A nutritionist is a person who advises others on healthy dietary practices and the effects that food has on health. Nutritionists can specialize in different fields, including animal nutrition, public health, sports nutrition, or dairy nutrition, among many other disciplines. There are necessary steps that have to be taken for one to find a job as a nutritionist. Here are five steps that’ll take you on the path to becoming a registered nutrition practitioner.
1. Get Your Qualifications
Depending on the type of nutrition specialization you wish to venture in, you’ll need a graduate degree. Other spheres require education at community colleges or vocational schools.
However, if you’re interested in pursuing a career as a clinical nutritionist, for instance, you must have accredited higher education. This is a requirement for certification by the National Board of Professional and Ethical Nutrition (NBPE). The diagnosis, planning, and coordination needed to develop individual and organizational nutrition programs require one to take courses such as the ones provided when you visit this page.
Once you have your qualifications and get registered as a nutritionist, you’ll have the badge to finally go searching for a job.
2. Prepare Your CV and Application Letter
It’s important to have a CV prepared for you to go ahead and look for a job. There are different tips on the kind of information that you should include in your CV as well as for the length and the wording of the latter. You can reach out to a nutritionist that you may know and ask for guidance regarding this, seeing that he or she would have gone through the process before. You can also search for online nutritionist CV samples to get a feel of how to write your CV. Here are some tips that you may consider when writing your CV:
- Keep it short: a maximum of 3 pages
- Don’t include colored fonts as some digital application platforms can’t pick these up
- Avoid using tables as some digital platforms won’t read them
- Avoid lengthy paragraphs as this may be discouraging for the employer who has many other CVs to go through
In terms of preparing an application letter, there is also a plethora of tips and opinions on what the winning application letter looks like. Keep in mind that your application letters may vary, depending on the specific company that you’re applying to. There is no universal or generic type of application letter format. Here are some tips for your letter:
- Don’t go over a page unless instructed to. Employers have many other letters to go through.
- Use professional font such as Times at size 12
- Include information that will prompt the employer to look at your CV such as your qualifications as a clinical nutritionist.
- Don’t repeat information in your CV
- Make sure to include information about what makes you unique from other candidates
3. Search For A Job
The process of job searching requires that same type of commitment that is needed to get your qualifications. You need to research on the different possible platforms where you can find opportunities to apply for a job. Here are some of the platforms you can use to find a job as a nutritionist once you get your qualifications.
- Job Portals
Online job portals list various job opportunities daily. Some of these platforms include Indeed, Nutrition Jobs Careers, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor; these platforms post jobs from different geographical locations. Some portals may allow you to create a personal profile that has the details of your qualifications and experience, and you can state where you would prefer to work. When jobs that match your profile appear, you may be notified and prompted to apply for the jobs.
- Social Media
Social media has become a platform that connects employers and job seekers. By joining different social media nutrition groups, you may come across advertisements for job seekers.
- Print Media
Your local newspaper may have a section that lists the various kinds of jobs that require applicants. You can make it a habit to get the newspaper in the aim of reading through such sections.
- College Boards
When you have received your qualifications, you can check the College Board to see if there are any companies recruiting nutritionists. These updates are also available on online college boards, depending on the online college you went to.
- Word Of Mouth
Sharing with people in your social circle the fact that you’re looking for a job allows you to hear of any opportunities that others may know about. Those who know that you’re job searching may also recommend you to employers who are in the process of seeking applicants.
- CV Dropping
You can research on various companies and send your CV to the ones that may need a nutritionist. Although there may not be any opening at the time that you send your CV, they may file it for when an opportunity arises.
4. Prepare For Interview
You can never be too prepared for an interview. Here are different suggestions on how to prepare for an interview.
- Research on as much information as you can about the company
- Reach out to a nutritionist and ask about his interview experiences
- Practice answering questions and include information you researched about the company. Aim to impress, but be humble. No one will take you in the moment an attitude problem is sensed.
- Make sure you have a formal outfit to wear for the interview
5. Practice Your Skills
While you continue with the application process and wait to receive the exciting news of a job offer, you can practice your skills as a nutritionist. Finding a job is one achievement, however, keeping it is just as important. The probation period is a time when you’ll have to prove that it was the right decision to hire you. Once you pass probation, you can consider yourself fully employed. Take a look at the different ways that you can practice and enhance your skills while waiting to get a job offer or while on a probation period.
This is a way to practice your skills and enhance them. This, also, will give your CV an edge because it counts as experience. Research on different sectors in your industry that interest you and apply as intern or volunteer your services. You can then receive a recommendation or testimonial from your supervisors which you can also attach on your future applications. If the company you volunteered with likes you well enough, it could decide to take you in full time too.
- Become Your Family’s Nutritionist
You can practice nutrition skills by creating food plans for your friends and family. This will require you to do research, communicate, and execute the nutrition plans, which are all skills that you’ll employ once you’re hired. Explain to your family and friends, as you would to a client, all the details that they should be aware of regarding their diet and health. Work with them, do monitoring, and analyze the feedback you’ll get. You can quickly discover the areas that you may need to focus on, which may include effective communication, analysis, and diagnosis.
- Shadow a Nutritionist
You can shadow a nutritionist that you may know or apply to shadow one in your local community. His or her day-to-day activities will give you insight into what to expect once you do your practice on your own. This may help you prepare, and you also get to learn on the job.
- Follow a Nutritionist Online
There are various online platforms such as YouTube and Instagram where nutritionists share their daily experiences at work. You can find a nutritionist who may be interesting. Go on and follow him or her. You may get tips on how to handle certain clients, methods used to analyze clients’ nutritional needs, and methods of execution. These are dynamics that you’ll learn about during your education. It helps to see the perspective of others as well as the way they do things.
There are a few steps that you need to take to become a certified nutritionist. You need to get certain qualifications, depending on the nutrition route that you wish to take. Once you have your qualifications, you must create your CV. The CV should highlight the qualifications and experiences aligned to nutrition that you have obtained.
You’re then ready to conduct the process of job searching. You can use different platforms such as online, print, media, and word of mouth. You can also send your CV to various companies that hire nutritionists. If there’s no job opening at the moment, your CV will be on file.
Make sure to be prepared for an interview any time that you may be called in. Research on the company and dress appropriately. You should also practice nutrition skills as you wait for a job offer and while you’re on probation. You can follow and shadow nutritionists, volunteer, and have your family and friends become your first clients.