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  1. Nurse Beth

    Nurse Beth Pops New Grad's Bubble

    Hi Nurse Beth! I am in the process of applying for new graduate RN position. I would appreciate some feedback and suggestions regarding the "Objective Statement" that I wrote. Professional Objective: "A dedicated, compassionate, team-oriented, and multi-lingual Registered Nurse with excellent time management and organizational skills seeking nursing employment within XYZ hospital. Self-motivated professional with a strong work ethic and commitment to supporting team objectives to provide exceptional customer service and highest-quality patient care." Thank you so much in advance! Dear New Grad, I so hate to break your bubble, but it needs to be said. An objective statement is not going to help you land your first nursing job. It's just not. There's very little reason for a new grad to write an objective statement. The objective of every new grad is to land a job, which is self-evident. Writing long, cliche-filled sentences shows that you are making this about you, not about the organization. You must think about everything you write from an employer's point of view. It's understandable you are naive to what I'm telling you. I do think nursing schools should be giving more guidance and better, practical advice to students composing cover letters and resumes. That's why I wrote my book below. It can be very competitive landing your first job, and you need to know from an insider's point of view what hiring managers are looking for. You don't stand out by using flowery phrases. In my book, I show how to stand out and be memorable every step of the way. You must individualize your resume to each and every organization, and show that you are a solution to their problem. What's their problem? Find out. What's their mission statement? Find out. Problem New grads are a flight risk? Show that you have ties to the community Problem Low HCAAPS scores in patient satisfaction? Highlight your AIDET training Problem 30-day re-admissions? Emphasize your training in teach-back patient education It's not about you, it's about how you are going to help solve a problem for the employer. Trust me, a recruiter is not going to read your objective statement and say "Thank goodness! Finally, a new grad who is "self-motivated" ! Nobody ever stood out from the pack by saying they are "dedicated". For recruiters who read hundreds of resumes, reading yet another one that says "strong work ethic" may be enough to make them set it aside. It lacks originality, substance, and meaning. You just can't waste your words like that when you're dealing with a limited attention span. It's estimated you have just a few seconds to grab their attention. Every word has to count. So what can you do? Here's one tip from my book. Instead of espousing "exceptional customer service" (what does that mean, exactly?) in your resume give an EXAMPLE of exceptional customer service. "My patient was alone, without family, and did not speak English. He shared that he felt isolated and frustrated. I speak his language, Afrikaans, and helped him download a translation app on his phone. It made me late to post-clinic debriefing, but it was worth it because he was so grateful" Stories are remembered. Cliches are not. You say you are multi-lingual. Elsewhere in your resume, identify exactly what language other than English that you speak (do not say multi-lingual), and make sure it is targeted to the demographic of the hospital you are applying to. Speaking Spanish in central California is helpful, but speaking Russian is not. I hope I'm making the point clear- make it about the employer. Saying you are multi-lingual makes it about you. Saying you speak Spanish in central California makes it about the employer. There's so much more I'd love to teach you, but I hope this has at least given you a new point of view. Best wishes to you, my friend.
  2. Eshaqayum20

    Resume Objective feedback please

    I am in the process of applying for new graduate RN position. I would appreciate some feedback and suggestions regarding the "Objective Statement" that I wrote. Professional Objective: "A dedicated, compassionate, team-oriented, and multi-lingual Registered Nurse with excellent time management and organizational skills seeking nursing employment within XYZ hospital. Self-motivated professional with a strong work ethic and commitment to supporting team objectives to provide exceptional customer service and highest-quality patient care." Thank you so much in advance!
  3. Dear Nurse Beth, I have just been fired from my first hospital job as a new grad after having been oriented for 2 months. Although it was devastating, I am quite relieved as I've come to learn that ER is not where I want to be right now. That being said, how do I approach this in my resume and interviews? Should I even put it in my resume as work or as skills? I have learned so much and gained skills that I believe can be useful on the floor, but how do I go about professionally mentioning this (if I should) if I am asked about it during an interview? Thank you! Dear Devastated, You should never leave out relevant jobs in a resume for the purpose of misleading an employer. Even though it was a short tenure, not including it in your resume carries a risk. Nursing is a small world, and you can easily run into someone later on who you worked with during those 2 months. Discovering you were not truthful on your resume after you're hired could result in losing your job. While it can place you in an unfavorable light, when it comes up in an interview, you can mitigate the damage. Plan and rehearse your answer- not to the point of sounding scripted, but enough to control what you say during the interview, and avoid getting off-topic or overly wordy. Keep it brief. Over-explaining makes it look like you've done something wrong. A simple explanation such as "it wasn't a good fit" is best. Never blame your previous employer. Keep it positive and indicate that you learned from the experience. Control the narrative. At every opportunity, segue to the positive and to the future. "I look forward to working in an organization that shares my values" (be sure you know the mission and values statement). I hate to tell you this, but 2 months experience in the ED is not going to carry much weight, experience-wise, with a MedSurg hiring manager. Experience for a new grad begins to count at around 1 year. In their minds, you are not a nurse with 2 months experience, you are a new grad. Submit plenty of applications and practice your interview responses.
