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What does a winning nursing job applicant look like?

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2. Network

This is all about making and maintaining connections, and you can do this in so many different ways, like the following:

a) Create a business card and hand it out to people who are in administration positions or might have lines on nursing jobs. Collect their business cards and send them occasional messages (e.g., at Christmas or whenever you make a job transition) to let them know what you’re doing. The day may come when you’re the perfect fit for a position they know about.

b) If you’re planning on applying for a posted position, call the unit manager or the HR person to whom you’ll be sending your application. Introduce yourself, express enthusiasm about the position and give a quick pitch about yourself. Tell the individual that you’ll be sending in your application, and when it lands in front of that person, he or she will be able to put a voice to a name and think, “Oh yes, this was the person who….”

c) If you’re a new grad looking for a job or you’re between jobs, do some volunteer work at the hospital or clinic where you’d like to work. If you eventually apply for a job opening there, you’ll have an “in” because you’ll know many of the hospital staff and you’ll know the culture of the place.

d) After you’ve been interviewed for a position, send a thank you letter to the interviewing team. Even if you don’t get the job, these people may be there for a while and will likely remember you should you apply for another position in the future.

Next: Possessing skills that are in demand →

Cynthia Dusseault
Cynthia Dusseault is a professional freelance writer with both a health and an education background. A former medical radiation technologist and elementary school teacher, she realized that no matter what she did, she was drawn to any task that involved writing, so she decided, over a decade ago, to write full-time. Since then, she has written for a variety of magazines and websites including Nursing PRN, National Review of Medicine, University Affairs, Your Health, Education Leaders Today, Today's Parent, Children's Playmate, WeightWatchers.ca and many more. She has written about topics such as asthma, genital herpes, circumcision, teleradiology, body art, learning disabilities and exercise trends, and she absolutely adores the fact that writing—particularly doing the research for the articles she writes—makes her a lifelong learner.

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