Where to Look for Phlebotomy Jobs

Over half of all phlebotomist jobs are in hospitals and medical laboratories, but these are not the only places to explore. Other potential employers include:

  • Blood banks
  • Doctors' offices
  • Clinics
  • Blood drive organizations
  • Police stations
  • Jails
  • Prisons
  • Colleges
  • Universities
  • Vocational schools

If you already have some experience as a phlebotomist, consider applying for a teaching job at a school that offers phlebotomy training.

A great place to start looking for phlebotomy jobs is the school where you completed your phlebotomy training. Most schools will have job boards or job-finding resources for their students.

Many job opportunities are posted online. You can perform a general search for phlebotomy jobs in your area or try visiting individual websites for the types of organizations listed above to see if they have openings for phlebotomists. Additionally, there are numerous online job resources that allow you to post your resume in a way that is visible to potential employers. Many of these resources are free for job seekers.

Where to Look for Phlebotomy Jobs

Other sources are newspapers, medical magazines, and local employment agencies. If you live in a larger metropolitan area, look for an employment agency that specializes in placing medical technicians and laboratory personnel. These companies are likely to have an excellent idea of what's happening in your local healthcare job marketplace. They may also have inside information about job openings that haven't been advertised publicly.

Another important job-finding resource is networking with friends and family. As you begin your search for a phlebotomy job, make a list of any and all acquaintances that may have contacts with people who are looking to hire someone like you. Contact them via email or telephone and let them know you are starting a job hunt.

Likewise, as you see people throughout the day, don't forget to mention that you are seeking employment as a phlebotomist. Be direct and ask if they know anyone in the medical field who might be hiring or ask what ideas they have about finding a job. You'll be surprised at how creative some folks can be in uncovering great job opportunities.

Job Fairs

Job fairs represent another great potential resource for finding phlebotomy jobs. Job fairs can be held at a physical location or online. Some job fairs invite employers from many different industries while others may concentrate specifically on healthcare job opportunities. Job fairs may be advertised on school bulletin boards, online, or in newspapers, magazines, or other publications.

Your first task is to identify what companies will be participating in the job fair. Naturally, you will want to make sure that those companies are likely to have openings for phlebotomists. Next, you'll want to find out if those potential employers of interest to you will be interviewing on the spot at the job fair or making appointments for interviews at a later date.

Physical job fairs can be crowded and somewhat confusing. Here are some tips to help you prepare in advance:

  • Make a list of the companies you want to contact and take it with you.
  • Try to arrive early so you can become familiar with the layout and find the booth locations of the companies you want to contact.
  • Be sure to dress professionally, especially if you know companies will be holding interviews during the fair.
  • Remember that first impressions count?be sure to smile and offer a firm handshake as you are introduced to company representatives.
  • Have several copies of your resume available to leave with employers and be prepared to answer questions about your training and work experience.
  • Leave your resume with every company that is of interest to you, even if you don't have a chance to speak directly with one of its recruiters.
  • If a company requires you to complete an application, be sure to fill it out immediately. Most job fairs have tables available for this purpose. Don't make the mistake of taking the application home with you to fill out later. A delay like that could cost you a great opportunity.
  • Be sure to get business cards from every company representative you speak to and follow-up with them immediately. Take a pen or pencil and make notes on the back of the card to jog your memory about the conversation you had. Sending a personal note or even an email thanking the representative for his or her time and expressing interest in pursuing employment with the company can set you apart from the crowd. Standing out and being noticed in a positive way can often result in a job offer.

If you participate in an online job fair, make sure you have access to an electronic version of your resume so you can upload it as necessary.

Resume Tips

A resume is a written snapshot of your work history, your education, and any other details that may be of interest to a potential employer. The purpose of a resume is to convince the employer that you are qualified for the position and to pique his or her interest about you enough to invite you for an interview.