  4. I have been working on my resume using the tips that you provided online and in your book, and I am very pleased with the results. I have a question about use of keywords from the job description to bypass ATS System. How would I use them in my resume without sounding overly cliché. I listed many examples in work history section of how I used my interpersonal and communication skills, ability to manage multiple tasks and be a team player, but those examples will only be noticed by someone who is actually reading the resume. To compensate for the lack of keywords I added a very short summary section that lists the following: Proficient in EHR documentation in Epic and Meditech. Able to handle multiple responsibilities and adapt to challenging situation calmly and efficiently. Fluent in English and Russian. Able to apply critical judgement in various aspects of patient care. Here is a part of job post: Proficiency with Information Technology; such as electronic health records, communications systems, computers and equipment necessary to perform essential functions of the position. Skilled to work with a wide range of staff as part of an interdisciplinary team including physicians, nurses, and ancillary staff. Ability to use independent, critical judgment in all aspects of patient care delivery. Demonstrated interpersonal skills that convey a positive and supportive attitude. Ability to effectively manage multiple responsibilities, urgent responses, and challenging situations. I am a new grad and don't have much to say in the summary section, so I would like to make it concise and relevant to what the job description is asking but without sounding overly cliché and still bypassing ATS system. What is the best way to do this? Thank you very much for all the valuable advice. Dear New Grad, Congrats on graduating! I'm really glad my book helped you with your resume such as the tip "stories are remembered" while facts are forgotten :). You Want To Be Memorable. I always tell applicants that it is better to give an example of being a team player on your cover letter and resume than to write "team player" and it seems you've done so. In my book, I emphasize avoiding cliche phrases in interviews as well, such as "I'm a perfectionist" when asked "What's your greatest weakness?" and instead give examples of what answers hiring managers are looking for for the behavioral and situational interview questions. As far as wanting to avoid cliche terms that you include for the sole purpose of making it past the applicant tracking system (ATS), also known as "robot reader", that's a slightly different story. You can be creative to a certain extent, but mirrored terms and words are what the talent acquisition recruiter searches for. ATS scoring does not award points for creativity and does not penalize for cliches. Echo the identified keywords as written. Applicant Tracking Systems (aka Robot Readers) ATS software is here to stay. ATS software is used by many large healthcare organizations and designed to source the most qualified applicants. One way it does this is by tracking keywords. Resumes are essentially processed and screened by a computer before ever getting to a human being. So it's essential to understand how they work in relation to keywords. How do you know which keywords to use? Some ATS systems compare your resume to the job description (JD). Candidates who predict the most correct keywords in their resume stand a better chance of making the cut. A search by a recruiter can include hard skills and soft skills. The search is much the same as we all use to search Google on any given topic. To identify keywords from the JD, print it out and use a highlighter. In your example, I bolded some searchable terms the recruiter might search for. In your Summary section, you could write "Proficiency with Information Technology and electronic health records. Experience with Epic and Meditech". The first sentence gets ATS recognition. The second sentence reads well once your resume lands in human hands and if the organization uses Epic or Meditech. Find out ahead of time which platform they use or are migrating to, and just include that one. Tips To Stand Out With ATS Systems Use the same tense and exact wording found in the job description. If the JD says "demonstrated" then use "demonstrated" and not "demonstrates" to be safe. Some systems recognize variations and synonyms, some do not. ATS systems cannot recognize certain formatting, such as unusual font. Use a standard sans serif font such as Arial or Calibri. If the system cannot recognize a field, it will turn up as blank. Keyword density: Use the important keywords as many times as it's used in the job description (JD). If the word "critical judgement" is used twice in the JD, use it twice in your resume, but don't try to "stuff" (overuse) your resume with keywords, it can backfire. You can use the same keyword in different sections, such as in Professional Profile, Summary, Skills, Employment History. Spell out acronyms at least once. Instead of IT, write Information Technology (IT). Mirror the language used in the JD. See how well your resume performs using Jobscan website, where you can compare your resume against the JD, and get a score. You want to score at least 80%. Individualize your resume, cover letter and interview to each organization. Read each organization's website, mission statement, publicly reported HCAHPS scores, mission statement. Consider including an organization's keywords on your LinkedIn profile if you are targeting one specific employer. I hope this helps and best of luck! Best wishes, Nurse Beth Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
  5. NURSING PORTFOLIO What Is It? Essentially, it is a portfolio of your resume, CV, recent accomplishments and engagements in a relevant job position, while you were a student leader, or as a nursing student, etc. It helps you appear more professional and sets you apart from other New Graduate Nurses. What Is Included? Typically, a Nursing Portfolio includes some or all of the following in this order: Front page (if applicable) *Table of Contents *Resume (Tailored to the job you're applying to) *Cover Letter (tailored to the job you're applying for) *Two recent Recommendation Letters/List of References *Degree *License *Certifications (CPR, BLS, or any others that are required/feature skills) Research Papers (ones in Nursing school is fine) Volunteer Service Professional Organizations (Ex: your university's Student Nurses Association) Awards Performance Evaluations Additional Documents (Please don't include something like you spending time with friends) *I feel these are the most important to include Okay, So Why Have It? I feel that most employers expect New Graduates to only bring their resumes and a leather portfolio to write notes in, but by also providing a well-organized, uniquely presentable (but not over the top) portfolio, you are able to stand out from other new grads. You can also supplement your interview examples by presenting a picture of your volunteering experience or your work in professional organizations. It's a great way to give your interviewers another aspect to remember you by. You look prepared! Of course, this ties in with how well-organized your portfolio is, so please make sure to take the time to double-check the information you provide! I Just Started! This Doesn't Seem Important ... Because you've just begun or will begin Nursing School, you'll be able to keep track of the awards/accomplishments/certifications that you've completed more easily. I made the mistake of not researching this information prior to graduation/job interviewing and had to search through many files, notes, and stashed boxes to find some of my information. Therefore, as you progress through Nursing School, try making a pile/online folder of the previously mentioned, so you won't be