I graduate from nursing school next spring (May 2012) and will be looking for my first nursing job as a new grad at that time. I live in Vancouver. I have some questions about job hunting, as I know it's a bit difficult to find jobs right now. I'd appreciate very much if anyone wanted to share their thoughts on any (or even just one) of the following questions. Nursing is my second career, so I don't know if the job hunting skills I have from my previous career will be useful or appropriate. Here we go!
1. I know nursing jobs are unionized, and for posted positions you are to apply through the HR department of health authorities. If you somehow have an "in" for a particular job (for instance, you know someone who works on that unit or did a clinical rotation there), is it ever appropriate to also approach the manager and let them know you've applied for the job? Or is one strictly supposed to go through HR and not contact managers?
2. Similarly, in other professions, job hunters are encouraged to contact managers at businesses to ask about possible hiring of new staff, even if the company has no advertised job openings. Would one ever do such a thing in looking for a nursing job? For example, say that there's a unit I really want to work on, would it be okay to contact a manager to talk about this even if no job is posted, or is that not the done thing?
3. How bad is the job situation for new grads right now?
4. Since I'm looking for my first nursing job, would it be useful to highlight any of my transferable skills from my previous career? For example, working with people, ability to multi-task and quickly make decisions, things like that? Or are skills from a previous career viewed as irrelevant?
Thank you so much in advance for your thoughts.