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How I found a job.

Specializes in Vascular Surgery.

Like many other in this forum I have been searching for a nursing job since graduating nursing school and passing the NCLEX. I live in California and have interviewed at hospitals as far east as Washington DC; as far north as Washington State and of course throughout California. I've sat down and talked with about 20 recruiters, emailed/called even more. Through these trials and tribulations I've learned about myself and this abyss they call the hiring process. This is what I found worked for me; I hope some may also work for you.

1) Apply, apply apply -- I sent out about 230 applications in the past 4 months (about 2/day). No matter how down I felt about putting in an application I made it part of my morning routine. Wake up, get up, get dressed, fill out some applications. It has been mentioned before, but I found: http://www.theagapecenter.com/Hospitals/California.htm an excellent resource.

2) Bypass the nurse recruiters -- Apply for a job and a couple of days later put on your Sunday clothes and show up at the unit with resume in hand. Ask if the unit manager is available and say you are following up on an application you submitted. If the manager is not available - ask if they have five minutes in the next week and if you could schedule a tour of their unit.

3) A lot of managers rely on you to reiterate your certifications, skills and abilities (even when they are in bold on the front of your resume).

4) Be ready to answer interview questions - there are like 5-6 questions that I found most interviewer ask.

- Why nursing/this hospital/this department

- Tell us how you resolve conflict/cultural difference/stress

- What are your Strengths/weaknesses

- What would your peers/coworkers/employer say about you

- Where do you see yourself in 5 years

- Why should we hire you/what have you done to prepare.

5) Write an essay response to each potential interview question. Practice your answers with a tape recorder, in front of a mirror, your significant other, your pets, while driving, etc. Be enthusiastic about the answers! The more passion you can interject into the more you come across as genuine.

6) If the interview is concluding and they haven't asked why they should hire you -- tell them. After asking chit-chat questions about scheduling, preceptors, etc. I would ask if the manager minded if I told them why I think they should hire me.

7) Always send a thank you card the next day.

8) Sign up for the hospital website 'Job Search email notification' and check hospital websites at least every week; the 'job search agents' will often miss jobs.

9) Do something in the community - Reread class notes, browse through old med/surg textbooks and find somewhere you can volunteer (the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers).

10) Don't give up.

thanks for this!! I've been applying everywhere and haven't even gotten ONE call for an interview so I've been feeling down. How long was your Job Search? Can I ask what job you just got hired for?

2) Bypass the nurse recruiters -- Apply for a job and a couple of days later put on your Sunday clothes and show up at the unit with resume in hand. Ask if the unit manager is available and say you are following up on an application you submitted. If the manager is not available - ask if they have five minutes in the next week and if you could schedule a tour of their unit.

Be very careful doing this, know the hiring process where you're applying.

At my hospital the recruiters screen the applications/resumes and pass on the best matches for a telephone interview with HR. The best matches from those are passed on to receive a face to face interview which may or may not include the unit manager. Circumventing the system will get your application disqualified.

Be very careful doing this, know the hiring process where you're applying.

At my hospital the recruiters screen the applications/resumes and pass on the best matches for a telephone interview with HR. The best matches from those are passed on to receive a face to face interview which may or may not include the unit manager. Circumventing the system will get your application disqualified.

how do you find out what their hiring process is? is it ok to call HR and ask the recruiter? i have no idea... hehe :rolleyes:

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Great advice and congrats in nailing a job! It truly is a tough market out there even for experienced nurses. I too agree, be careful in the bypassing HR. At my place of employment, the unit director cannot even speak to you (much less interview you) unless approved by HR. While I agree in demonstrating enthusiasm and persist, there is a fine line between just that and becoming annoying. Be very careful and professional.

Good luck to everyone!

thank you for this post. i was doing all of that before and then i gave up. i think that's my problem. i really need to be patient and consistent. i'm going to print this out and remind myself everyday thank you

goodstudentnowRN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in Telemetry.

Some nurse recruiters are no good...A friend of mine went for an interview with the nurse recruiter and the unit director and the director told her that she got the job. However, the nurse recruiter told her that she was not selected although she signed the contract and the necessary paper work to start the job next month. What a shame! Some of these nurse recruiters are terrible and unfair. Anyway, I am still looking for a job...Pray for me.

sherlande

Has 2 years experience.

hello everyone

i have a job interview on Neuro ICU unit. i don't know what to expect ? or if i will have take a medication administration exam that day. I really need that job. i have been working for a year at nursing home. hospital and neuro is my dream job. what can i do to make them like me.

Hopefuldogmom, LVN

Has 7 years experience. Specializes in 4.

this is quite an inspiring post for all us new grads. thank you so much for doing this. giving up is not in my vocabulary but it does get discouraging with all the rejection letters. part of my daily routine consists of checking craigslist, indeed.com & the many individual job sites for jobs. i have also mailed out many resumes. all i know is when the time is right, the right job for me will present itself. we all must have patience, determination, perseverance and a positive attitude. that gets you anywhere & everywhere in life. good luck to you all....:heartbeat

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