like me, cramming to find all this information two days before my in-person interview (and slightly freaking out). What Was Your Experience Like Using The Portfolio? Prior to walking inside my interview room, I believe another New Grad was leaving. Upon entering, I recognized that she had left a resume with the interviewers. When I provided my portfolio, my interviewers began looking through my portfolio, commenting on my experience at my previous University's hospital and my photos of my volunteer work/organization work. We had a conversation about the purpose of the organizations (because they were unfamiliar with them) and Interviewer #1 commented on how she also participated in a Teddy Bear Trauma Clinic. Interviewer #2, who was unfamiliar with the event, said a joke, with which we all laughed about. After warming up with conversation based around the portfolio, they began the interview. In the end, I left my portfolios with them. Essentially, because I provided the portfolios firsthand, I was able to speak briefly about my experiences, warmed up with laughs, and engage my interviewers. This helped me become more confident and clear-minded in my answers and allowed the interviewers to see more of my personality. I'm Convinced! How Do I Make One? I've used these materials: Southworth Resume Paper (although, printer paper may be fine) Staples Clear Sheet Protectors (100 ct) Staples Deluxe Clear-Front Report Covers, Red (5 ct) Remember these tips: You may be interviewing with up to 5 people, so make sure to make that many. You'll be able to leave one for each interviewer (Ex: Nurse Manager, Assistant Nurse Manager, Nurse Educator, HR, etc.) You may include photos, but include photos of you volunteering and/or working at organizations. (Ex: Because I was a Resident Assistant, I could've included a photo of an event I designed and spearheaded). Additional documents should be relevant. (Ex: I chose to include a story that resonates with why I love Nursing/How I strive to treat my patients.) Use the same header and text you used for your resume, for the other pages in your portfolio. You do not need a header for your degree, license, certifications, awards or evaluations because your interviewers will be able to distinguish them. Try your best to not make it into a textbook! Remember to include the most relevant items only. Do You Have an Example Of What It Can Look Like? Definitely! Please see the attachment at the end of this Article. **I've printed everything front-and-back to avoid becoming a textbook** Photo 1: Front Cover (using same resume format) Photo 2: Table of Contents Photo 3: Front of Resume Photo 4: Back of Resume and Cover Letter Photo 5: List of References (5; I didn't prepare Letters) and Degree Photo 6: License and Table of Certifications Photo 7: Mandated Certifications Photo 8: BLS and List of Organizations (With brief description/status/length; I've also combined volunteer organizations with professional ones) Photo 9: Photos of Me in Organizations and Nursing Award Photo 10: Resident Assistant Awards Photo 11: Capstone Preceptor Evaluation Photo 12: Resident Assistant Supervisor Evaluation Photo 13: Relevant Story If any of the information was confusing or you have any questions, concerns or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask me. I am eager to help! Congratulations again and good luck! Example Portfolio.pdf
  6. You worked hard on your resume and applied for jobs that spoke to who you are as a nurse. You received a call and landed an interview. Now what? How do you prepare? What type of questions will they ask? Most hiring managers use behavioral interviewing techniques these days. The idea behind behavioral interviewing is simple: the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. This means that the hiring manager will ask questions that require you to think about past situations and how you handled them. They want you to tell them details about your behavior in an effort to predict how you will handle yourself in their workplace. These questions will be open-ended questions followed by as much time as you need to describe your actions. How to Answer Behavioral Questions Behavioral interview questions can challenge your brain. You must think about specific situations and quickly pull out the necessary information to answer the questions. Below are a few quick tips to use when answering behavioral interview questions: Think about the skill they are asking about and answer their question specific to that skill. For example, if they ask, "Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a team member and how you resolved it?", they want you to understand your ability to work in a team and your conflict resolution skills. Try to keep the story relevant to these two skills. Describe the event or situation with as much detail as possible. The manager wants to know the situation in order to understand how you responded. Be specific. Avoid concepts. Tell them about your behaviors and what made you choose that particular way to handle the situation. Don't talk about the behaviors of others. The only exception to this rule is in the case that it helps tell the story about how you reacted. Just make sure to bring it back to your response and not the behaviors of others. Don't be critical, talk about others, or tear down others in your story. The hiring manager wants to know who you are as a person. If you start talking about others negatively, they will quickly start thinking this is how you will handle yourself in their workplace. Talk about the actual situation and how you responded. If you feel you should have handled yourself differently, tell them that after you described the situation. Be honest. Don't skip over or embellish details. Use the S.T.A.R method when telling your story: Situation - Describe the situation. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand what happened. Task - Describe the task you needed to accomplish. Action - Tell them the action you took. Keep the focus on yourself. Don't tell them what you might do, tell them what you did. Results - Let them know how the situation was resolved. What happened? What was accomplished? What did you learn? How to Prepare for Behavioral Questions Many people think there is no way to prepare for behavioral interviews. I mean, how exactly would you be able to know what questions the hiring manager will ask? While you can't know the questions that will be asked, Wayne State University offers these quick tips for preparing for behavior-based questions: Think about 6-8 situations from your past where you demonstrated top workplace behaviors or skills. This could be teamwork, discipline, patient care, or leadership. Use the S.T.A.R. method to organize your thoughts around these situations. Half of these situations should be positive. Think about your accomplishments or how you met your goals. The other half should be situations that started out negatively but ended positively. Or, with the best possible outcome, given the situation. Use various situations. Draw from past jobs, volunteer experiences, or just life in general. Use recent examples if possible. Review your resume before going into the interview. This will help jog your memory. Review the job description for the job you applied to and think about the skills needed to succeed. Behavioral interview questions can rattle your nerves. They are designed to make you think. Give yourself time to think through each question and what they really want to know. Try to organize your thoughts before you answer, so you're not rambling. Some people struggle with 'selling' themselves, even in job interviews. Do you have a story about a behavioral interview or question that went well? Or, maybe you have a story about an interview that went awry. Whatever your story is, we would love to hear it. Put it in the comments and get the conversation started.
