Obtaining a job in the nursing field may seem frightening at first as you may not have any idea where to search or where to begin your journey.
For some not knowing what you should put on your resume may also seem scary, especially for new nurses that have little or no real work experience.
The good news is that are plenty of opportunities for you as a registered nurse if you know where to look, and even if haven’t obtained much experience in the field it doesn’t mean you can’t make a great resume.
The rest of this article will help guide you through the process of creating a great resume and what steps you can take to find and secure a good job.
How to create a resume
Creating a great resume starts with listing the skills, training and experience you do have.
Even if you don’t have much training you can list any time that you’ve volunteered and interned along with any certification you’ve acquired.
You’ll also want to work with a professional resume writer to help you build your resume / cover letter and proofread it for errors or mistakes.
Finally, see if you’re school offers interview preparations classes or training to help you prepare for any upcoming job interviews you may have in order to maximize your opportunities for getting hired.
If your school doesn’t offer interview preparation than do some research online to see if there are any qualified programs or lessons you can take to help you reduce your nervousness and improve your interviewing abilities.
List the training and experience you do have
When you create your resume it is very important that you clearly state any experience and training you’ve acquired throughout your years in nursing school.
Be sure to share any clinical experiences, volunteer work and/or internship training you’ve done.
And if you’re still attending nursing school consider applying for volunteer opportunities or any potential internships your school or the local hospital may be offering.
Be sure that you state any experience you’ve acquired in the field, but make sure that you point out that it is training you’ve acquired while you were attending the nursing program.
The more hands on experience you can acquire before applying for a nursing position at a hospital or health care facility the better.
As stated earlier internships and volunteer work looks great on a resume and gives you some real life training, which employers want to see.
It’s also a great way to build up your references, which some hospitals and health care facilities take very seriously when thinking about hiring a new nurse.
Show off your certifications
Another great way to improve your resume is to list any certifications that you’ve acquired over time, which helps show your potential employer that you have a valuable skill set and will be ready to go should you be needed.
If you have a strong desire to work in a particular field of nursing than it is a good idea to gain as many certifications in that specialty as possible as it may help your chances of getting hired for a position in that field.
Many hospitals look for nurses who are taking continuing education courses, are actively and are looking to advance their degree because it looks good for the hospital and health care facilities that want to continually advance their medical field and because hospitals want to know that they are hiring the best of the best, so one of the most important things you can do as a nurse is to keep advancing your education which shows hospitals that you are serious about your career.
By filling your resume with all of your education, training, experience, and certifications you show the employer that you are motivated and can handle the tasks that are required of a nurse at their hospital.
When creating your resume be sure to provide a well typed (not handwritten) resume that has all of your training in chronological order (if possible) and keep it up to date.
There are many free or inexpensive programs available which will allow you to choose from a collection of professional templates which can give your resume a professional look, and be sure to include a cover letter.
It’s also a great idea to speak with your college or university and see if they have any interview preparation courses where they can help you prepare for your interview process and give you feedback on your resume.
At the very least have one or more of your nursing teachers look over your resume and provide you with valuable feedback.
The more eyes you can get on your resume the better.
Quick tips for creating a great resume:
- Make sure you keep your resume and cover letter up to date with any new training you receive
- Your resume should highlight experiences and certifications that are critical to the job you are applying for
- In your cover letter, you should be personable and state why you think you are the best fit for the position
- Be sure to proofread your cover letter and resume for grammar and spelling mistakes
- Look for a professional resume writer to help you improve your existing resume profile
How to find a nursing job
Now that you’ve done everything you can to perfect your resume it’s time to look for a job.
There are a number of methods you can use to help you speed up your job prospects and help you get hired.
By using technology and networking with other people you’ll maximize your opportunities for finding a job quickly.
Expand Your Career Search
When searching for a nursing job use multiple resources to help you find a good job.
If you want to find a job in a timely manner, you need to expand your search beyond applying at your local hospital.
For example, you should use several different job websites including Craigslist, Indeed.com, Snagajob.com and Monster.com to help you quickly identify potential opportunities.
Check out the websites of hospital and healthcare centers around you to find out if they’re hiring and reach out to their human resources division.
You should also be sure to check the classified ads in the newspaper every day for new openings.
Network With People You Know
These days getting a job at a hospital or healthcare center you’re interested in may be partially about who you know, so it is important to network with people and get your name out there.
Keep in contact with your professors, classmates and other people who are in the nursing field so that they may be able to inform you when a job opportunities arises, but be sure to return the favor and not just ask for favors.
The great thing about networking with people is that they’ll be able to keep an out out for opportunities that you may not have even known or considered.
For example, if a former classmate works at a hospital and knows about an open position, she can recommend you.
Use Employment Agencies
If you’re having trouble finding a job consider working with an employment agency.
Do some research and find one that you like then send a recruiter your resume and tell him or her the types of positions you are looking for.
After your initial interview, the recruiter will identify your skills and opportunities and send your resume to companies with openings.
A good employment agency can give you access to jobs that are not advertising to the public and will work on your behalf to help you obtain a job quickly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Up
After you submit your resume, do not hesitate to follow-up.
If you applied for a position last week and have not heard anything back yet, contact the hiring manager.
Ask him if he received your resume and tell him why you would be a good fit for the position.
Following up will show an employer that you are truly interested in the position.
If you do not find a nursing job right away, do not give up.
It can take months to find a job in this economy.
If you keep sending your resume and networking, you will find a position in the near future.