Jerod is a typical new grad RN. He can’t understand “Why Can’t I Get an Interview? I worked hard, I passed my NCLEX…I’m bright..I would be such a good nurse if they’d only give me a chance! But how am I supposed to get experience if no one will hire me?” Here are some great insider tips for Jerod and countless other new grads.
7 Ways to Get a Nursing Job
Be persistent in your job search. Time and again, I have heard stories such as “I applied and applied to so many facilities. I was ready to give up. Then I got a job offer from a top hospital!” or..”I got two job offers in one week!” and now the problem becomes which job to accept! The one nearby, or the one an hour’s drive away? MedSurg or ED? The odds are truly in your favor, so please, don’t give up.
Looking for a job is your job, and it will take all your time and effort.
Be ready at all times with your planned and rehearsed Elevator Speech because you never know when an opportunity will present.
Be Willing to Relocate
Depending on your geographical area, it may take several months to land your first job. Nursing shortages are regional. You may need to move out of your area. For example, Mayo Clinic in Rochester is new-grad friendly, and they are a Magnet facility. Your long-distance interview may be via Skpe, so read these tips for a Video Interview. tip: If you are offered a job out of your area, be sure to ask for relocation assistance, and keep a record of expenses for your taxes.
Hone Your Writing Skills
Job searching and landing a job requires embracing a whole new skill set. One of the skills is writing. Often you must compose an outstanding Application Essay, and/or Cover Letter. Here’s a Sample Cover Letter, explaining why you chose nursing, or why you want to work for a particular facility. Your essay/cover letter must stand out and be memorable if you want to land an interview. Enlist the help of a friend with writing skills if this is not your forte. Many warm and excellent clinical bedside nurses I know cannot do not have the skill of writing. If so, it’s best to get help.
Amassing multiple certifications is helpful…to a point. Some are not worth the time and money. When you are hired by a hospital, they will provide ACLS training for free if it’s required for your job. Here are the Top Certifications you Should get as a New Grad…and some that you don’t need.
Your resume must be …well, perfect, as far as zero mistakes and it must stand out in today’s competitive market. Here are 9 Resume Mistakes That Cost You The Job
So…how do you Write a Resume with No Nursing Experience? Do not “Fluff and Fill” your resume with cliches and overused terms. Here’s a Sample Resume for a New Grad Nurse. But it’s more important for you to understand the rationale and guidelines for writing a winning resume, rather than to copy one, so be sure and read 4 Ways to improve Your Resume Now.
Remember, Your Resume is not About You– it’s about what you can do for the employer.
Do you know What to Bring to Your Nursing Interview? Prepare thoroughly (meaning rehearse) for your interviews. Don’t worry about clinical questions. If you are asked a Clinical Situation Question, here is the guaranteed right way to answer. Employers know you do not have experience. They want to know that you are safe, and teachable. And that you will fit in.
Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions and learn how to answer Why Should we Hire You? as well as Tell us About Yourself. You will almost certainly be asked What is Your Greatest Weakness? and there are some answers you should never give.
Here are the Top 10 Nurse Interview Questions and the best answers. You will be ready for any question if you read these, I promise.
And here it is…Uncensored Thoughts of a Nurse Interviewer...what are they really thinking about you? You may be surprised!
Before you go to your interview, check your Interview Body Language because you are judged within 10 seconds of entering the room. Many, many times I have made a snap decision about a candidate instantly on meeting them. It’s safe to say that if I have, so have other interviewers.
There is One Secret Thing Hiring Nurse Managers Look for in a Candidate…be sure you know what it is before your interview!
Find the Right Job for You
Do you see yourself as having the Traits of an ED Nurse? Or maybe you are an ICU nurse at heart. Be open and flexible when searching for your first job. Even if it’s not your first choice, the main thing is to land a job and get your foot in the door. You can always transfer to a different area later on.
Be careful not to accept the wrong job out of desperation. Some new grads get in over their heads by going to work in poorly run facilities. They find themselves overwhelmed and without support. If possible, ask around and find out about the culture. If the facility has a high turnover rate, there’s a reason why. Some employers take advantage of new nurses’ willingness to work. You can find yourself in unsafe conditions with no choice other than to quit.
Sometimes you need to be creative and take a calculated risk to land a job. Read Should I Cold Call..it’s not for everyone but can really help in some situations. I know, I’ve done it with success. Persistent or Pushy? How I get Jobs says it all.
I recommend StaffGarden to get you started with your e-portfolio (online resume). They help nurses find jobs for free. Register with them and they will get you in on exclusive hiring events. I know them personally and they rock enough for me to partner with them as an affiliate. Meaning I only sponsor products and services that I believe help nurses, and they’re on my Recommend List 🙂
Until next time friend,
Come visit me at Ask Nurse Beth career column at allnurses.com for all kinds of entertaining and informative career questions and answers, and to submit your own question Or visit me at bsntomsn.org and StaffGarden where I also blog. Buzzzzzz…I’m a busy little bee !