If you have or are on your way to a medical billing and coding certification, your next step should be networking to land that dream job. Networking with industry leaders and professionals is the best way to get your name out there and potentially make valuable connections. Learning to network effectively is one of the most powerful tools in a job seeker’s arsenal. Even if you don’t land your dream job, influential connections can help you reach places in your career that may not have been attainable otherwise. Below are some networking tips for medical billers and coders seeking competitive jobs in the medical field.
First, you should compile a comprehensive list of influencers in the industry and seek them out. Research medical journals, online articles, shared social posts and medical billing and coding associations to locate medical billing and coding professionals in your area. Also explore which employers in the field offer exceptional working environments, good benefits and room to grow. This list will help you narrow down people and companies in the medical coding and billing industry to reach out to.
Landing your dream job is all about relationships, and the ones you build through strategic networking will be invaluable throughout your career. Building trust is the foundation of a good networking relationship, so cultivating meaningful connections isn’t as easy as one meet and greet. Look for shared interests outside of work and create a deeper connection than just a working contact. By paying attention to a person’s interests rather than pointing out something they can do for you professionally, you build credibility and trust.
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Connections on sites like LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter won’t produce networking value unless you make yourself visible. This can be as easy as sharing an article that an influential person in the medical billing and coding industry wrote or commenting on something they have shared. Research someone before reaching out to them and keep in mind the best introductions leave something to build on. If you’re attending a seminar, conference or networking event, don’t be afraid to approach someone and strike up a conversation. Find medical billing and coding meet-up groups in your area and attend one. Someone might even recognize you from your participation in an online community!
Most industry professionals and businesses today have social media accounts. It is important for job seekers to utilize social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus to network. LinkedIn has medical building and coding networking groups and forums where industry professionals can share ideas, news and concerns. Google Plus has a similar section called Communities, where you can network with others in the field.
Social media networking also opens doors for more timid people, who may prefer introducing themselves online to in-person meet-ups. Establish a rapport over time rather than flooding someone’s inbox with requests to view your resume. Comment on articles they’ve shared or ask them for career advice. If someone thinks you are just contacting them in exchange for something, they will be less likely to want to create a professional relationship. Don’t be afraid to ask professionals if you can schedule a brief meeting to buy them a coffee near their office to discuss the industry (the worst they can say is no).
Always be professional in the way that you present yourself. Dress appropriately for networking events and keep your social media profiles up-to-date and professional. Before anyone has the chance to speak to you or see your resume, your physical presentation is your best asset. Take pride in your appearance and dress professionally when networking. This means tailored outfits, modest cuts and simple makeup and accessories for women. For men, a well-pressed suit and shined dress shoes are timeless and appropriate. Medical billing and coding careers are in high demand, which makes the job market competitive. Put your best foot forward with a professional appearance.
These networking tips could help you land you dream job, or even just get your foot in the door. Presentation, visibility, social media presence and research are the most important keys to a successful networking approach in this (and any) industry. Professional networking is a vital part of job searching and it has the potential to jumpstart your career in medical billing and coding today.
– Guest Post by Amy Thomson
Amy Thomson is a Westwood College representative with an interest in access to education and meaningful careers. She takes pride in promoting healthcare careers.