NEW GRADS! I know it's tough out there!! I graduated with my BSN in May of this year, and I had been looking for a job since January (the beginning of my last semester of nursing school. By the time I graduated, I was ACLS and PALS certified and TNCC prepared. I took my NCLEX three weeks after graduation and passed at 75 questions. I applied vigorously in and around all the major cities in Texas, including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio. I only got called to two interviews, and both places rejected me afterwards stating they decided to pursue other applicants that more closely fit their needs.
Last week, my friend convinced me to go to this huge job fair that the Houston Chronicle was putting on at Reliant. There were over 15 hospitals there, and while they did not advertise new grad positions, I went anyway in hopes to meet with recruiters and sell myself.
This was a great opportunity, because the recruiters were able to meet with you face to face to see who you really are, instead of trying to get a feel of who you are through a sheet of paper, that usually gets lost in cyberspace anyway. I took copies of my resume, certifications and license, and refrences. Although I did get a lot of cold shoulders and the typical "apply to our next internship program that starts next year"...I also got a few recruiters who were interested in setting up interviews for me. One of these recruiters called me the next day, and I interviewed two days later. It was for a hospital about 40 minutes out of the inner Houston city loop, and although their internship program was already underway, they still decided to offer me a nigh position and said they would pair me up with a preceptor for three months. This was an ICU position!! I gladly accepted, as this was the first offer I'd ever recieved. A few days later, another recuiter from a different facility called me to schedule an interview for IMCU. I told him I was greatful for the opportunity, but someone else already snatched me up. I couldn't believe that after three months of applying, I could get two interviews and a job offer within one week all because of a job fair that wasn't even meant for any new grads!
My advise to all new grads out there is to take all opportunies, ESPECIALLY any that involve meeting recuiters or HR peronnel face to face. THESE are the people who expedite applications and make things happen. I mean I must have applied to over 30 hospitals and over 75 positions, and the job I got was at a facility I had never even applied at! All because I sold myself in person to a recuiter when she wasn't even looking for any new grads.
Best of luck to you all! Keep you head up, keep faith, and you WILL find the right job. I will have to relocate for this job, but I really do feel it is the right job for me and I am thankful for the opportunity.