I am a male nursing student about to graduate in a few weeks.
I have a 3.3 GPA, strong letters of recommendation from every instructor, a well demonstrated strong work ethic, get along very well with everyone, etc but I cannot find a job.
Not even a nibble.
No one Ive spoken to seems interested whatsoever in hiring me.
When I did my preceptorship, I was told by over a dozen nurses to apply for that department. They told me I was the person they would want to work with, etc.
I took a resume to the department manager and she seemed completely disinterested in me.
She told me they had no openings, although I already knew they were about to have several due to imminent transfers.
That encounter with her was from my viewpoint so negative, that when I got back from lunch I found myself checking the wastebaskets for my resume.
I have asked for advice from several people and the general consensus is it isn't what you know, or how you work, but who you know.
From talking to the other students in my class, in every case where one of them has a job offer, or is going to interviews, they knew someone (by their own admission) who go the ball rolling for them.
I knew financially it would be hard to get through nursing school, but I did it.
I just don't want to be sitting here waiting on a call in three months. I want to be working.
Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.
My interview went well until I said these magic words...."I am looking to work 3-11 as I am taking courses to get into the RN program." Well, I got, "We have a strict orientation process and if you go to classes then you can't work here".
As someone who has conducted more than my share of interviews, I can honestly tell you that the interview is not the place to express your personal wants or needs. Employers are looking for people who are interested in meeting their
needs. If you start laying down conditions from the beginning, you are (a) assuming that they are going to offer you a job, and (b) telling them that they need to meet your needs first. If I am interviewing, in most cases I am looking to fill a specific position that has a specific schedule. I am very sorry if it isn't your preferred shift or days off, but that is where we have a vacancy. It may seem cold on the surface, but if I granted every employee everything they wanted, we would have no night shift and the facility would be shut down on weekends and holidays. I must staff a 24-7 operation.
When you begin imposing restrictions on a prospective employer during the interview, you create the perception that what you want is more important to you than the job you are interviewing for. It is best to go through the interview without mentioning your personal wants, then decline the job if an offer is made and you decide that you can't live with the conditions of employment.
As an alternative, ask the employer what their needs are (shift, days off, etc.). Don't react to the answer, even if you find it totally distasteful. If they ask you what your impression is, simply say "I would consider it." If they offer the position and you decline, explain your reasons at that time. You stand a much better chance of getting a callback for a position that more closely meets your needs because you considered theirs. A lot of getting hired is the impression you make. In essence, you are selling youself and your services, and the more attractive you can make yourself to an employer, the better your chances of success.
We interviewed RNs a couple of months ago, and one applicant told us what his availability was - including shift and days off. He immediately went into the discard pile. That told us that he is inflexible, what we needed made no difference to him, and in all likelihood he was working a second full time job that we weren't supposed to interfere with.
Last edit by Orca on Dec 11, '12
I had the same trouble when I graduated from college, I had a near perfect GPA, and letters of recomendation. I sent out a lot of resumes, filled out many applications, even called to follow up. No one was the least bit interested in me even though they had open positions. This was also a time when it seemed many positions demanded experienced nurses, so it was very frustrating. It seemed, at the time, that the people getting the jobs were the ones who knew somebody. All I can say is keep trying, you may need to take a job in an area you aren't interested in just to get a paycheck and experience. Have you looked into a temp agency or traveling. Nursing homes seem to always be looking for RN's, even though it may not be what you are interested in. Good luck with the job hunt and Merry Christmas.
Last edit by shermrn on Dec 25, '12
: Reason: content