Ah, the dreaded job search. Whether you’re a brand-new grad (congrats!) or have been a proud nurse for 30 years, at some point you’ve had to search and apply for a nursing job. And that can be pretty darn tough…not to mention demoralizing if, despite your best efforts, you just can’t seem to land one. So what’s a nurse to do? We asked our Facebook fans for their best job search tips…read on for their smart, inside-scoop answers and let us know if you agree with them!
The top 10 job search tips for nurses
1. Remember, you are interviewing them, too. Don’t take the first job that comes along. Do your homework and research the company you will be working for. We are registered nurses; it’s okay to be picky.
2. Make sure you know what you bring to the table and know what to bargain for…ask a seasoned nurse for advice!
3. As a traveling nurse of seven years, I’d say to beware of an assignment that consistently has positions open. Even if the location is in paradise, you will be miserable with dysfunctional management.
4. Find an inside contact. As a new grad, I applied for jobs in hospitals for 18 months before I got an interview and a job…and that only happened because of a contact inside the hospital system.
5. You need to start somewhere. It takes time to move into the specialty you want and gain experience as you move forward in your career. Make your goals known and express both a willingness and a need for continuing education and growth within the nursing profession. Do a little research on the facility you are applying to and demonstrate this knowledge in your introduction letter as you discuss your goals.
—Diana Francis Ross
6. Meet people and socialize! I got my current job by meeting someone at an ACLS class. We got to talking, planned lunch one day, and two weeks later, I was meeting with the department head!
7. Every day you are at work, you are interviewing for your next job. Make it count!
8. If you know you want a particular job, be persistent and don’t take “No” for an answer.
9. Keep an open mind—you may sometimes find a job that you would love, but think you’re not qualified for because it says “experience required or preferred.” They often prefer that, but you never know what they’re looking for or who you’re up against, so apply. You never know! You could be in the right place at the right time.
10. Do NOT just apply online. Every nurse I know who got hired applied and then followed up by GOING IN to the hospital. I do not live in a major area, so I was competing with my class of 20, the class from my school’s next graduating class of 20 and the big, popular state college of 40-plus May grads. I had my choice of two hospitals and picked the harder one for a better learning experience. Good luck to all future grads. You made it down a tough path and have a bright future ahead of you.
—Sherise Molten, RN
What’s your best job search tip? Did it help you land your current gig?