Advice from someone who hires - page 5
by Patti_RN 28,051 Views | 70 Comments
First, you probably read books about putting a resume together, or even hired someone to polish yours. Those are good steps, but to set yourself apart from the masses, you need to do more. Before you even start writing your... Read More
- 0Apr 26, '12 by SE_BSN_RNQuote from Patti_RNOK Patti, another question for you. I applied for a position in Novemeber and they hired someone else. Now the position is open again, and I would really like the job. I re-submitted my resume and cover letter. Is it appropriate to call the hiring person and tell her I interviewed a few months back and would like to re-interview? Or, what can I say to let them know I am interested in the job.....and would like a chance to show it?It's not acceptable for a manager to promise an applicant an update when a decision has been made, then fails to follow through; I'm not excusing this. But, I've read comments here and on other threads from applicants who are dissatisifed because the hiring manager didn't contact them afterward, or the director accepted a phone call in the midst of an interview, or the manager didn't spend enough time with them. There are some reasons this could happen, other than the interviewer being rude.
Just like nurses who are blamed for not sitting at a patient's bedside and chatting with them, managers have many other things to do, as well. It's a condition of the competitive nature of business. Employees of all levels are expected to be busy and productive beyond anything that was expected a decade ago. People work through lunch, come in early, send work related emails from home on weekends and evenings and even take calls when they are on vacation. Employees (particularly managers) have a mountain of responsbilities to deal with each day and every moment is precious. So, taking a phone call during an interview may seem rude to the interviewee, but not taking a call as it comes in might cost the manager ten times that amount of time to listen to a message later, return the call, have the other person not answer, leave a message... phone tag can go on endlessly. Yes, it may seem rude, but it's a matter of job survival--or she may have been waiting for that call for days.
The point I'm trying to make is not to get annoyed if your interviewer is late, takes a call during your interview, or doesn't let you know that you weren't hired. When you get your first nursing job you'll understand that there are some days (or weeks, or longer) when you don't have time for anything but the most urgent parts of your job-- like when there is a code and all your other duties have to wait.
- 0Apr 26, '12 by Patti_RNYes, by all means reapply and express your eagerness. I'd even say (diplomatically and professionally) that you were disappointed not to have been selected, but you hope to interview again. This is where longevity in your past employment history will be a particular bonus. This manager just got burned; she hired and trained a person who cost them six months and thousands and thousands of dollars. She is now looking to replace that employee and the last thing she wants is to have another person 'not work out'. (I hope you have at LEAST a year or two with your current and most of your previous employers!) If so, highlight that in your cover letter. Mention that, "after three years in the cath lab at Washington Hospital, I am eager for a greater challenge..." When a person has a bad experience, often the first thing they want to avoid is a rerun of that episode! Good luck!
- 0Apr 26, '12 by SE_BSN_RNQuote from Patti_RNThanks Patti! I have 6 almost 7 years experience and they want at least 2. I just left a VM.Yes, by all means reapply and express your eagerness. I'd even say (diplomatically and professionally) that you were disappointed not to have been selected, but you hope to interview again. This is where longevity in your past employment history will be a particular bonus. This manager just got burned; she hired and trained a person who cost them six months and thousands and thousands of dollars. She is now looking to replace that employee and the last thing she wants is to have another person 'not work out'. (I hope you have at LEAST a year or two with your current and most of your previous employers!) If so, highlight that in your cover letter. Mention that, "after three years in the cath lab at Washington Hospital, I am eager for a greater challenge..." When a person has a bad experience, often the first thing they want to avoid is a rerun of that episode! Good luck!
I am just concerned about the staff turnover rate in these positions. Seems like every 6 months there's a new posting for the same thing. When I look for a job, I want a job where I can stay, not have to move around every few months. And I absolutely want a new challenge. I interviewed with my old DON about MDS and she said "Why do you want to do that, its boring?" Uhhh, because I want to learn more, other than passing pills on the floor for as long as I have. (I didn't say that, I was thinking it!) Needless to say, I didn't get the position, and now the MDS person has left already. I don't undertand it, but then again, I only have experience as a floor nurse and a bit of staff development. I think the reason they didn't give it to me is because they wanted me on the floor because I m dependable and mage my time well! I wish they would just have told me that, instead. The administrator made the comment to me that "When you get your RN you will be a valuable asset to the company." Really? So why not let me do what I want to do? My LPN holds me back and my experience does, too, in a way, and it is frustrating.
- 0May 2, '12 by Kim KardashiI love this thread so much that I kept reading it again and again.
I have a question for Patti, I'm a 2010 graduate but took the NCLEX-RN last year I have no experience in my resume thus making it impossible for me to be hired. I'm not picky with the type of work nor time I apply to but never seldom gets a response to the jobs I applied to. Is there any tips you can share? I have a problem of being shy at time thus making it more difficult for me to speak in English since it is not my first language.
- 0May 2, '12 by stephanie2012thanks for sharing.
that's really great help.
Quote from Patti_RNFirst, you probably read books about putting a resume together, or even hired someone to polish yours. Those are good steps, but to set yourself apart from the masses, you need to do more. Before you even start writing your resume, talk to your friends, classmates, professors and employers. Ask them what they perceive your strengths to be. Take inventory of ALL your skills and accomplishments. Women in particular have a hard time promoting themselves. Don't be shy. Start an informal list of your achievements. If you won awards, jot that down; if your GPA was high, put a little check mark beside that, did you spend time supervising others? Think hard... this doesn't have to be a job title, just a job responsibility. Compile your resume in the way that best suits your skills. If you're a young new grad without work experience find a resume template that highlights your academic history; ditto for someone with vast work experience.
