Trouble due to Poor Attendance

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,
    I'm an RN now since 2014. I was a CNA since 2000. I'm having trouble finding a job due to poor attendance in the last 2 years. I have a great track record up to that point. I've had some personal issues which I feel I've overcome, but I'm still being passed over during the hiring process.

    How can I prove to a prospective employer that is not an issue if I'm not getting a chance? I need to work. It's what I do!

    Dear Trouble due to Poor Attendance,

    You have been an RN for 4 years and you are now having a hard time landing a job.

    You don't give any details of your work history, or if you were terminated, and I would first want to know if you're sure the reason for not getting hired is your poor attendance at a previous job.

    Let's say that was the case, and your previous employer has given you a poor reference in some way. Again, you don't say if you are landing interviews, or not getting called at all. If you are landing interviews, then the problem is your interviewing skills. When faced with a troublesome question in an interview, the best way is to answer briefly and segue to the positive, as in "I was experiencing family issues at the time, and they are completely resolved now. I'm looking forward to a fresh start and practicing nursing in an organization such as yours".

    If you are not landing interviews, the problem is your resume. Is it professional appearing and error free? Does it highlight your experience and accomplishments?

    So first try to pinpoint the problem. If indeed you believe your work reputation precedes you, you must rely on networking and maybe even a friend who would put in a good word for you. Good luck, everyone deserves a second chance.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!