  7. As you begin to put together your cover letter and resume, it is important to understand what nurse recruiters are looking for in a potential candidate. Here are five essential components to make your nursing resume stand out from the rest of the competition: Make it concise and professional The first thing recruiters look for in a nursing resume is exceptional writing skills. In fact, if your writing skills are not exceptional, you may not even get past the automated screening software that many healthcare facilities use to weed through applications. Since communication is an imperative part of a nurse's role, facilities invest in programs that toss out hundreds of applications that are incorrect and/or incomplete. Be sure to keep your resume professional by avoiding specialized fonts, colors and images, and sticking to a maximum of two pages in length. Emphasize your skills and strengths Including job-specific skills and strengths is a sure way to help a nurse recruiter easily determine if you meet the desired skill set of the position that they are looking to fill. Remember those automated software programs I mentioned above? - They also look for these keywords! Hint: things such as Effective Communication, Strong Work Ethics, Teamwork, Safe and Effective Patient Care, Bilingualism, Computerized EHR Documentation Systems Experience, Quality Assurance Knowledge, Leadership Experience, and Ability to ArticulateCritical Thinking Skills are some of the most desired attributes of a nursing applicant. Don't be afraid to highlight your skills and strengths - these are what makes you stand out above the rest! Highlight your accomplishments Be sure to Include all academic and nursing related achievements. These can include: awards, honors, internships, and academic or professional works that you have received recognition for. These items will provide the nurse recruiter with a sense of your personal drive, and will certainly catch their attention. If you are a member of a professional nursing organization such as the American Nurses Association or the National Student Nurses Association - be sure to include that information as well. Provide a recent and relevant employment history Since recruiters sift through hundreds of resumes while searching for a qualified applicant, make sure you provide a concise employment history that directly relates to the position for which you are applying. This helps the recruiter quickly determine your experience level. For example, if you have previously worked in a doctor's office as a secretary, and at a fast food restaurant as a line cook, you should list the doctor's office experience first. Be sure to include the dates of each position held, and provide a brief detail of your job roles and responsibilities. Include three professional references with recommendation letters Professional references are essential for the nurse recruiter to obtain information regarding your character and performance ability. There is a lot of controversial discussion about whether or not you should list professional references on your resume, however, I've always done so. In fact, when I've been in positions of interviewing potential candidates, I've always looked to see who their references were. Sometimes having really great references previously listed sends a clear message to the nurse recruiter that you are confident in your ability and that you are ready for immediate employment. Remember that professional references include professors, clinical instructors and direct supervisors only. Be sure to ask for letters of recommendation that you can submit to the nurse recruiter or nurse manager upon their request. Do you have any tips that you'd like to share for new grad resume building? What's your experience with completing online nursing applications? Have you learned any additional information from another source regarding cover letters and resumes? Please share by leaving a comment below! Best Wishes! -Damion
  8. Nurse Beth

    How to Land a Job

    Consider Relocating Geographic location can be a barrier to getting hired. The "nursing shortage" is regional. Some areas of the country and some hospitals are not hiring new grad RNs. It is very difficult to find a job in the San Francisco Bay area, for example. At the same time, some areas of the country are hiring and even recruiting new grads. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is one example. Strategy: Cast a wide net. Start by looking at neighboring states. Are you willing and able to re-locate? Do you have a friend or relative in one of these locations? Generally, urban centers are not hiring new grads as much as rural locations. Job Boards like the one here on site can help you search for jobs all over the country. note: If you are interviewed and you currently live "away" keep in mind that hiring managers want to hire nurses who they believe will stay beyond their initial contract. Customize Your Resume The purpose of a resume is to land an interview. If you are sending out multiple resumes and not landing any interviews, the culprit is most likely your resume. Your resume should be customized to each individual employer. Find out as much as you can about the hospital you want to work at. Are they faith-based? For-profit? What are their top service lines? Then tailor your resume to fit. For example, if they are Stroke Certified, you would emphasize that you have your NIHSS Stroke Certification. Your resume is about what you can do for them and identifying the value you bring to an organization. Strategic Use of Keywords Resume keywords should mirror job description keywords. This helps with keyword scanning software. If the job posting says they are looking for someone with leadership qualities, then use the keyword "leader" in your resume. For example, if you were a class officer or led any activities in school, you could say "I'm a natural leader. I was selected as our Class Event Leader and helped organized a community vaccination drive." Use active verbs such as: achieved, created, managed, volunteered, resolved, implemented. Avoid Cliches Avoid cliches and over-used terms. Instead of "I'm a dedicated, detail-oriented, driven, dynamic, problem-solving, team-building, self-motivated person with a strong work-ethic" give examples of the strengths you want to highlight. For example, instead of "I'm a people person", say "My energy comes from connecting with others." Volunteer Highlight any volunteer/community activity. This is seen as very positive, and shows desirable qualities to an employer. I have seen jobs come down to "she/he who had more points for volunteering". Make no Mistakes Your resume must be mistake-free. Errors may be viewed as an indicator of carelessness on the job. Your resume should be one page long and the layout should include plenty of lots of white space to avoid dense blocks of text. It should be visually pleasing with congruent use of headers and traditional fonts. Bullet points add emphasis and interest. Follow the Application Process Follow the prospective employer's application instructions to the letter. Sometimes candidates lose out because they don't follow instructions. If they specify that your resume should be submitted today, and your essay at a different time, follow their guidelines. Likewise, if they want your cover letter attached as a pdf, don't send as a .docx file. Pay special attention to application deadlines as they can be a narrow window. In many cases, you can apply before you get your license, contingent on passing the NCLEX. Compose a Cover Letter The purpose of a cover letter is to interest them enough to read your resume. It's a great way to catch their attention and stand out. Objectives of your cover letter are to: Introduce yourself and clearly define who you are Highlight your most notable qualifications, experiences, credentials, skills, and achievements Capture your reader's interest Motivate them to call and offer you an interview Networking Nets Jobs The number one way to get jobs is still through networking. You know more people than you realize, and the more people that know you are job seeking, the better. Contact your previous clinical instructors. Ask for their help. They have strong connections to acute care hospitals, and they have friends who are nurse managers Likewise, ask your preceptors to put in a word for you. Stay in touch with them. Contact classmates of yours who already have a job. Ask them to put in a word to the nursing manager. Ask them for their hiring tips Participate in online and social media nursing communities, groups, and forums. They provide support and information on job postings, and tips. Create a Linked.in profile if you don't already have one. to meet other nurses and recruiters Attend job fairs and conferences. You never know who you'll meet or what contacts you'll make. Have your resume in hand Go to community places like the gym regularly. Many nurses go right before or after their shift, go at that time and talk with them. Same applies for church, if you attend. Leads come from unexpected sources Join a local nursing organization Creative strategies Looking for a job is your job. Get up early Monday through Friday. Shower and dress in business casual. Set a goal for the number of resumes you will send out and how many contacts you will make each day. Think of a new contact strategy every day. When reading ads, look for "experience preferred" and not "experience required." Apply for everything that says "experience preferred." Even if it's not your ideal job, interviewing is an invaluable experience. Avoid travel agencies unless you have one to two years of experience. If you find a job you are really interested in, find out the name of the nurse manager and e-mail her/him or walk-in. A cold-call can be risky, but can also be rewarding. Have your resume with you, shake hands and say "I would like to drop this off for your review." The nurse manager now has a visual image of you, which puts you ahead of other applicants. Certifications Count Many new grad RNs are amassing certifications to enhance their resumes. Be sure and keep your BLS up to date. As for ACLS, PALS, NRP, etc- when hired, your hospital will provide them anyway, but it shows initiative to obtain them. In the Meantime Hone your interviewing skills so you'll be prepared and confident when you land an interview. Volunteer in anything community or health-related. And volunteering is also networking. You'd be surprised who knows who, or that John's daughter went to school with the nurse recruiter's favorite niece. Be patient. HR departments in hospitals are slow-moving compared to other industries. Keep your eye on the goal. You WILL get hired if you keep applying, networking, volunteering. All you need is one chance to get your foot in the door. Remember, new grad RNs are getting hired every day- you could be next! Don't underestimate the power of positivity and good energy. Keep your eye on the goal and be persistent. Look back at how far you've come since you started school. Good luck! Related articles Revamp Your Resume How to Answer "What's Your Greatest Weakness?"
