Advice for those new RNs looking for jobs

  1. Hi. I gave this advice to someone else on here who's a new grad looking for a job. The same rules pretty much apply for every new RN looking for a job. So here's some advice that I hope helps. As far as the resume...send one..make it more than 1 page. Only list the clinicals relevant to the position you're applying for. Don't list your SNF rotation for an OB job. Include your GPA on the resume if it's a decent one. Include a cover letter with every application. Tailor every cover letter for the position you're applying for...use the words the employer uses to describe the position. Try to not talk about what you want vs. how you would benefit the company if they hired you. Try not to say seeking RN position vs. Seeking to benefit company through improving patient outcomes as a staff nurse...get it. Always follow up after applying....give the recruiter at least a week before you call them to give them a chance to read your resume...but follow up. Send thank you letters after every interview within 2 days of the interview...and follow up. Also on the resume include in nursing clubs or societies that you were involved in and talk about your time management skills in being able to balance work, school, and clubs. Persistence is the key to getting a job in this economy. I also suggest you get some wicked references...write the letters yourself and get them to sign it...your professors, clinical instructors...especially masters or doctorate prepared ones. Good luck new nurses.
  2. Visit himilayaneyes profile page

    About himilayaneyes, MSN, APRN

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 502; Likes: 666
    ARNP; from US
    Specialty: Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,


  3. by   rninil
    As a manager, I'd like to add that if the job market is slim, please don't say that you are only willing to commute 10 miles, can only work 8-4, and don't want to work any weekends. I know this is not your first choice for a job as a new grad (home health) but I will give you a much better reference for your dream job if you pay your dues a little bit while you are here.
  4. by   Tarabara
    Thank you for the advice! We'll need all we can get!
  5. by   Liss RN
    Thank you for the advice! I just passed the NCLEX and have not started applying yet as I am waiting for my BON to issue license info, but these are good things to keep in mind.
    I have heard many people say, you cannot be picky about shifts as a new nurse. Although evenings, nights and weekends may not be optimal depending on your situation, you gotta do what you gotta do I guess.
  6. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from rninil
    As a manager, I'd like to add that if the job market is slim, please don't say that you are only willing to commute 10 miles, can only work 8-4, and don't want to work any weekends. I know this is not your first choice for a job as a new grad (home health) but I will give you a much better reference for your dream job if you pay your dues a little bit while you are here.
    As a manager, I would like to add that if you are not willing to do the commute, work the hours or any weekend then by all means say so up front! Be honest with yourself and with us, so we can pick the right candidate for the job.
  7. by   BrookeeLou_RN
    have your resume and example cover letter written with experienced rn must sell yourself long before interview. tell the hospital "why they would want you" expand on something in your past that could get you to stand out..mention your preferred units, up to three, but always say you would welcome any opportunity available. be as flexible about shirts as possible..
    specialize cover letter to the actual hiring person if you can get the name.

    what exactly is wrong with a paid internship to learn the ropes? you should jump on those opportunities!
    then start to think outside the box..home health, nsrsing homes, clinics...........also consider med-surg as that area hires the most new grads (at least in east part ot the country. also if you get interview and manger seems interested but hesitant...ask permission to job shadow for one shift or even just 6-8 pay but it you jump in, ask questions and prove your competency, the mentor will give good report to manager and you might get an offer quickly.[color=yellow] market yourself!
  8. by   Tarabara
    I have a question about applying for out of state jobs, I would be willing to travel for interviews but only if I actually have a fighting chance at the job. Its too expensive to travel for interviews if its just a long shot. So how do I go about it? Is there any way to get an indication of my chances before hand? Or how do distance interviews work? (other than phone interviews)
  9. by   SwimRN10
    Thanks for all the great advice himilayaneye
  10. by   hcox1975
    I was told by an out of state hospital that you had to have your RN license for 6 months before they will even look at your resume.
  11. by   BrookeeLou_RN
    Needing license for 6 mos might apply to that place but certainly is not the norm. I recommend phone interviews as then you can assess there interest. I have in the past set up several interviews in an area I wanted to move too.
    California for instance is one of several walk thru license states, you go with all correct paperwork, spend majority of the day, an walk out with license at the end. Some states are fast, some very slow. There are compact states such as TN where my license if for TN but states multi-state and I can work in any of the other compact states. YOU MUST live in a compact state legally to get such a thing!

    Again give Teaching hospitals as try, most newer nurses do not think of trying as they feel they'd never get hired!
  12. by   I_See_You_RN
    Write your own reference letter and have your instructor sign it??!!

    Wow! That would be a horrendous practice.... how about actually earning the respect and compliments from your instructors. Already there are new grads who benefit from nepotism,.. the real hard workers, the ones who actually know their stuff don't need this added to their struggle.

    What if it was your job? What if it was you who was passed over because some idiot in a slack school was buddy buddy enough with the professors to get a ridiculously inflated and false reference letter.

    Lets all have some respect for ourselves and actually work for our goals. And no, just passing the NCLEX is not enough. It is how you carry yourself, its your obvious dedication to learning, and its how you treat people every day. If your worth anything at all you wouldn't have to put words in your professors mouth.

    The only thing that I would suggest is to request a copy of it before it is sent out. Any good professor who dislikes a student shouldn't be afraid of saying no to the request of a reference. And if he had at least something decent to say then it shouldn't be a problem for you to view it. I've had professors make spelling and grammar mistakes in my reference letters, and their knowledge is a reflection on you so you should always view it if possible.
  13. by   nursestudent743
    As a manager, whats your advice on when is close enough to graduation to apply for jobs? I graduate the first week of December and plan to take NCLEX right after, but don't want to annoy the managers by applying to early.
  14. by   LifelongDream
    Start applying three months before graduation. In our class, the students that got their dream jobs are the ones that started looking early! Good luck.