Many new nursing graduates are struggling to find their first job working in an acute care environment. Nurse recruiters can afford to pick the cream of the crop because they are inundated with resumes, phone calls and emails from prospective new nurses! Unfortunately, by the time some nurses graduate, it may be too late to rise to the top of the pile.
And that’s why; my advice is to build your resume while you’re still in school.
Build your resume
I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes from student nurses for various programs and positions. In addition to looking for basic information, I look for evidence they are serious about their role as professional nurses.
Where’s the Evidence?
· Belongs to a professional nursing organization or student nurse organization.
· Volunteers in the health care industry or related field? (Volunteering at your Dad’s repair shop or at the Pet store doesn’t count).
· Attends nursing-related events – conferences, local chapter meetings, workshops, etc.
If I only saw clinical experiences as students and various "fillers" (non-nursing related activities), their resume went into my “no” pile. I only wanted students/new grads who appeared to be serious about being a nurse.
What can you do to build your resume now?
If you are still a student, start now by getting involved.
· Join a local nursing organization. Most colleges have a Student Nurse Association. Attend their meetings and consider becoming an officer (looks great on a resume!).
· Attend a nursing local chapter meeting. Find out if any professional nursing organization such as the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses have upcoming meetings. Many welcome student nurses and offer discounts. This looks great on a resume and provides an opportunity to network with nurses who may know of open positions.
· Volunteer. Many student nurses can’t imagine adding one more thing to their list! However, carving out a small amount of time monthly to do volunteer work is well worth the sacrifice! Volunteer at your local health clinic, hospital or non-profit organization. Sometimes the commitment is minimal yet the ability to include the work on a resume – priceless!
The key to landing your first job is to prepare, prepare, prepare now. Don’t wait until you graduate to start thinking a about building your resume. By then, it may be too late. Build it now!
I hope this tip helps you secure the job of your dreams! Thank you for choosing to become a nurse.
Take care and stay connected!
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