Applied for 150 jobs and can't get hired

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

How to become marketable to obtain a nursing position in Illinois? I am a May 2019 graduate and have applied for about 150 jobs at least and had only a few call backs for interviews and all said they hired someone with more experience. How do I get experience when they won’t hire me? I have a BSN, RN with 3.5 GPA and 75 NCLEX. I have worked as a nanny for many years and have paid off my own college tuition because of this position. I am most proud of this achievement. I have reached out to my university again for more support and guidance. Feeling frustrated and now with this world crisis I feel that my career is on hold for even longer. How do I land a job? Please advise

Dear Frustrated,

Now more than ever it's important to understand the market. The market varies regionally so you need to consider re-location if necessary. All markets are affected by COVID-19.

Some hospitals will not be hiring at all or have canceled new grad residencies. Others are shoring up their workforce in anticipation of sick calls and increased census.

Your resume and interview skills need to be on point to stand out and be competitive. If you land an interview, that is your chance to nail it and land the job.

Are you individualizing your resume to each employer? Meaning do you know their service lines and their mission statement?

Have you prepared and practiced your behavioral interview questions?


for some good, practical tips on how to land your first job.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Start your job search today!


38,333 Posts

Don't lose hope. Remember reading about a nurse on the east coast that posted here one time that it took hundreds of applications, (well, well, over the number you mention, maybe as many as over 900, I don't remember), before she landed a job. I think she said she had to move. If you want to get that first job, you might have to put forth a tremendous effort, but you won't be successful if you give up. So don't give up.



836 Posts

My first question to you is are your classmates landing jobs? If they are, you need to take a closer look at your resume and interview skills. If they aren’t, then you need to broaden your search to non-acute care Jobs and/or other locations. Keep at it. You will find something.