In general, resumes should be limited to a single page, unless you are a very experienced, senior-level candidate who has been in the work force for many years. There are many sample resumes online that you can study to get ideas about structure and formatting. Your goal is to create a very neat, well-organized resume that is honest, accurate, and completely free from grammatical errors, misspellings, or typographical errors.

An outline you might consider in preparing a resume targeted to phlebotomy jobs is:

  • Name and contact information at the top
  • Job Objective or Summary paragraph
  • Work experience in chronological order starting with the most recent job
  • Education in chronological order starting with your most recent programs
  • End with pertinent items that directly relate to your job performance

Make sure any extra details you include on the resume are truly relevant to the work environment. For example, your ability to speak a foreign language may be of real benefit to an employer who deals with non-English speaking patients. On the other hand, stating what kind of music you like is totally irrelevant.

If you are applying for a job directly out of school and you are short on work experience, try adding details about what you studied in school. For example, stating that you have performed a certain number of successful venipunctures or capillary draws will help the employer have confidence in your ability and training. If your grade-point average was stellar or if you received any awards for academic excellence, you may wish to include that information on the resume.

It is acceptable to include volunteer work or community service as part of your work experience. Most employers are looking for people who can prove they are honest, reliable, and competent. So anything you've done that convinces the reader you possess those qualities is fair game.

Finally, Be Sure to Have Another Person Proofread Your Resume!

Sending a resume that is riddled with obvious mistakes to a prospective employer makes you look incompetent and careless - impressions that will not result in an interview or a job. Even professional writers don't do their own proofreading. Enlist the aid of a fresh pair of eyes to help you put your best foot forward. (For more proofreading help, click here. )

It may be tempting to skip the step of sending a cover letter when you are looking for phlebotomist jobs. Don't fall into this trap! Employers are interested in hiring people who are willing to keep working until their job is done properly. Taking the time to include a cover letter shows you are someone who pays attention to details and who is interested in doing things properly. Remember that phlebotomy jobs require following proper procedures, so be sure to follow the proper procedure on your job application and include a cover letter.

Many job applications today are handled online. But most online job application systems permit you to enter a cover letter. Whether you send a printed cover letter or type one into an online form, here are some important points:

  • Keep it short and simple - one page maximum. Your first sentence should ask the reader to "Please accept my application for the position of Phlebotomy Technician," or whatever job title is appropriate.
  • If applicable, mention that your resume is enclosed or attached.
  • Add two or three statements that outline your qualifications. If you have access to a job description, target your qualifications to that description.
  • Add two or three items about your character that make you a great choice for this position.
  • Address any other items stated in the job description such as available start date, references, education, or proof of certification.
  • Close by expressing enthusiasm about getting the opportunity for a personal interview.

Use professional business language in your letter. This is not a good time to use slang or try to be cute. The entire package of job application, resume and cover letter are paper reflections of you, so do your best to make them attractive and compelling.

The Application

About half of all phlebotomy jobs are in hospitals and medical laboratories, but there are many other places to look for work opportunities. Consider checking with blood banks and blood drive organizations, doctors' offices, clinics, jails, prisons, and schools - especially schools that offer phlebotomy training programs, providing you have enough experience to become a phlebotomy instructor.

Regardless of where you find open phlebotomy positions, you will be asked to fill out an application to begin the screening process. Some organizations have printed applications you fill out by hand and others will have an online phlebotomy job application system.

You will save a great deal of time and energy by creating an up-to-date resume before you start the application process. Having your resume handy as you enter information onto the application helps you with accuracy and organization. It may also help you remember details that might make the difference between getting an interview or even an offer of employment.

It is extremely important to be truthful when filling out a job application. Most companies have a policy that false statements on your application are grounds for immediate dismissal should your dishonesty be discovered at a later date. Remember that employers want to hire workers who are honest, reliable, and trustworthy, so start off on the right foot, beginning with the job application.

Take your time filling out the application. If you are hand writing your responses, write as legibly and as neatly as possible. Submitting an application that no one can read won't get you very far. If a human resources recruiter can't read your application, how will coworkers be able to read your notes as specimens travel through the phlebotomy chain of custody?