  9. Ash2016

    RPN, Need help with Resume!

    Hi everyone, I graduated this past Summer, and got licensed with the CNO mid august. I'm having a hard time finding my first job as an RPN. I haven't even gotten a call for an interview. Can someone please help me objectively, look at my resume and make edits. I've had others look at it but they aren't nurses so they just say it's fine. I've looked on "how to" sites as well. Still no calls. Are there any keywords I should add to make my resume more scannable? Thank you for your time! I've edited some things for privacy. It didn't past with the correct format with the dates, should be on one line but spaced to the right side of page. Spacing including with the bars are more even in actual doc. First & Last Name, RPN Contact Info HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS Registered and in good standing with the College of Nurses of Ontario Clinical experience in Toronto area hospitals and in long term care working with geriatric, adult, and pediatric clients Successful completion of full-time consolidation at Sunnybrook Hospital in the postpartum unit, one of the select students chosen for this specialty placement through a competitive application process Computer proficient in MS Word, Adobe, Excel, Power Point, Internet, and Email Excellent interpersonal communication skills, and fluent in English Student Nurse, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, ON Jan., 2016-Apr., 2016 Successfully cared for a limit of four pairs in the maternal/newborn unit, able to work autonomously and as a member of the interdisciplinary team Able to assess and assist mother with pain, signs of hemorrhage, fundal check, IV maintenance and removal, urinary output after birth, catheter removal, assessment of incision, side effects of analgesics, and if RhoGAM and/or MMR vaccine is needed Experienced in assessment of neonatal vital signs, daily weights, neonatal bath and physical assessment, neonatal abstinence scoring, jaundice in the infant, initiation of phototherapy; assisted the assessment of neonatal blood sugar for SGA, LGA infants and infants with mothers who have GDM Initiated health teaching for parents, assisted mother in breastfeeding, and provided alternatives such as lactation aid, spoon feeding, and finger feeding as needed Experienced in a fast turn-over of patients, while ensuring all admission and discharge teaching is thorough and complete. Provided end of shift report and accurate documentation Student Nurse, North York General Hospital (5N), Toronto, ON Sept., 2015-Dec., 2015 Successfully cared for patients at the short stay surgical unit, provided post-operative care, and health teaching to patients who would be ready for discharge in a short amount of time Taught patients deep breathing exercises, incentive spirometer use, and the importance of ambulation postoperatively. Monitored return of bowel sounds for post abdominal surgery Provided safe medication administration, thorough head to toe assessments, assessed patient labs, developed a plan of care, and documented patient care Exhibited time management skills regarding fast turn-over of patients and prepping patients with appointments and tests scheduled throughout the day Student Nurse, North York General Hospital (5W), Toronto, ON May, 2015-Aug., 2015 Cared for patients at the long term medicine/rehabilitation unit, worked with predominantly geriatric patients, met and exceeded their specific patient needs Provided and documented safe and timely medication administration including administration of narcotics, and monitored any adverse effects Provided and documented vital signs, pain, head to toe assessments, assistance with ADLs, intake and output, wound care, catheter care, colostomy/ileostomy care, G-tube feedings and medications Cared for patients with dementia and mental health issues; provided patients with distraction techniques and therapeutic communication depending on patient needs Student Nurse, Toronto Rehab - E.W. Bickle Centre, Toronto, ON Jan., 2015-Apr., 2015 Worked with patients in the complex continuing care unit and provided essential care to patients who are dealing with complex, long term issues Monitored vital signs, assisted patients with ADLs, provided colostomy and wound care with assistance, and documented patient's status in progress notes and flow charts Provided assistance in repositioning, transferring, and ambulating ADDITIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE Receptionist/Administrative Staff, Company name, Location (2012-2014) Sales Associate/Key Holder, Company name, Location (2010-2012) EDUCATION & TRAINING Diploma: Practical Nursing, Graduated with Honours 2014-2016 Seneca College, King City, Ontario Course: IV Therapy and Phlebotomy Sept., 2016-Present Humber College, Toronto, Ontario BCLS, CPR, and Standard First Aid for HCP Certificates 2015 Canadian Red Cross, Toronto, Ontario Mask Fit Training 2014 Seneca College, King City, Ontario
  10. In order to get a leg up on the competition you need to employ strategies that will help your application float to the top rather than sink to the bottom. The goal is to get your application to the desk of a nurse recruiter and ultimately a nurse manager who is doing some actual hiring. How do you get your application into the hands of someone who can make a difference? If you are looking for a strategy to get this done, then you have come to the right place. How To Land a Nursing Job If you are a new grad, getting that interview with the nurse recruiter is especially challenging. Hospitals receive hundreds of applications from new grads each year so your application may not be seen by a human for weeks if not months. That is why I have a method for dealing with this that I call, "The End Around" The traditional sequence of procuring employment as a nurse goes like this: Submit application and wait Wait some more Interview with HR/nurse recruiter Interview with nurse manager If all goes well nurse manager offers you the job The End Around Inside secret: There is a little known fact that in many hospitals in this country a nurse manager can contact HR and have a specific application pulled. For you the job hunter, this is good news because it provides a way to get your application on the desk top of someone who can help you out. What you need is a way to get face time with the nurse manager. When that door opens you need to be prepared, act swiftly, act confidently, and act with purpose. Preparation is key: 1. The first step in the process is doing your homework. Things you need to have prepared in advance are: 2. An abbreviated resume. Keep it to one page or less. If you are a new grad, accentuate attributes that would make you a good fit, but again keep it brief. 3. Do your homework on the hospital and unit you are targeting. Know what types of patients they service. What is the unit's mission statement? What type of committees do they have? What awards has the unit received? 4. Learn something about the nurse manager. What awards has the manager received? What projects is the manager involved in? How long has the manager been with the organization? 5. Take what you learned about the unit and the unit's manager and craft a brief cover letter highlighting attributes you have and how you would be a good fit. Again, be brief. Keep it to a page or less. 6. Get some business cards. Nothing fancy, all that is needed is your name, phone number, and email address. Options range from buying business card stock for your home printer, to ordering a box from Vistaprint for as little as $6 for 25 cards. The reason to include a business card is that there is a possibility your card could sit on the managers desktop for quite some time. A business card sitting on the desktop is like a billboard advertising your name. For this reason to not staple your business card to the resume. 