How do I stand out as a job candidate (New GPN Grad)?

by CaringGerinurse525 CaringGerinurse525 Member

Has 2 years experience.

Okay, so I will try not to write a book here but I want to give a little background and ask for advice. I will be be graduating from a Practical nursing program this Thursday (December 20, 2012). I currently work at a nursing home on a PRN basis while in school. I went online and applied for all their open positions because I am willing to work any shift and days. (I just really want the experience). I also applied to every other available position in the area.

My work does not like hiring GPN's or new LPN's because the training is a little more in depth. I talked to my DON and she said that they are allowed to hire one GPN and one GN at a time (so 2 new nurses). She said she will review my employee file and then call me back for an interview because they still require internal candidates to go through the interview process. I told her that would be great and I would be awaiting her call.

My concern is there is another girl in my class who also works with me (we are friends) and so now we are vying for the one opening. I didn't think we would be because it is second shift and she was refusing to apply for that shift. I just want to know if there is anything to help me stand out or increase my chances of being selected for the position. I'm not asking for any underhanded ways to get the job unfairly. I just wanted to see if there was anything I could do to give me a professional edge.

There are two nurses already currently working there that told me if I ever need a reference to ask so I will be doing that. Thank you for your time and please give me any advice on how you make yourself stand out as a candidate!



Has 2 years experience. 117 Posts

Also I have been at the facility for a year and she has been there since April



1 Post

I have found that the " being bold " approach has almost always worked for me. A lot of people are afraid to say or do the wrong thing or give themselves too much credit and sound conceited. But I think it is the person willing to risk being a little embarrassed, is the one who stands out. Try to find out (if you don't already know), what the DON's major issues in what he or she finds most important and or what she deals with most often that she doesn't like. For example: one of the major problem most DON's deal with is call-in's. My DON will tell any new hire upfront that you are on probation the first 90 days and if she has any issues with call-in's or coming in late, she will not be shy about sending you on your way out the door. Also, she cannot stand it when cna's, or nurses (to be fair) are playing with their phones. It is made clear that phones should ONLY be used and visible when you are on a scheduled break.

So with that being said, find a way to point out those things as assets in hiring you. You can do this without mentioning anything negative about your friend applying for the same job. Focus on your qualities.

My story was a little different, I was applying as an outsider. (never worked there before). Also, I had heard that she is horrible at calling people back, so make sure I call her back to followup. I ended up having to call a lot, and had to take being patient to a while new level.

I applied initially when they weren't advertising help wanted. She told me she may be hiring but she wasn't sure yet until she talled to all her other LPN's as school is starting again and some schedule adjustments needed to be made for the nurses that have children in school.

I followed up with a letter and it had been over a month with out hearing anything at all. I decided I would call again to see if she had adjusted her schedule and now maybe had the need for a new nurse. To my surprise she said she had actually just put an ad in the paper that would be coming out tomorrow, advertising help wanted, hiring 2 part time LPN position. Since she already had my application on file I asked if I would be able to interview for the position. She told me that she needed to let the add run its course and then she would interview and hire whoever fit the job description the best. She didn't ask me to come in, and it didn't sound promising, being that I was a new grad, and they wanted to get the position filled as soon as possible. Plus she had my app on file before deciding to run an AD, and didn't call me. I could have given up then, it was pretty obvious she didn't have any interest in hiring me, let alone even interviewing me. I think a lot of them are so busy they don't want to waste any time training a new graduate. Unfortunately that is the only way we will ever get a job, if someone is willing to give us the time, and a chance to prove ourselves.

With nothing to lose, I decided I would get brave. I really wanted this job above all the others I applied for. So I just stopped by and asked to talk to her. Someone told her I was there waiting outside her office. She came up to great me and invited me in her office (as I was telling her the reason for dropping by). I said, " after speaking to you the other day, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be getting a call back to interview d/t my lack of experience (which I understood) but just wanted to come meet you and have the chance to tell you that hiring me, even though I am a new grad, would be a better decision than choosing someone based on experience only. That got her attention...and even a smile..which gave me the courage to go on and explain the benefits...thank God.

A few of my points were; I am new to this profession so I am excited and have energy for it and not burn out. I would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to be hired and work here, while others with experience may look at it as you are lucky to have them. you will save money because you can hire me at the starting wage. I am willing to put in the time it takes to be trained properly and come in whenever I need to and take any shift you have available. I won't have any demands, or expect to be treated better than anyone else.

I ended up waiting a couple more weeks and finally got another interview and now I am working there. I was so glad I held out and kept pursuing the job I really wanted and finally got. It wasn't easy, but most things worth having aren't easy. I am glad it took time and work to get this job. It makes me really appreciate it more than I ever would have, had it been handed to me.

Good luck to all of you new grads, hopefully there will be someone willing to give a new grad a chance. They need to remember that every nurse was a new grad (including them), and give more of us chances. I definitely didn't expect it to be so hard to find a job being a new nurse.

My advise to anyone still in nursing school is to get a job as a CNA ...NOW...(at a place that employes nurses as well)..even if only 20hours a week or a few days a week.

Edited by nmbriggs



113 Posts

Be sure to dress professionally. It sounds simple, but means alot. I was hired for 3dif jobs. In my résumé I included all the ceus I attended during school. In my cover letter I told them areas of nursing I was most interested in. Smile and be friendly. Good luck :)



17 Posts

As soon as you can join a professional nursing organization.

subscribe to nursing magazines.

My interview was with THREE people. A roundtable of sorts.

The questions are tough.

I was pointedly asked what I did to keep current in my profession. I answered that although I wasn't a member yet due to financial pressures of being unemployed while looking for an LVN job I planned to subscribe to a popular nursing mag (which I named two by name) and join the ANA but for now I read online sites and follow a number of social media venues for nurses. Got smiles all around.

But what I am convinced got me my job was when asked "what would former employers say about your work ethic? Are you late or call out often? My answer sealed the deal.

I said that

at my most recent job I had NEVER called in or been late. Not once. That was the truth.

The previous position I had been late ONCE due to a flat tire and still was only 15 min late since I was able to get a ride to work and had called in once.....because I was running a 102 fever and brought a dr note upon my return. My answer of "if I am too sick to work I am sick enough to go to the dr." was greeted with nods and smiles.

Apparently call -outs is a big issue.



40 Posts

Just be sincere and enthusiastic in your interview. As a new grad they know you don't have experience, but they want someone who will be a good investment.