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Finding that first job!

So ladies and gentlemen, as of today I've been a CNA for a month and a half total. Unfortunately, all this time has been spent job seeking and not actually working. I've been scouring the online job sights (BAJobs, craigslist, job.com, monster, onlyLTCjobc.com, + a crap load of others) and I've yet to get a single call back. Im up to ~25 places applied. Obviously this approach isn't getting me anywhere, so Im gonna go at it the old fashion way: Im gonna hit the pavement.

I've never actually applied to any kind of job in person, so I was wondering what you CNA's that took this approach did? Did you walk in and ask for the DSD? Did you just walk in and drop off your resume? How'd you go about it? Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.

I made a list of all the places in my area and called them all. Broke that list up into places that were hiring places that were just accepting applications and places that weren't hiring. Then every day went to the places that were hiring first. Walked in and asked for an application for CNA position. Filled it out and gave me resume. Sometimes they interviewed there sometimes nothing.....whatever. Anyway did this every day and then every Monday I called back all the places I applied to the week before and bothered them. Sometimes this led to an interview sometimes nada. Anyway it certainly is a bit of a process but you'll fine what works for ya. Good luck! ( oh and it took me 3 weeks to get an offer this way. )

I can't say that I have ever done it for a CNA position, but I have done it in the past for other positions. I scour online and the newspapers for places that would be hiring for the type of position I was looking for. I print of several copies of my resume on nice resume paper and put them in a padfolio or something like that so they don't get wrinkled. I make sure to take 2 pens and anything else that I may need to fill out an application (previous employers phone numbers, addresses, etc). Then I get dressed in proper attire, usually a nice pair of dress slacks with a sweater or button up blouse (I don't wear jackets because I don't like them), heels, light makeup, etc. When I enter the place I tell the person at the front desk that I am interested in whatever the job was that was listed and was curious if the hiring manager is available. If they are I ask to see them and if not I leave a copy of my resume with that person and make sure to get the hiring managers name and the person's name that I spoke with (then you have a point of reference). Make sure to follow up with a thank you for meeting with me or a call saying I gave my resume to so and so and I was curious if we could arrange a time to meet. Most importantly go in confident, professional, and relaxed like you belong there and make them think that you would be perfect for their facility.

I am not sure that this completely applies to a CNA position because I used it for office and restaurant positions, but it worked well for me in the past. Hope it helps. Good Luck.

fuzzywuzzy, CNA

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

I filled out my applications in person. Pay attention the the availability you put down... make it nonspecific.

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

I can definitely understand your pain dude I am a new CNA and have had to go through the same process you are right now. Here are my suggestions, some are repeats from other people and some aren't:

  • Decided what kind CNA you want to be. It sounds like not a big deal but it really is something you have to consider. Being a CNA in a LTC facility like a nursing home is very different from being a CNA in a hospital or for a home care agency. I have found that for the most part hospitals tend to pay more then nursing homes or home care agencies but it can require extra training and skills. Personally, because I am in nursing school I want to be a CNA in a hospital because I believe it will allow me to gain more experience and honestly I find it a bit more exciting. But working in a hospital isn't for everyone....

  • Begin by looking online for companies that are advertising CNA positions. Places to look should include LTC facilities (nursing homes & assisted living facilities), home health agencies and hospitals. You can search places like Monster, Craigslist, Yahoo Careers etc. and you might find something but you will probably have better luck going to these places in person or calling first. Also try looking up the website of your local hospital and search under open positions.

  • Look up and ask around about health care facilities in your area. Find out what LTC facilities in your area are good to work at and are good to their patients, often not having one of those qualities can lead to not having the other. Start by calling any facilities your interested in working at and ask if they have any open positions. If they do then find out how you can apply (online or in person) and apply.

  • If any of the places you are interested in have positions open, KEEP TRYING! If none of the facilities you are looking at have open positions then keep calling so they don't forget you, just make sure it doesn't get to the point of nagging (I admit its a very fine line.) Also you will need to start going in person to these places (its harder to say no when someone applies in person.) Just make sure that when you visit you are dressed nice, have copies of an up to date resume and be on your best behavior.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

!Chris :specs:


Has 5 years experience.

You've gotten lots of really good advice, but I'd just like to add that you should apply EVERYWHERE. Even if you want to work in a hospital and not LTC, or even if the facility is less than ideal for you, apply there. It can't hurt, and even if you don't like where you first get hired, that experience you get will make you MORE hireable! You can always accept a job and just work it until you find something you like better. :)


Specializes in CNA. Has 5 years experience.

Yes. I'm 58 years old and became a CNA at about age 53. I grew up without the internet and did a lot of 'hit the pavement' which I find amusing to hear in someone your age. And yes, I went around in person to the local places to fill out applications in person as an inexperienced CNA. Please that were more than 10 miles away I did online. And I did end up getting a local job, to start.

Please keep this in mind as you're new to the working world. Very little hiring happens this time of year. It doesn't matter if they're running short and you know they have openings. People, including the HR people and those responsible for hiring decisions take more days off this time of year (statistically) and with holidays, have more issues to deal with at work. They are juggling schedules with the staff, more family is visiting, and things get a bit more hectic. So, a lot of apps pile up on someones desk until the new year when they have time again.

Be patient --- keep applying --- it's going to happen........

I have often wondered if the fact that I ride a motorcycle to my interviews may have something to do with if I get a call back or not. Right now it is my principle means of transportation. My SUV is not going to start without an infusion of money and parts.

fuzzywuzzy, CNA

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

Oh my god we get it, you have a motorcycle. wow.

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