7. Get some decent clothes together. You don't need a business suit yet, but business casual is a must for when the plan is put into motion. 8. The next step is to actually try to arrange for face time with the nurse manager. This is where the unit's secretary comes in handy. The direct strategy: The direct strategy is to simply show up at the unit you are targeting armed with your resume, cover letter, and business card. The unit's secretary is usually your first point of contact. The secretary is your best resource to find out the location of the manager's office. If the secretary is especially friendly, it may be to your advantage to disclose exactly what your mission is. People naturally want to help, and if not too busy the secretary may blaze a path for you to the mangers door. If the secretary is not helpful, be resourceful and strike up a conversation with a friendly looking nurse if there is one around. If this is not working then simply do what you have to do and find the manger's office and knock on the door. The goal here is to get your resume, letter, and business card into the hands of the nurse manager. The pitch: The manager is not expecting you and may not have much time. Be ready to make your pitch in one minute or less. If it is good you may get more time, but you need to stick your foot in the door when it is cracked open. Tell the manager why you are there and how much you want to work on the unit. Butter up the nurse manager: Complement the manager on something you learned while doing your homework. Mention that you have an application in HR and that you would like to leave your resume, letter, and business card. Once you have handed the manger your docs, mission accomplished. Be sure to thank the manger for taking the time to talk to you. State your name one more time and say you hope to speak to the manager again sometime in the near future. Mission accomplished: If the manager is actively hiring for the unit, you are already ahead of 90% of the competition because your docs are on the mangers desk.
  11. It's Spring and it's New Nurse Graduation Time! Last week I attended one of two New Grad Banquets hosted by my hospital for the graduating classes of our local colleges. This one was for our community college ADN program (my alma mater). The purpose of the New Grad Banquets is to celebrate new grads and for the students to meet us and get a sense of what we stand for. At the same time, we begin to identify the stand out candidates. We are looking for new grads who will be a good fit. Congrats! and welcome! The conference room, located at a very nice local hotel, was beautifully decorated. Round tables were dressed in floor length heavy-weight white tablecloths with shorter square black overlays. Black folded napkins stood upright at each place setting. Red twist-wrapped hard candies were strewn for accents. Each table had a centerpiece tent placard printed with the name of a nursing unit- ICU, ED, MedSurg/Oncology, MedsSurg/Peds, L&D, etc. Students could sit at any table they chose, and table-hop. Encircling the room were long, narrow tables featuring trifold conference style poster boards showcasing each nursing unit, to encourage circulating and conversation before dinner. Large colorful banners with our hospital name, logo, and mission statement swooped down from the ceiling. The first hour was to meet and mingle. Our hospital's Versant Program Director, Nurse Recruiter, CNO, Nurse Managers, Directors, and Educators were all there to congratulate the nursing students. And to make mental notes. We are looking for new grads who will be a good fit. After awhile, the Nurse Recruiter announced that dinner was served and said a short prayer. Seated at my table, I focused in on our group and listened. They all had such interesting stories of why they had chosen nursing, and how they overcame challenges to get through school. Each one inspired me. Sitting back and surveying the room, I noticed the same animated conversations going on at every table. The room was chock full of bright, fresh young people. You could feel the positive energy. But I know that fewer than a handful of these bright young candidates are going to land a job in acute care within the next six months. What separates the successful candidates from their peers? Here are two stand out candidates I met, and my uncensored thoughts (in bold). New Nurse Grad STAND OUT Candidate A I met Javier, whose wife had delivered a baby that morning in our hospital! Now you certainly can't plan that kind of attention-getting event, but it definitely worked in Javier's favor that night. It's their first, a healthy girl, 9lbs 12 ounces. His mother-in-law urged him to leave as both mom and baby were doing well, and to attend the banquet. Wise mother-in-law. Javier is on the quiet side, a big guy with an open face and humble demeanor (he's teachable, he listens well. Non-entitled. He'd be appreciative to be selected ). He gave the impression of solid. Steady. Family guy with family values. A good fit The Program Coordinator and I texted back and forth later about Javier (all names are covered by the hearts). I'm sharing the texts to because hospitals do compete and pursue new grad nurses who stand out. Right or wrong, first impressions count for a lot when hiring. Javier made a good first impression because he is authentic and genuine. His values are a good match for ours. New Nurse Grad STAND OUT Candidate B This young woman wowed! Ashley approached our table with her hand extended, introduced herself, and shook everyone's hand. We were all still talking about Javier's baby. Ashley hadn't heard yet that Javier's wife had delivered. She instantly teared up, which I could tell embarrassed her a bit. (Ok, a spontaneous cryer. I get her. Like me) Turns out Ashley has children of her own, so it was a mother moment. We bonded. Warm and assertive and nice... a good fit First impression: outgoing, confident, spontaneous. Ashley seated herself and asked us some well-planned questions. "Does the hospital support nurses who go back to school?" (do we ever! what days do you need off?) "Your Peds unit is imbedded on MedSurg. Do you plan to expand?"(she knows about us. Did her homework) "I want to go on and get my NP. Do you think it's important to get MedSurg experience?" (smart, smart girl- she shared her future goals while asking our advice) Ashley came to the banquet prepared and with purpose. She understood that this was a working dinner, and she worked it. Turns out she is President of her Nursing Class (why was I not surprised?). My uncensored thoughts: The window for Versant applications has not even opened yet at our facility- no matter! Don't wait for her app-do whatever it takes to hire this young woman. Do not let her get away. Call her in the morning. New grads who stand out and are good fits have the best chance of getting hired. YAY!! We found some awesome new grad nurses! I hope my uncensored thoughts help you understand what's important to hiring type folks. And the very best of luck to you in landing your first nursing position. But you need more than luck! You need to prepare. For example, how can you make your resume stand out?
