The PA Job Search: Where to Find Jobs

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Earlier this week, I did a post on what to look for when first starting a job search, so here's a follow-up post about where to actually look for the jobs.  I promise they're out there!  Some areas are more saturated with PAs than other areas so it can be a little more challenging, but the more flexible you are, the better luck you'll have finding a job.

The Internet:  This is pretty obvious, but it's a good idea to start with Google to get an idea of what may be open in your area.  When I was first starting, I would just search "physician assistant job augusta ga," and it usually took me to indeed.com or some other job site.  Most of the results from these searches go through an agency or are hospital listings.  Looking at specific hospital websites that are in the area you are interested in can also be helpful.  The only issue with these is that they may not update the listings very frequently, but there are usually at least a few positions posted at each of the hospitals in my area.

Preceptors:  When you are on rotations make it well-known what areas you are interested in working in to your preceptors and staff at your rotation sites.  When I first started rotations, I thought I should act like I loved whatever area I was working in for the month, but once I started being honest and talking about my love for dermatology and surgery was when I started hearing about job opportunities.  I attribute to my job to my surgery preceptor for the most part.  He was a colleague of a doctor that I heard was hiring and gave her a call on my behalf.

It's sometimes said during rotation orientation that you should expect to get numerous job offers while on rotations, but that isn't always true.  If most of your sites are ones that have been used for a long time and always have students, it is not likely that they are looking to hire.  You're going to have a much better shot at a job offer if you are able to do rotations at sites that have not had students in the past.

Cold Calls:  One of my teachers recommended this and it was incredibly intimidating, but now I definitely recommend doing it.  The best way to do this is to call offices, ask to speak to the office manager, and then ask if they are looking to hire a PA.  The majority of offices I called said not currently, but asked me to send my resume anyway.  I felt like this was possibly a dead end, but I actually met 2 different PAs during the time I was looking that recognized my name from my resume, and then told me about jobs they had heard about.

Program Resources: Some programs are really great about helping their students to find jobs after graduation.  Ask your advisor and any faculty you feel comfortable with if they know of any open positions (if you want to stay where your program is).  Our program also has a job board and a Facebook page for alumni where jobs are posted frequently, so see if your program has this, and if not just start one yourself!

Staffing Agency: Some offices go through agencies to find PAs.  I've talked to a few of these, but I'm not sure how effective they are.  Two of my closer friends from my program applied to and interviewed for programs through an agent, but from what they said they had to follow up very frequently and ultimately didn't get anywhere.

I hope this gives you some direction if you're job searching, and please comment with your tips for finding a job!