In this blog series, Lara shares her experience as an oversea-trained physiotherapist working in the UK. From guidance on the HCPC registration process to discussion around UK and international physio news, she hopes to provide help to foreign physios looking to work in the UK - and to connect with those of you who already are!
Not long ago, I dusted off my twitter account, and started to use it again. This happened as I realised a lot of professional discussions and news about physiotherapy were being published there.
Fast forward to last month and I see there is going to be a 'tweet-chat' from Physiotalk about physio recruitment and strategies to get that first physio job. Although this was intended for newly-qualified UK-trained physiotherapists, I wanted to have a peep and see if we could transfer some of that advice for foreign-trained physios looking for their first job here in the UK.
Physiotalk is a great initiative that it has been going on for some years - its main purpose is to promote a professional and respectful conversation amongst physiotherapists from everywhere. They host different topics and anyone can suggest and lead a topic. If you want to find out details about their next chat, head over to their twitter page.
So here was I, all set up to follow the chat at the time indicated (although I failed to keep up with my hashtags in order to get my tweets saved on the compilation that they later on upload on the website). Quite a few physios both qualified and almost-qualified joined the conversation with great answers or additional questions. I am going to do a summary of the questions answered during the chat and pinpoint some of the key messages that came out. However, you can see the whole conversation here.
Q: How do I write my CV or statement of support? What to put in and what to leave out!
- Top tips:
- Mention with examples how do you meet the requirements.
- Try not to be repetitive.
- 2-pages long CV's are fine as long as the information you provide is relevant!
- Personalise your statement, why do you want to work in that hospital/centre…
Q: How should I prepare for my interview? What are they going to ask!
- Top tips:
- Remember to cover the basics and expand as required. Don't forget to give examples.
- In newly-qualified jobs they will be trying to get to know you, not catch you out.
- Don't be afraid to admit limitations but show your willingness to improve.
- Learn and try to link you answers to the hospital/centre's values.
Q: What type of job should I consider: permanent, temporary, locum?
- Top tips:
- Any job could be good to start with and to start shaping your skills for future jobs.
- Mixed rotational jobs are good to get a wider variety of skills.
- Don't forget to check what are the learning opportunities as if you work as a locum these might be limited (check out locum agencies that support CPD!)
- Volunteering is also a good place to start.
There were other sub-questions but those above are the main ones. Lots of great answers from physios mainly based in the UK and with all sorts of experiences. I highly recommend you check it out to get an understanding about how the process of getting a job works in the UK.
Also this is a good exercise to get you involved in the physio social media sphere. It is becoming more and more important to know how to interact via these routes. You can also find great resources and what I like the most: networking! If you have a look at the physiotalk conversation, you can see that everyone is happy to help and give advice to others.
Other useful things you can find on twitter or facebook are job offers, talks about clinical guidelines, opportunities to participate on research... But before you embarque yourself onto the social media boat have a look on user guidelines from the HCPC: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registrants/socialmediaguidance/ for a safe and respectful use.
Finally, don't forget to follow QualifiedPhysio on social media as well. Here's our facebook and twitter pages. You'll get our last updates, news and offers! Also linking with today's article, check our other blog posts about interview preparation and do not hesitate to contact us for further advice.
Top tip from us: check our 1:1 skype sessions to prepare you for that interview you are dreading.
About the author
Lara is a Spanish physiotherapist who has been working in the UK for the past 3 years. Having worked as a rotational physiotherapist over here, she's had experience in a wide range of specialities and now works as a Band 6 Physiotherapist. However, it hasn't always been easy finding her way and adjusting to the UK system. She's since been sharing her experience and helping other foreign-trained physios to come and settle here; firstly through her own blog, and now as part of the QP team!