Despite the projected shortage of nurses in the U.S. and other countries, finding a nursing job immediately after graduating can prove challenging. Whether you are new to nursing or an experienced nurse looking for a better position, learning some tips can help you navigate the tough job search field. Nurses typically spend most of their time looking for positions on job boards. While they are a good platform to find nursing jobs, you should employ other strategies. Below are a few tips for qualified nurses looking for nursing positions.
1. Assess Your Skills and Qualifications
You should begin your job search by evaluating your skills and qualifications. Start by making a list of the certifications and educational accomplishments that can make you a perfect fit for the advertised nursing position. If you are an experienced nurse looking to advance into a managerial role, consider taking an accelerated BSN program online to boost your qualifications.
Besides the educational qualifications, hiring managers are also interested in your clinical and non-clinical skills. Ensure that you list them all before submitting your applications. Part of self-assessment is conducting a SWOT analysis of yourself. A SWOT analysis helps identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You should also determine your preferred type of employment. Are you looking for a part-time, full-time, or per diem position?
2. Update Your Job Search Toolbox
Like any other profession, the nurse’s job search toolbox includes:
- The cover letter – Cover letters are important in any job application. You should learn several rules for crafting a cover letter to impress recruiters. Make use of job ad keywords, and highlight your specific skills, knowledge, and experience that make you a perfect fit for the vacant position.
- The resume – A resume is an important determiner of success when searching for a job. Nearly all employers, including nursing and healthcare recruiters, still rely on the resume. Some employers also require that you produce copies of your resume when attending an interview. If you’ve applied for nursing jobs of different specialties, ensure that you tweak your original version to suit the specialty.
- Your LinkedIn profile – LinkedIn is a widely used professional network. Therefore, having a professional profile on the platform can boost your job search.
While combing through job boards for nursing positions is recommended, creating and making use of your professional networking is a smart strategy. Building a professional network starts right in college. Your classmates, professional and non-professional friends, and professors can recommend you for a job. You should also use LinkedIn to connect with other individuals in your field. Seminars, nurse meet-ups, alumni reunions, and conferences are other perfect networking opportunities.
4. Make Use of Recruiters and Staffing Agencies
Most nurses find employment opportunities through staffing agencies and recruiters. Most agencies use online networks, such as social media and LinkedIn, to find qualified candidates for advertised positions. Recruiters can help you find positions that haven’t been advertised publicly.
Finding a nursing job might be as simple as applying for a vacant position, attending an interview, and getting a job offer. However, it can become complicated, and you shouldn’t get discouraged. Be willing to network and consider using recruiters.