  12. Looking for some professional oppinion from people that actually look at these things. If you are a staff nurse or other I welcome your input as well. I only ask that you state your position when you critique(so I can understand where you are coming from)...thank you in advance (I also had to edit the structure a little because when I pasted it from MS word it started to look a little weird) PROFESSIONAL OBJECTIVE To obtain an entry level position as a staff nurse in an acute health care facility or institution. EDUCATION Sept, 2003- June, 2005 Associate in Applied Science Degree, Nursing PhillipsBethIsraelSchool of Nursing, New York, New York Sept, 2000- May 2003 Bachelors Degree (BA) in Biology BrooklynCollege, City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York Sept, 1998- June 2000 Biology Major RutgersUniversity, State University of NJ, New Brunswick, New Jersey EXPERIENCE May 2005 Student Nurse St. Luke's Hospital, Emergency Department, Trauma center, NY, NY Sept, 1997- Nov, 2004 Optician Dr. Ronald Goldstein, Dr. Howard Freid, Brooklyn, New York Auto-refracting and obtaining ocular pressures Obtaining patients medical history Adjustments and taking measurements for eyewear Patient follow up calls and overview Instructing patients on contact lens insertion and removal training July, 1995- August ,1995 Volunteer AmbulatoryCareCenter, MaimonidesMedicalCenter Answering patient inquiries Preparing charts for clinic Russian/English translator between physician and patient AFFILIATION AND CERTIFICATION National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) member Nursing Students Association of New York State (NSANYS) member American Heart Association Basic Life support (BLS) certified Expected to take NCLEX June 2005 ACTIVITIES AND AWARDS Phillips Scholarship Recipient Peer Advisor to PhillipsBethIsraelSchool of Nursing Class of 2006 Vaccinated Beth Israel Medical center staff for influenza, November 2004 ADDITIONAL SKILLS Fluent in Russian Proficient in Windows XP, 2000, MS Word, MS Powerpoint, Type @ 56 WPM REFFERENCES Available upon request
  13. Congrats, you graduated nursing school! What a huge and happy accomplishment. While I do not know of a nursing resume service, there are some important guidelines for successful resumes and cover letters. Resumes Here are some key articles written here on allnurses Creating a Resume with 1 yr experience Give Me a Chance, I'm a New Grad How to Land a Job as a New Grad Revamp Your Resume Landing That First Elusive Nursing Job Cover Letters Limit your cover letter to one page, with three to five or six short paragraphs, in a pleasing layout with ample white space. White space provides contrast to dense text and gives your reader bite-size information a little at a time with a visual and mental break in between. Readers are more likely to leave their eyes on a document that provides visual respite. Use keywords from the job description. Application-tracking software (ATS) is programmed to pick up the keywords, skills, and experience for the job. #1 Avoid cliches and buzzwords (detail-oriented, team player) #2 Cover letters and resumes must be error-free. Grammatical errors are seen as an indicator of careless performance #3 Set yourself apart. Do this by making yourself memorable; give an example that shows what a good fit you'll be.. Remember- words tell, stories sell #4 Have a beginning (reference the position; if you know someone in the organization, mention it here) middle (show how you're a good fit), and an end (positive with call-to-action or next step) #5 Do not use "To Whom it May Concern". Find out the name of the hiring manager Close with a call to action Interviews You must also start preparing for your interviews because your well-written and focused resume is going to land you interviews How to Answer "What's Your Greatest Weakness and What NOT to Say" How to Answer "Tell Us About Yourself" Hope this helps and good luck!
  14. Newbie-RN

    Should I keep Hooters on Resume?

