Looking for work can be a strenuous task for new graduate nurses, so it is important to be proactive and organized to keep on top of it! Here are some tips for the avid job hunter:
- Keep track of your progress with an employment matrix, using a spreadsheet software such as Excel or Numbers. See the example below! You may edit your table to your own liking. Include important dates, such as submission of an electronic application and its deadline, and the contact information for both the nurse recruiter and the nurse manager if available. Sign up on job listings to be emailed if a position arises that matches your qualifications, and mark your calendar for new graduate residency program application windows. Some even like to put themselves on a strict schedule of X amount of applications per week, day, etc.
- Take the extra initiative to go above and beyond! Within two weeks of submitting an electronic application, follow up on your status by calling the nurse recruiter of the facility. Send a personable thank you letter to the nurse manager within 48 hours of an interview. Make an effort to make an appointment and introduce yourself at Human Resources with your resume and cover letter. Sometimes applicants can be turned away because HR is extremely busy or facilities are not able to accept hard copy documents, but don’t be discouraged. These steps are a personal choice, but I have found that I am usually able to sit with at least one nurse recruiter who appreciates my visit and lets me know that I am being heard. Be persistent, and always be polite!
- Network, network, network! Request a unit tour from the nurse manager of the facility that you are interested in. Connect with your contacts on LinkedIn, and if you’re still in nursing school, attend the annual National Student Nurses Association convention. Befriend other volunteers in your community service projects, and spark conversation with other health professionals in your CPR classes, for example.
- Lastly, take advantage of the resources around you. For example, my school allows alumni students to utilize tools such as resume reviews and mock interviews for an entire year post graduation. RNDeer has just opened its brand new online career center, offering an array of nursing specific pre-professional packages.
Be the applicant that you would want hired as your own nurse! Put your best foot forward, be genuine, and show your hospital why it not only is the best fit for you, but what you have to offer them as an asset, as well. Good luck, and go get ‘em!