6 Job Search Tips for Nurses
New decade, new direction
Whether you’re a new graduate or a seasoned nurse, job hunting can be a stressful, overwhelming experience. Making a change and jumping into a new challenge is both scary and exciting. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress of a career change, but there are a variety of points to consider before you hit the job postings and start sending out resumes.
Follow these six tips to be prepared and find the job you’ve been looking for.
Tip #1: Ask Yourself What You Want
This may seem like a rather obvious question, but the reality is that many people begin a job search without seriously considering what they truly value in their work. Sometimes, you are so eager to leave your current position that you want to apply to just about any opening for which you are qualified. Other times, you have your heart so set on one specific hospital or unit that you might overlook a perfect opportunity elsewhere.
You should also consider whether you want to remain in your current specialty or branch out in some other direction. For me, deciding to leave the bedside was a big decision because I loved taking care of patients, but after carefully considering all of the factors, I realized it was time to take the next step in my nursing career. Ask yourself if you feel the same way.
Tip #2: Make a List
Make a list of your wants and needs in a potential job and employer. What are the things you absolutely must have, such as no weekends or scheduling flexibility? Separating the musts from the wants can help keep you focused on what to look for and what to avoid. Schedule is an important consideration for nurses when job hunting.
Fortunately, there are lots of options: Direct patient care roles can range from 8–5 office hours to 12-hour night shifts on holidays and weekends. Some roles may have on-call requirements, while others do not. Figuring out your willingness to work different schedules and envisioning how they would fit into your home and family life is a critical step in your job search process.
Tip #3 Check Your Social Media
Before hitting “send” on those resumes to potential employers, take a moment to assess your digital footprint. Studies show that as many as 70 percent of employers check candidates’ social media prior to hire. Employees are considered representatives of the organization, so employers want to know how people behave when off the clock. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have a social media presence. In fact, it can work to your benefit if used correctly, such as maintaining a complete LinkedIn profile.