Best Practices for Finding a Job in Mental and Behavioral Healthcare

A job in the mental healthcare industry requires a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. If you are uncertain about the exact career you seek, you can still pursue a general degree like psychology while learning about the multiple career paths available in the field.

One of the best ways to choose a career path is through hands-on experience in a specific role. Start by deciding what patients you want to treat. There are children, adults, people with more severe mental illnesses, and more. Seek a volunteer opportunity or an internship where you can obtain some real-world experience under a licensed professional.

Finally, if you have the specific job in mind and the formal education required, determine if a license is required. Most states require many mental healthcare practitioners to have a license or certificate to practice.

Finding a Job in Mental Health Care

Once you have your education, license, or certificate, and a good idea of what area you want to practice, it is time to seek a position. These are some helpful tips that can benefit you regardless of your specialty:

  • Hone your skills.

Build your skillset by working hard in school, logging supervised clinical hours, pursuing additional therapist training, and participating in research projects and internships.

  • Apply for the correct license to practice in your state.

    You must have your paperwork together before seeking mental healthcare employment. Licensing boards typically take a long time to process applications. Getting an early start will allow you to start working sooner.

  • Build your resume and obtain letters of recommendation

    Carefully craft a professional resume and have a trusted friend review it for you. For letters of recommendation, seek out professors, academic advisers, past employers, internship supervisors, and peers. Make sure you contact anyone listed during your job search.

  • Network with people in the field.

Your former school or a former professor may be able to assist you with job leads. You might consider developing an unsaturated niche in your area. Market yourself in your field and make use of networking websites such as LinkedIn.

  • Search for job opportunities online.

Most mental health care facilities will have an employment page on their website that lists any available job openings. Furthermore, you can search major job-listing websites for openings or even post your resume online.

  • Submit your application and resume professionally and timely.

If you want serious consideration from an employer, you must utilize prompt and error-free communication.

  • Interview.

When you are interviewing, discuss your strengths, qualifications, and career goals in mental health care. It is essential that you investigate the organization in advance of your interview. Investigating the facility and its workers will enable you to show your interest and discuss why you are a great fit. Be prepared to ask every question you may have after the interview.

  • Contact a staffing agency.

Whether you are looking for part-time or full-time work, and no matter what stage of the process you are at, a staffing agency can help you find work that fits your needs. When you work with a staffing partner like Arbor Associates, you will be offered positions or shifts that you can pick up depending on your preferences for consumer ages, conditions, settings, schedule, and more.

Arbor Associates is a specialized staffing agency serving caregivers like yourself. The professional staffing team at Arbor Associates connects mental and behavioral healthcare professionals with companies seeking talent on a permanent or temporary basis. Whether you are looking for experience alongside your studies or knowing exactly what position you want, we can help you find work in the mental health industry.