You know nursing. But how well do you know the rules of the game when job searching in today’s market? Start with these facts and additional pointers.
Applying for any and every Nursing job will not yield eventual success. Be specific, be choosy, and always, always play to your strengths and experience.
In the current job market, employers have the privilege of selecting from only the very, very best candidates, which goes back to reinforce Fact 1.
In order to be the best candidate, you have to look the best on paper, you have to respond the best in phone screens, and you have to consistently demonstrate how and why you're the best during every interaction from application to final round interviews.
- Make sure your nurse resume aligns perfectly with the posting. Sending out a generic, universal resume and cover letter combo "as-is" is one of the fastest ways to be discounted. Typos are another application killer. Applying for a job is an exercise in persuaive argument and generic or error-laden materials won't persuade anyone of anything except to confirm the impression that you didn't care enough to take the time to do it justice. Sounds harsh but it’s true.
If the posting says they need someone with more than three years of experience, clearly showcase your very best work across those years. Specify that you can do what the prospective health organization needs from you. The operative word here is need: they need competent, qualified, personable nursing help of the highest caliber. Your talents are auditioning for the next big role; check any arrogance, cynicism, or anger at the door. It is nearly impossible to hide such feelings; if they exist, they'll show. If they show, you're done.
- Acknowledge what you know about the health organization. There is so much information available out there about companies that goes far beyond the job postings; websites, press releases, LinkedIn, Facebook, Hoover's, word-of-mouth... you name it! Pick a health organization you're really interested in working for and articulate three reasons why you want to work there without sounding selfish. Is it their caring culture? Full support of ongoing professional development? National or global reputation? Do they invest in the latest and greatest technology? Do they deliver services that are especially important to you, personally? Are their efforts and impact around social responsibility well recognized? Be clear about "what" and "why". Genuinely align yourself with what's important to them.
- Infuse passion and personality. Understand your core drivers around promoting health and "giving back". Qualifications are important, without a doubt, but your willingness and ability to support additional their efforts around social responsibility, community wellness, and other forms of volunteerism can go a long way to demonstrating "overall best fit".