While you're talking to those professors and employers, ask their permission to use them as a reference. Get their preferred contact information. Don't limit yourself to a few people because you don't want to ask the same people for letters over, and over. (It's flattering to be asked, but time consuming to actually write letters for people. Have a number of references you can rotate through as needed.) And, of course, don't have them contacted by prospective employers until the end of the hiring process.
Now, decide what kind of job you want. There are thousands of people out there who apply for every job they find. You may feel anxious, but casting your net too far and wide won't bring many calls for interviews. There is a reason for this, which I'll explain later. Be realistic in your expectations. You probably have a sense for what jobs are most desirable and where competition is intense (Labor & Delivery, peds, etc.) If this is your goal, it'll be even harder to land your dream job. Not to say those jobs are impossible to find as a new grad, but there are many others applying for them. If your ultimate goal is a job with lots of competition, find another way in: if you want to work in a NICU, maybe start at a Children's Hospital working with more difficult patients. Once you figure out where you want to be, concentrate your efforts to those jobs. Write your resume with that in mind. Using the peds example, focus your resume on your experience with kids; your peds rotation, and any other experience you have that shows you're interested in children.
Now, scour the ads, but don't limit yourself to posted or advertised jobs. Talk to everyone you know, tell them what you're looking for and ask if they have any leads. When you do hear of a possibility, focus on that one job as you write your cover letter. Talk about why you fit into THAT organization, talk about their mission, their organizational structure and why you want to work THERE. (You can find organization's mission statements on their websites and learn other details about them, too.) So, your letter reads something like, "I share Washington Hospital's committment to serving the underserved memebers of the community..." Then talk briefly about your volunteer experience giving flu shots to uninsured patients through your church's medical efforts. You want to make sure you set yourself apart from the other applicants. Your cover letter should be less than one page of easy to read text (no tiny font!)
Making your application specific to an employer or organization is time consuming, but it pays off. This is why you want to be specific in your job hunting efforts. When people tell me they sent out 2000 applications, I know that virtually all of them were read briefly and put in the 'big pile'. You're better off sending 20 specific applications than 2000 general ones.
After you send your resume and cover letter, follow up with another letter expressing continued interest. You may even make one phone call to check in. If you hear nothing after three months, send another resume and a new cover letter (can be basically the same, just tweak it to say you're still intersted in working for them). Tell them you're available for an interview and be upbeat, professionally enthusiastic and pleasant.
Speaking of professional, please do NOT include emoticons, or write your cover letter on pink stationary (honest, I've seen this!) When someone is looking through a pile of resumes (whether electronic or hard copy), the first ones cut are those with such glaring unprofessional appearances, or terrible spelling or grammar.
And, if you're lucky enough to be invited for an interview, wear something professional. A suit is better than slacks and a blouse, but do not show up in jeans! Even though it may be perfectly acceptable to wear jeans to class, to restaurants, etc., it is NOT OK to wear jeans to a job interview. If you have to borrow something or even buy a suit at Goodwill, it would be a great idea... trust me! The person interviewing you will notice what you're wearing.
When you get home from the interview, write a thank you note to the person who you spoke with (or several notes if you were interviewed by several people). Thank them for their time, express your strong desire to work there, and express that you look forward to their decision and "if there is anything else I can do..." If you don't hear something in a week, email or phone them and politely ask if they have made a decision and that you're very anxious to be part of their team.
Yes, writing multiple, specific letters is time consuming, but there is a pay-off. Think of it like this: would you rather get a generic birthday card from someone with a stamped signature? or open a card that you know was chosen just for you and had a handwritten note inside saying what a great friend you are?
Best of luck to all!
- 0May 15, '12 by Aongroup1990Wow, Ms. Patty RN. That is a great article, and very helpful tips. I would've never thought of that at all. I learn so much just by reading and networking. Your wisdom is very appreciated. How should we write an interest letter, and a thank you letter to the employer for the job we are seeking?
- 5May 20, '12 by AmylynetteBSNExcellent post!
As an employer and manager, I look for any signs that an employee may not work out, prior to hiring them. My methods save me time and money in the long-run. I look for the same things Patti_RN mentioned, and a few more. First, if you have a Facebook page, I will be looking for it. If it is not set up as a private account then I will assume that you want me to see everything on your account including embarrassing photos, terrible spelling and grammar, family and friends, etc... I can learn a lot about an employee in a very short time by checking their non-private Facebook account and I tend to look before I ever make a phone call for an interview. My suggestion is, no matter how perfect your life appears to be (to you) on Facebook, it would be in your best interest to make sure that prospective employers can not view it. Judgements will be made, and you may not like them.
If you use ring-back tones on your phone and this is the contact number you have given to prospective employers, it would be wise to shut it off while looking for a job. If I am making a phone call to schedule an interview and I am greeted by a loud, obnoxious rap song, I will hang up and not call back. Additionally, please remember to answer the phone professionally when you have applied for a job. I have made several calls in the past and been greeted by a "What's up?" or "Who's this?" before a proper "Hello" and I have responded with "I am sorry, I must have the wrong number". While seeking a job it is best to be as professional as possible, including on your cell phone, and your internet life. These are the new realities in a world of advanced technology. Good luck with your job search ~ Remember: Professionalism is key!Last edit by AmylynetteBSN on May 20, '12 : Reason: formatting