    Hi! So I am fairly new to allnurses, but I figured this would be the place to go for help on deciding what to keep/throw away on my resume. I graduated in May with my BSN and have been working at my first nursing job at a hospital almost an hour away. Since starting almost six months ago, I have recently been looking into applying to places closer to home now that I have actual nursing experience under my belt. I worked at Hooters for about a year while in college, and have been debating whether to remove it from my work history or not. A few family members have mentioned that maybe that was part of the reason I didn't get many interviews after graduating, but I feel it's related to lack of RN experience. And honestly, if an employer really doesn't want to give me the chance to show how great of a nurse I am based on the fact that I was a waitress at Hooters, then maybe that's not the place for me anyway. My work history consists of the following from newest to oldest: RN (present job), Nurse Extern (for a few months), waitress (Hooters), and two associate positions at local shops. Should I keep the RN and nurse Extern position only? Or keep Hooters as well since it really does show a great deal of customer service experience? I have had various opinions from friends and family so I figured ID get the opinions of actual nurses Thanks in advanced for any and all advice! Newbie-RN
  15. UPDATED ARTICLE @ Resume Tips: Perfecting Nursing Resume, Cover Letter, Online Job Applications Look at your resume!!! I was taught in LPN and BSN program how to prepare a resume. Is this a lost art being skipped?? Also agree with our BB members that calling facility and finding out who is department manager, then forwarding your resume to them along with hr is great idea. I work in smaller organization than hospital but has taken me over two months to get open positions advertised and three weeks to get resumes sent to me...those that sent to me directly have interview same week. Resume Writing updated links 1/3/2011 Resume writing and interview tips for nurses from Univ. of Pennsylvania: Job Search Prep: Resumes, Cover letters & Interviews Resume tips for nurses Sample resume for a nurse Final cut: Words to Strike From Your Resume Cover Letters for the Resume Cover Letters That Sell - this article contains an outline and guideline of what each paragraph of a cover letter should contain Cover letter mistakes you should avoid c. Interview Advice Learn to Answer Difficult Interview Questions You are interviewing the hospital too: Questions for Management Positions: If I called a member of your current staff and asked them to tell me about you, what would they say? What actions would you take if you came on board? How do you lead? What's your secret to getting subordinates to follow you? How do you motivate employees? How do you reward employees? Describe your management philosophy and management style. Some managers supervise their employees closely, while others use a loose rein. How do you manage? How have you improved as a manager over the years? How many people have you fired? how do you go about it? How would you deal with an employee who broke a policy (ie: late for work)? How would you deal with an employee who was not open and honest in communication? It is very hard to attract (critical care, er, or, ob etc.) nurses to this area. What are some strategies you Might use to have enough qualified nurses to be sure patients get quality care in the facility? What single professional event made you most proud to be a manager/leader? What event made you least proud to be a leader? In prior positions did you have budgeting responsibilities? If so, what was the size of your operating budget? Do you know how to figure fte's? What is your definition of empowerment? What is your definition of quality assurance (QA), and who should be responsible, for qa? Tell me about a time when your manager made a decision you disagreed with. What actions did you take and why? Tell me about a time when you had to handle a disruptive employee. what did you do? what were the results? Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an irate physician, patient, employee etc. how did you handle it and what was the result? How have you managed to foster a successful team in your past positions? What methods have you found successful in determining the priorities when you start in a new facility? What methods do you use to foster open communication with staff and management? Tell me about a work incident when you were totally honest, despite a potential risk or downside for the honesty. How did you handle a recent situation where the direction from above was unclear and circumstances were changing? Describe how you motivated a group of people to do something they did not want to do. Who is your most effective subordinate and your least effective subordinate? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? What have you done to develop each of these subordinates? Tell me about some of the people who have become successful as a result of your management. what was your role in their development? What are the major training and development needs of the people in your department? How did you identify them? What are you doing about them? Are there any techniques you have found useful in identifying particular subordinates' needs and potentials? Tell me how they worked with a particular person. What do you do differently than other managers? Why? Examples? What is the farthest you've had to bend your standards in order to succeed? What job duties would you like to avoid if at all possible? Describe a time in which you weighed the pros and cons of a situation and decided not to take action, even though you were under pressure to do so. All of us have been in situations where we assigned work to other people and they didn't do what we intended. Can you tell me about some of those? What were the circumstances and how did you handle it? Have you ever had problems in getting your subordinates to accept your ideas or department goals? What approach did you use? How effective was it? Have you ever needed cooperation from groups that did not report to you? What did you do to gain cooperation? What were the satisfactions and disappointments? Is there a trait or characteristic about you that you find is frequently misunderstood, that surprises you when you find out that people think that about you? What 3 things do you hope to accomplish in your first year? What do you expect of those who report to you? If candidate responds with a one word answer (for example saying, "support" you can probe further by asking the candidate to describe three behaviors that she/he would view as being supportive. If you had an unfavorable plan (i.e., budget) to implement, what would you do to get the managers' buy in and support? With the current nursing shortage, what are two solutions you would like to see put in place? What kind of support do you offer managers, directors and front-line staff, knowing the stress of the nursing shortage and the increasing acuity of our patients? Tell us about a high level innovative idea/change that you implemented. Was it or was it not successful? Questions to ask the employer: What unique challenges has this unit faced over the last year? (i.e. successes, failures, etc.) What sets this organization apart from it's competitors? How long is the orientation phase and what can I expect? Will I work with one preceptor throughout or will I have several different preceptors? How does the administration view nursing in terms of importance to the hospital? How much independence do nurses have in being creative problem-solvers? What kind of professional advancement is available to nurses here? What are some of the attributes of working for your hospital? If I were to get a job offer from another hospital, why would I want to work for this one? What is the criterion you will use to select the person you are looking for? What kind of support can I expect from the nursing educators and preceptors? How does the hospital handle new grads that might be slow in becoming oriented to their new jobs? How long have you been the manager of this unit and what is your nursing background? How many nurses have quit and how many hired for this unit in the past 6 months? How long have some of the nurses been working on this unit? Who will be precepting me? Can you tell me something about them? Will I always have the same preceptor or will there be more than one? Have you ever had a new grad who didn't seem to work out? How was it handled? If for any reason it seems that orientation is just not going well for me what will happen and who should I talk to about it? Questions about the following are illegal to ask at a job interview here in the US: your personal life (married, divorced, children) family planning pregnancy provision for child care religious preference club memberships height weight dependents age (birth date) ethnic background maiden name native language physical problems psychiatric problems spouse's employment and/or earnings credit rating home ownership automobile ownership Resigning from position Check your facilities policy and procedures--most require that you give notice equal to amount of vacation provided, often 2-3 weeks; long term employed rns can be 4-5weeks. Managers often need 1-3 months notice to be eligible for rehire -- Don't burn your bridges. Resign from a healthcare job gracefully Books: The nursing job search handbook
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