Why have I been turned down for over 40 positions?

Dear Nurse Beth Advice Column - The following letter submitted anonymously in search for answers. Feel free to join the conversation.


Nurse Beth,

I am a RN, BSN with 24 years experience in med/ surg, corrections, ER and OB/gyn. I held my position in corrections for 17 years and had to medically retire. Covid destroyed my lungs and I can no longer work bedside. I have applied and been turned down for over 40 remote positions. I need a job desperately. Any thoughts why I am being passed over??

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Career Columnist / Author

Nurse Beth, MSN

167 Articles; 2,967 Posts

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Desperate,

I'm sorry to hear about your health struggles and Job Search difficulties. It's hard to know exactly, but there could be several reasons why you have been turned down for remote nursing positions. Here's a few possibilities:

  • Competition with other qualified candidates. Even if you are highly qualified, you may be competing with many other qualified candidates for the same position. Sometimes, employers may choose another candidate for reasons unrelated to your qualifications or experience.
  • Lack of remote work experience. Some employers prefer hiring candidates with prior experience working remotely. If you have not worked remotely before, it may be helpful to emphasize your ability to work independently and communicate effectively in a virtual environment in your application.
  • Lack of specific skills. Some remote jobs may require specific technical skills or experience with certain software or tools. Your application may not be considered if you don't have the necessary skills.
  • Resume/Cover Letter. Your resume and cover letter may not correctly highlight your skills and experience in a way that makes you stand out to potential employers. Ensure you tailor your application materials to each specific job you apply for. Use keywords from the job posting.

Consider contacting the hiring manager and politely asking for feedback on your application or interview. They may be able to provide you with specific insights and areas for improvement.

 You can phrase it like this: "Thank you for considering me for the position. Could you provide any feedback on my interview or application that could help me improve my future job searches?"

  • Listen carefully. If the hiring manager does provide feedback, listen carefully and take notes. This information can be valuable for future job searches.
  • Stay professional. Even if you're disappointed or disagree with the feedback, you must remain professional and respectful. Remember that the hiring manager has likely interviewed many candidates and made the best decision for their organization.
  • Use the feedback constructively. Use the feedback to improve your skills, experience, or interview technique for future job opportunities.

Remember, the hiring manager is not obligated to provide feedback, but many are happy to help job seekers improve their skills and experience.

Best wishes in your job search,

Nurse Beth