advice and encouragement for new grads


So I felt I needed to write this because of all the advice and tips I received from this site during my Job Search. I FINALLY got a job offer yesterday after exactly 6 months after graduating. It was a very discouraging and frustrating time filled with tears and rejection. I truly thought my nursing license was going to expire before I ever got to use it.

Here's my story:

I applied to HUNDREDS of jobs with tons of rejection emails. I had 2 interviews but didn't get the job because they gave it to someone else with more experience. I have ZERO experience. I was sending out somewhat generic cover letters until my friend told me I need to be different and bold to stand out in a pool of hundreds of new grads. I live in a really over saturated area so there's tons of competition and I have ZERO medical experience.

I decided to give it a try to write a cover letter that literally says I'm the best candidate for this position and reasons why I want this job. I quoted compliments from professors and staff at my clinicals. The cover letter was telling them how amazing I am without sounding cocky. THEN I would research and find the nurse managers and/or recruiters emails and email them this cover letter. The first day I sent it out 2 hours later I had a recruiter email me back and say although she couldn't help me at her hospital this cover letter will make me stand out and good things will come from it and she said don't ever be average or generic. I also had another recruiter say the same thing and called me to give me other tips.

After a week I had 3 interviews set up, including one at one of the top hospitals in the country and in the area I wanted.

I went to the interview at my top choice and was offered the job on the spot. I was completely blown away. I've waited weeks from other interviews only to be rejected. When I asked the nurse manager what she was looking for in a candidate, she said someone with energy which I already knew you had based on your email.

My advice is:

1. tailor each cover letter to the job and reallly reallly tell them how great you are. It may be hard and time consuming but you will see results.

2. find out the nurse managers name and email and email them your cover letter.

3. in the interview, make sure to ask really thought out questions, it shows your really interested.

4. after the interview, write a hand written thank you note to the manager and recruiter and go back up to the unit and hand deliver it to the secretary.

5. Whatever you do, don't be average. Take a chance on doing something different that not many other grads do. Sometimes it may not work, but it definitely will for some.

What the email and cover letter does is automatically put you ahead of other candidates interviewing. It gives you an advantage because they recruiter/manager already have it in their head they are going to be interviewing an excellent candidate.


That's awesome and great advice. Congrats on your new RN Job!


139 Posts

Specializes in Addictions, Adult Psych.

thank you for writing this! great tips and I will give them a try. this is a discouraging process but I am trying to stay positive. congratulations on your success!


223 Posts

Emailing the nurse manager is the best advice. This is how I got my first job too.


26 Posts

How did you get quotes from your clinical instructors and teachers?

My mind is so filled with the minutiae of senior year I can't even think about what teachers have complimented me on.


58 Posts

I don't know about others, but each of our clinical instructors write a reference for us each quarter to have when we graduate. That may be how she can quote them, by referring to those.


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Congratulations! Connecting with NMs is HUGE- because of this, I have a job offer for when I am licensed! Woot woot! Show them how awesome you are!

1 Post

I about to start my senior year of nursing in September and I am really, really worried about not getting a job after graduation. I've been trying to apply to so many CNA jobs to get some experience, but have had no luck what so ever.

Would it be possible for you to give us a sample cover letter so that I know what you are talking about?


186 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Thank you for sharing your strategy for success. And congratulations -- I hope you love your job! :)


479 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac, ER, Pediatrics, Corrections.

I agree! Don't give up! Took me 2 months to find a job and several interviews. Exhausting but it will come!