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Did I do something inappropriate?


Specializes in OB/GYN, Psych.

I posted this in the Graduate Nurse forum, but thought I might get more feedback in this forum:

I am a new grad, newly licensed RN and I have been actively looking for a nursing job for the past 3 months. The problem I keep running into is that, although I fill out the online applications meticulously and have what I think is a great, professionally written resume, I have no experience and therefore I am not getting any interviews. It seems like I apply to positions for which I seem to be fully qualified, but my application gets lost in cyberspace somewhere and never gets any further. So Friday I saw a posting for a position that is basically perfect for me--perfect hospital (I had clinical there), great unit, oncology, didn't have an experience requirement, etc. Since I am SO interested in this job, I applied via the online application, and I also followed up by finding out the name of the Nurse Manager on the unit and mailing him my resume and cover letter as well. Today he called and said he wants to interview me, however I need to call a certain person in HR to set up an initial interview before he can set up his. He gave me the person's name and number, so I called her, and she basically scolded me for sending him my resume separately. She said she hadn't even looked at the applications for that position yet, but when she did she would be contacting people to set up initial interviews. She totally blew me off! Did I do something wrong by sending him my resume in addition to applying online? The HR lady spoke to me like I had committed some great error in protocol by doing that, but how else am I as an inexperienced new grad supposed to get an interview? Help?


Specializes in Medical/Surgical, Ambulatory Care. Has 5 years experience.

Honestly, this sounds like something that I would have done as well (I am also a new grad :0) ). For this situation, perhaps the HR lady though that your action was sort of "insulting" by going over her and going straight to the nurse manager of that unit (which was her job). It seems as if HR has to "pre-screen" you before they move you forward in the processs perhaps??? If the nurse manager himself said he wants to interview you, then you know that you should be getting an interview set up pretty soon.

I personally don't believe you did anything wrong. It wasn't as if the instructions told you to only communicate with HR when applying for a position. The process of getting selected for interviews and getting hired does take time, though. If I were going through the same thing as you, I would give this person about a week to get through the job positions and call you for that initial interview. If you don't receive a call by then, I would go ahead and call... but that's just me.

Good luck... I sense a call coming your way!

Sounds like you commited some kind of horrible hospital political faux paus, I think it could go either way for you. The HR person could ditch your resume because you pee'd her or the nurse manager could request an interview with you, but I am wondering if she/he will be too busy and will loose track. Good luck, keep us updated, I would like to hear what happens.

In my former life (before being an RN) I worked in the HR department of a hospital. My experience was the HR people have little say in who gets the job or who gets an interview. Their role is to organize the resumes, schedule interviews, do background checks, etc. Sounds like you spoke to some self-important HR person who thinks the world revolves around her. When this manager you spoke to goes to the HR person and says, "I want to interview SydneyJo," you will get your phone call. You did nothing wrong but did something smart by getting a step up on the competition. This method worked for me too :). Good luck and keep us posted please!

So you have the inside scoop and maybe you can help me out here....these days it seems like all the jobs need to be applied to online and I remember seeing something on the news about how like 1% of the resumes sent online are even seen and I am a firm believer in face to face, but you have to battle through some very self important people to actually get your resume to the person that matters. Especially now when it is so hard to get a job as a nurse, it seems that getting into a hospital and getting your resume to the people who count is the best idea but I am worried that I could be "black listed" or something by the HR dept for going over their head. What's your advice?

My advice would be to wait a week or so for a call, then call the manager back and ask him if they were interviewing yet. Explain about how HR got an attitue with you but you want to work there. He's the one who decides your fait, not HR

solneeshka, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU, Surgery, Acute Medicine. Has 11 years experience.

You did *nothing* wrong, in fact if the hiring manager wants to interview you, it shows that you did something very right! HR people get all ***** when applicants do what you did because it minimizes their involvement in the process and then they don't get to feel like they are running the show. You will probably run into this any time you look for a new job in your career (whether in nursing or not). I've been up it a couple of times already, don't worry about it. It's nothing personal. When you have to deal with HR Person, just be pleasant, "Yes, ma'am. No, ma'am. Thank you, ma'am." Seriously. Just suck it up and do it because that person does have to shepherd your hiring process. But the previous posters are right, if the hiring manager wants to interview you, you will get an interview. And good for you for taking extra steps! I'm constantly banging the drum to new grads to do something to make them stand out from all the other online applicants, but so few want to hear it. I'm rooting for you!


Specializes in OB/GYN, Psych.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

I ended up calling the Nurse Manager and I left him a voicemail explaining that I called the HR person and was told that she hadn't gone through the applications yet and therefore she did not allow me to set up the initial inteview. I asked him to let me know if there is anything I can do from my end because I am extremely interested in the position and would love to be able to discuss my qualifications with him in person. I haven't heard anything yet (it's only been a day--I'm impatient!), but I felt like that put the ball in his court and I hope like crazy that he calls the HR lady and requests that she interview me. We shall see!

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 12 years experience.

did i do something wrong by sending him my resume in addition to applying online? the hr lady spoke to me like i had committed some great error in protocol by doing that, but how else am i as an inexperienced new grad supposed to get an interview? help?

no, you did nothing wrong. understand this even if you do not get an interview or the job that you did nothing wrong!! what you did is how most people are getting jobs these days because those being hired are making him/her self known. the hr person is angered because he/she was probably behind in reviewing resumes and now has no choice but to review the resumes for that position!!!:lol2: in any case, good luck!!


Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 33 years experience.

Ha! You got her knickers in a bunch over a turf-protection thing it sounds like! If he wants to interview you I doubt she has veto power over it. If you get hired expect to get the stink-eye if you cross paths in the cafeteria line for the foreseeable future though . . .

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

Sounds like a disgruntled HR employee. At the hospital where I just got a job at the HR people play a huge role in you getting hired if you have no connections. They hospital required a pre-screening process. If you don't know any managers then it's the HR people that need to like your resume and app. They decide if they will pre-screen you. If they pre-screen you and they like you then they will pass on your information on to get a nursing panel interview. So it is a good idea to be on HR's good side.

I hit it off really good with the HR lady. We have a great rapport. That said, in a case like yours; had that happened at my hospital the manager of that dept would have called HR and said "Jane Smiths is a potential candidate I would like to interview, can you pull her file and set up a pre-screening interview"

This is what happened in my case. I emailed a director that I knew. She had my file pulled, hr interviewed me and told her I was great and passed the pre-screening then my director set up the interview.

I told my manager this week about a friend. She called HR and had her file pulled. HR Pre Screened her today and liked her so now she will go back to my manager and give a thumbs up and will set up an interview. There is no bitterness about the manager telling HR they are interested in this or that person.

So it sounds like this HR person though is going to be the one to give you the green light and now you are off to a bad start. I would do my best to salvage this. I would buy a card and send it to her, I would apologize for the error and tell her you are new to this and didn't realize the error in what you did. But that you are sorry for not taking the proper steps and would like to get back off on a better start and that you were just so excited about seeing an opening for your dream job. Be humble and accept responsibility.

I am not a fan of butt kissing and truly I don't think you were wrong. BUT sometimes you just have to suck it up and look at the bigger picture. ******* off the wrong people can be what keeps you from getting hired at this hospital now period so it would be in your best interest to suck it up and get on her good side.