Why You Aren’t Getting Hired As A Nurse

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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Frustrated by unemployment, nurses?

Job hunting is tricky business. Getting hired as a nurse is a subtle mix of the right qualifications, enough experience, interview chemistry and a dash of luck. Assuming you’re making all the right moves and avoiding the really obvious job seeker mistakes, there are a few points to consider that could be your ticket out of unemployment.

Get out of your job search rut and back in the hospital by fixing these mistakes you might be making:

  1. Job Description

Read it. Do you meet every qualification listed? If you think you can get away with not having that extra few years of experience or make do without the requested higher degree, think again. Job descriptions are a baseline for hiring managers. With so many job applicants, recruiters are naturally going to pick the best of the best, and that means you’ve got to meet every single one of the job requirements, at the very least. But that doesn’t mean you should give up, either. If you find yourself not meeting a certain job requirement time after time, do something about it! Take a certificate course, or brush up on your bedside manner. Nothing shows dedication like taking action.

  1. Word Play

It’s not enough to have a clean resume free of grammar and spelling errors; you’ve got to go that extra mile. No matter how amazing your resume looks, everything lies in the words. If the hiring manager has to decipher your resume jargon, don’t expect a call back. Phrase your nursing resume with the right keywords. Use powerful words that imply action and sell your experiences by highlighting specific achievements and accomplishments. The right healthcare keywords are your best bet to getting your resume on top of the pile.

  1. Job Search Tactics

Browsing through the classifieds? Going through Human Resources? Looking at hospital websites for job leads? One reason your search for a nursing job may have hit a dead end is because your methods are outdated. Get with the 21st century and go online! The right social network can connect you with the job you want. Use Monster to find jobs in your field–post a resume and find your calling with their new Career Mapping tool. Use LinkedIn to maintain your connections. Spread yourself out and try something new — you never know which method will work! 

  1. Not the Right Fit

There is no perfect recipe to getting hired. You could do everything right in the interview — dress your best, arrive on time, and come fully prepared — and still not get the position. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of personality or a clash with the unstated hospital culture. At this point, qualifications don’t matter. It’s the sad truth — and completely legal. One consolation: It’s not you, it’s them.

  1. Lady Luck

You’d think if you did everything right, you’d be guaranteed a job. But job hunting isn’t always like an equation where the right steps will guarantee you the right answer. Lady Luck can play her hand and leave you in the dust. The position might go to another equally qualified nurse, or the timing could simply be off. Family restrictions may prevent you from taking the job or the hospital you want simply can’t afford to hire you right now. The best thing you can do in a situation like this is thank your contact for their time and keep that relationship alive. You just may be the person they call for their next opening!

  1. High Expectations

It’s one thing to stay positive about your job outlook, and another to have false hopes about your prospects. Are you aiming at nurse positions out of your league? Expecting a certain salary range or health benefits? We’d all love to work at our dream nursing specialty, but we take the job that’s good enough — because it is. Ask yourself what you’re willing to give up to get a job. Be honest with yourself. Changing your mindset can broaden your job search results drastically. You may find yourself on a regular payroll faster than you think.


This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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