Dietetic Internship Director at University of Northern Colorado. Persistency and determination will help you find and get your dream job.
2. Be Flexible.Be flexible to jobs that require certain duties, hours, or commutes. You never know what the experience will entail until you try it out.
3. Be Humble. “Be humble by viewing everything as a learning experience. Do not think a job is ‘below’ you or your skill set. View every experience as an opportunity,” informs Withrow.
4. Wide Net. There is no one way to get a job. Try various job search avenues such as using social media, directly applying to jobs online, networking, talking to people. For more ideas, check out the article: 10 Job Search Tips Every Dietitian Should Know.
5. Prepare for the Interview. “Samford University provides interview practice for the students. During the practice session, doing your homework before the interview, having a resume in hand, and writing short thank you notes for the interview are stressed. Doing your ‘homework’ includes looking at company’s mission, reviewing the job position, and reviewing the website carefully enough to have well thought out questions,” explains Miriam J. Gaines, MACT, RDN, LD, Assistant Professor & Dietetic Internship Director at Samford University.
6. Practice Interview Questions. “Practice interview questions such as knowing what the companies vision is for the position, understanding leadership roles that may occur while working there, and determining how the company supports continual learning for the employees to stay abreast of changing information. I also ask the interns to have word-picture answers to be able to describe common interview questions, such as, ‘How do you handle conflict?,’ ‘Tell me about yourself and your 5 year goals,’ and ‘What is your greatest strength and weakness.’ We want the interns to describe a weakness and follow it with the steps of how they are overcoming the weakness, too,” recommends Gaines.
7. Reach Out to People. “Contact preceptors from your favorite internship rotations and let them know you are interested in working with them. Ask them if they know of any openings available now or coming soon,” advises Tina Shepard, MS, RDN, FAND, Clinical Professor and Dietetic Internship Director at Arizona State University.
8. Find a Mentor. Talk to nutrition professionals you admire and ask them how they started their career. Insider tips are always the best.
9. Attend Events.Get involved with and attend as many dietetic events as you can to meet people and network. The more you put yourself out there and let people know you are job searching, the more people you’ll have helping you find a job and being an advocate for you.
10. Have an Open Mind. Be open to potential opportunities that come your way. One job that may not look so ideal could lead you in the right direction through the people you meet or the skills you develop.
Finding a job is not an easy task. Use your skillsets. Network accordingly. Don’t give up. You will find your dream position.
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