If you fill out your application online, just relax and take your time. Most systems allow for corrections as you go along, so with a little patience you should be able to submit an error-free, neat, and accurate online application. If the online application system has space for a cover letter, be sure to include one that is brief, direct, and polite.

The Interview

Many people dread going through the procedure of interviewing for a job. The entire process of interviewing for phlebotomist jobs can become much easier and less stressful if you carefully follow the tips outlined below.

Before the Interview: Successful job interviewing requires thorough preparation in advance. Here are some things to focus on:

  • Be familiar with your resume so you can answer questions and talk about any part of it.
  • Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to your interview appointment. You might consider driving to the location in advance of your interview date to make certain you know how to get there, how long it takes, and minimize the chances of your getting lost.
  • Take care of personal grooming details well in advance. Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, make any needed adjustments to hair and nails the day before the interview.
  • Personal hygiene on interview day includes showering, washing your hair, and freshening your breath. Men should shave or trim facial hair.
  • Business attire may not be required, but your clothes should be neat, clean, and unwrinkled. Do not wear shoes that are dirty, scuffed, or obviously worn out.
  • Be sure to avoid heavy perfume or cologne, gaudy jewelry, outlandish clothing, or body art.
  • Make sure you are properly rested and fed before the interview. You will not be at your very best if you are overly tired or hungry.
  • Take some deep, cleansing breaths to help clear your mind and overcome nerves.

During the Interview: Make eye contact and offer a firm handshake to the interviewer. Wait for the interviewer to invite you to be seated and stand when the interviewer stands. Unless you happen to know the interviewer extremely well or you are specifically asked, do not address him or her by their first name.

Interviews are really a series of questions and answers. Generally, the interviewer will pose the first round of questions for you to answer. But you will nearly always have a chance to ask questions, and this is when you can apply a little three-part interview trick. (1) Be sure to ask what qualities are most important to the company with the job opening. Listen very carefully to the answers. (2) In your own words, restate the answers given in part 1. This demonstrates to the interviewer that you are listening and that you have a good understanding of the type of person they wish to hire. (3) Tell the interviewer why you possess the exact qualities they want, giving concrete examples wherever possible. Close with a summary of the positive contributions you can make to the hiring organization.

After the Interview: Be sure to thank the interviewer for his or her time and express enthusiastic interest in getting the job. Ask when you might expect to hear back from them and if it would be appropriate for you to follow up at a later date. Many career consultants recommend sending a written thank-you note after every job interview. Taking the time to write and send a personal note is a great way of standing out from the other phlebotomy job candidates, and it communicates your sincere interest in being the candidate who is selected.

References

Many potential employers will ask for references about your character, your work ethic, your education, or your clinical performance and aptitude. It is a good idea to start collecting letters of reference during your phlebotomy training program.

References for phlebotomy jobs should be sought from people of authority who know you and who are familiar with your work skills and training. Instructors are ideal sources, but other candidates are school administrators, religious contacts, former employers, or well-connected family friends.

Most instructors and school officials are quite accustomed to writing letters of recommendation. Many of them follow templates or outlines that allow them to create recommendations quickly and easily. Asking for references as training courses end can help you build a nice collection and permit you to avoid running around trying to find suitable references after you have completed your training and graduated.

Remember that employers look for concrete proof of your training and competency. Ask your references to mention accomplishments that can be quantified, such as your standing in your class, your test scores, your grades, the number of successful draws you achieved, or the number of class hours you completed. Some employers may require references to be completed on a preprinted form. This is a type of reference you can't acquire ahead of time.

Your reference letters are treasures! Be sure to place them in protective sleeves and store them in a waterproof case or container, so they can serve you well as your career progresses. You may want to store training completion documents, test scores, certification forms, and at least one copy of your resume in the same place, so everything is handy when it comes time to take another step forward in your professional life.