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5 tips for nurses looking for a new job

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1. Know your hospital.

I was reviewing a resume that HR sent me and the cover letter was addressed correctly “To Whom It May Concern” but then the applicant said that they wanted to work at “ABC Hospital” but she had sent the resume and cover letter to “DEF Hospital.” So if you are sending out multiple resumes, make sure you don’t get the cover letters mixed up. It is like calling you current date by your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend’s name.

2. Be persistent, but don’t pester

We had already filled a position and there was one applicant who crossed the line from persistent to downright annoying. Even after we told her multiple times that we would keep her resume on file and call her when the next opening came up, she still persisted. She even wanted to talk to the director. Sometimes “not right now” turns into a big fat NO! if you turn from interested to an irritant.

3. Know the job description.

On more than one occasion, someone has applied for the wrong open job position. An LVN for an RN, an EMT for a Psychiatric Technician, a respiratory therapist for a pharmacist. (OK, the last one I am exaggerating, but the first two examples are real. Also, if the position is for night shift and you are hired, don’t ask to go to days as soon as you are off orientation.

4. Be prepared.

This kind of coincides with number three. Know the job description and have the right credentials. If the job requires having an ACLS certification, make sure you have the certification and it is current.

5. Be enthusiastic.

I love scheduling people for interviews and their enthusiasm leaks through the phone. Southwest Airlines has a motto that you hire for attitude and train for skill. I kind of believe that. Yes, we want competence in the health care field but we also want someone with a go-to attitude. THAT you cannot teach in orientation!

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Rebekah Child

Rebekah Child attended the University of Southern California for her bachelor's in nursing and decided to brave the academic waters and return for her master's in nursing education, graduating in 2003 from Mount St. Mary's. Rebekah has also taught nursing clinical and theory at numerous Southern California nursing schools and has been an emergency nurse since 2002. She is currently one of the clinical educators for an emergency department in Southern California and a student (again!) in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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One Response to 5 tips for nurses looking for a new job

  1. I had an applicant who requested information on an opening on our unit. I asked for her resume. Her email communication was awful. Lesson? Proofread any emails before you send them and keep them professional.