How to Secure a Locum Tenens Job

Written by: Dr. Nisha Cooch
Published on: Jan 30, 2020

Doctors walking and talking

If you are one of the healthcare providers looking to find locum tenens work, you are probably aware of at least some of the relevant benefits: great pay, more control over work / life balance, and the ability to travel somewhere new. You may or may not realize that locum tenens positions often also offer the opportunity to view new types of clinical cases that your other work has not exposed you to and to treat new patient populations. Locum tenens work can also help you to successfully expand your network and support new opportunities in the future.

The downside to these positions of course is their lack of stability. By their nature, they are often short-term, and by only practicing part of the time at these jobs, it can be harder to develop relationships and adjust to new practice settings and methods.

If you’re sold on locum tenens though, you may have realized you’re not alone. There are several others vying for the limited number of locum tenens positions, so what is the best way to secure one?

First, if you’re going to be happy with a locum tenens position, you need to be honest with yourself about why you want such a position and what you’re hoping to get out of it. Are you interested in locum tenens to make more money, to travel, to increase your flexibility, or for some other reason? Being self-aware regarding your desire for locum tenens employment will make it easier for you to find a position that fulfills your goals and to negotiate for the things that matter most to you.

Once you know what you want, there are some key things that will help you stand out to locum tenens recruiters:


1. Be professional. Being a highly skilled physician does not necessarily mean that you come off as professional to recruiters. It is important to have a professional headshot and a visually clean, updated CV or resume. In general, recruiters in the healthcare industry value concise language and are less interested in the personal details that recruiters in other industries may emphasize.

Doctor being congratulated

2. Be responsive. Doctors are known for being busy and difficult to reach. If you are serious about landing a locum tenens job, you need to respond to recruiters within 24 hours. Not only with your responsiveness show that you’re serious and enthusiastic about the potential job, but it will prevent you from missing out on the opportunity to someone else who responded to the recruiter faster.


3. Be nice. Sometimes job applicants overlook the fact that recruiters care about more than employment credentials. Recruiters know that people who are nice and easy to get along with are more likely to be deemed a good fit for a job and to keep that job longer, and ultimately, these are the factors on which recruiters are judged. It’s therefore important to demonstrate to these professionals that you are kind and respectful.

Though there are agencies to help place you in locum tenens positions, you do not have to work with these agencies to secure a locum tenens job. Recognize that if you do decide to work with an agency, your pay will be lower, as they charge significant fees. If you are interested in locum tenens positions, you may want to try to use these tips to put your best foot forward with recruiters before resorting to an agency.