10 Tips to Maximize Your Nursing Job Search

Featured Article | May 24, 2016 | By Lauren Johnson, Counseling Manager, UB Career Services

Congratulations! After years of hard work, you’ve taken your last test, walked the stage at graduation, and are studying for or have passed your NCLEX …

… Now what?

Conducting a job search can be stressful and time-consuming, especially when you are focused on finding the right fit – there are actions you can take to ensure you start off your job search strong. We asked Lauren Johnson from UB Career Services to provide advice for nurses stepping foot in the job market. Here are her 10 tips to maximize your job search.

1. Stay organized

Keep track of where you have applied and how and when you are following up.

2. Customize application materials

Incorporate organizational research into cover letters and tailor your resume so that your highlighted skills match the job for which you are applying. For example, if you are looking for a med/surg job, your med/surg clinical experiences should be prominent.

3. Ask for help.

Inform those in your social and professional network that you are job searching. Explore the job opportunities that may be a good fit for you and that you are most interested in pursuing.

4. Get connected.

Connect with your preceptors, co-workers, fellow students, etc. Expanding your online network exponentially increases your connections and access to opportunities.

5. Be informed.

Search the websites of hospitals and other potential places of employment for posted career opportunities. Visit employment-related search engines for job openings in your desired geographic area and note the qualifications and experience they require. Use professional networking sites like LinkedIn to search for recruiters or hiring managers at places you are interested in working. Look at profiles of people who are in jobs that interest you and note other positions they may have held along the way.

6. Uncover the "hidden" job market.

Reach out to people for meetings to discuss the health care industry, organizations and career paths … without asking for a job! This puts you in a great position to uncover the “hidden” job market and learn more about what opportunities that are out there.

7. Be diverse.

Use a diverse array of job-seeking methods. Apply directly to jobs, go directly to employers of interest and spend most of your time doing what works the most – networking to create direct referrals.

8. Get involved.

Join professional nursing associations and become an active member. Getting involved allows you to make connections and demonstrate your professional skills.

9. Ask the right questions.

Always approach employers professionally, but do not be afraid to ask questions to get a better sense of the expectations of the job. Still not convinced the position is right for you? Seek guidance from a trusted faculty member, preceptor or mentor if questioning a potential opportunity or offer.

10. Follow up.

Follow up, follow up, follow up!

UB’s Career Services is also available to help students with cover letters, resumes, interviewing skills and other career needs. You can call 716-645-2231 or stop by their office at 259 Capen Hall (North Campus) to make an appointment. Also, check out their detailed Career Guide or connect with UB’s global career-focused Career Community!

Job searches require a focused effort, but the effort is well worth it if you find a job you love that helps you grow as a nurse. Good luck out there – you’ll be great!

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