Presentation on theme: " Understanding what hiring managers want Writing impactful resumes & cover letters Submitting your application & resume successfully Presenting."— Presentation transcript:
Understanding what hiring managers want Writing impactful resumes & cover letters Submitting your application & resume successfully Presenting yourself professionally Effectively preparing for interviews Interviewing confidently Avoiding common mistakes Landing the job you want
Job Search Strategies: What Nurse Recruiters and Hiring Managers Want (From the viewpoint of the hiring manager/nurse recruiter) Did you attach/upload your resume with the application? Do you know anything about this facilities’ patient population? Are you passionate about this floor/unit? If I place you in this job, will you be a good fit? Do you know anything about this facility/unit? Why do you want to be a part of this team? What can you offer/contribute to this team? If we invest training/time, will you stay in this job? Is the care of the patients your top priority?
Job Search Strategies: Craft Resumes & Cover Letters That Get Noticed Resume: potential employer’s first impression of you. Think of your resume as a document that speaks for you when you are not in the room, so make your contact information easy to find, include your education and any degrees earned, list your clinical experience, and list brief descriptions of your work or volunteer experience. (*side-note…..objective is a space-filler as you usually mention that in your cover letter, so I would leave it out, but it is ultimately up to you and whatever you prefer*) Cover letter: displays interest in the job & shows your skill set. Utilize your cover letter to show your passion for the position that you are applying for and briefly describe how your education, skills, or previous experience make you a good fit for the position.
Job Search Strategies: Applying Online and Uploading Resumes Many facilities have transitioned to requiring prospective employees to submit applications online. Tips on how to attach or upload your professional resume: Often, you can copy and paste your resume into your online application, but uploading a PDF version of your resume is strongly encouraged in addition to a copy-and-paste version within the application. When uploading your resume, be sure to name it using your first and last name followed by the word resume – ex. “Betty Baylor Resume”. Saving your resume as a PDF is strongly encouraged as it prevents any formatting issues regardless of conversion between various types of computers and software. Utilize this PDF version of your resume for any attachments sent via email.
Job Search Strategies: Professional Presentation Presenting yourself professionally can cover a wide range of topics, so here are a few tips: Many nurse recruiters & hiring managers prefer email contact as they are often required to attend job fairs and are not in their office, so try to utilize email as primary method of contact; Email follow-up with the nurse recruiter after an online application or resume submission is okay and could actually help to keep your name in the mind of the nurse recruiter; After you have contacted a nurse recruiter, understand that there will be at least 24-48 hours before you receive follow up from your nurse recruiter, so try to avoid multiple calls/email; and Initial follow-up is good and thank you notes are always appreciated, so even if you only receive a telephone interview, it would be good to send a brief hand-written note to your nurse recruiter. Guys – shave your face, get a haircut, and wear a tie with a dress shirt. Ladies – wear something that does not show too much skin and keep the skirt length at least to the knee and do the double check for any décolleté area showing. Do NOT under any circumstance wear any perfume, cologne, or any other strong scented or fragranced item on your skin or clothing for an interview.
Job Search Strategies: Professional Interviewing Tips Effectively preparing for interviews is easy, but takes a bit of planning, so here are some tips: Get a pocket folder to put at least five extra copies of your resume in one pocket (if you have fancy paper, this would be the time to use it) because you never know how many interviewers you may have and it is better to be over-prepared; Get at least five extra copies of your list of references (see template on career services webpage for examples) to put in the other pocket of your folder; Make a list of at least three to five questions for the end portion of the interview when they ask the inevitable: “do you have any questions for us”? (see career services webpage for sample prospective employer questions); Keep a copy of your resume with notes for yourself to “jog” your memory of any specific stories or examples you want to pull from previous experience/training that might be forgotten due to nerves; Have a pen tucked into the spine of the folder to take notes during the interview; and Ask for a business card before you leave so you will have the official job title, credentials, and business address to send the interviewer a thank you letters after the interview.
Job Search Strategies: Display Confidence During the Interview Interviewing confidently has more to do with being prepared than having all the “right” answers, so review the typical interview question types: Behavior-based Questions: are intended to show how you have handled issues in the past because your past reactions are a good indication of how you will react in the future. Ex. “tell me about a time when…..” The key to answering this question well is to keep your answer limited to three things: the problem, how you solved the problem, and what you learned from the experience. Open-ended Questions: are the type of questions that allow you to volunteer personal information. Ex. “tell me something about yourself that is not listed on your resume.” One of the best ways to answer this question would be to give a brief explanation of why you feel called to nursing and then wrap up the answer with a tie-in of your passion for nursing and how it relates to the job/facility/unit that you are applying. Situational Questions: are questions that give a scenario of a situation that would arise on the job. Ex. “you have a patient that is due for medication, one with alarms going off in the room, and one that has just pulled out their tubes and is now bleeding – what do you do?” The answer needs to be two-fold to incorporate both critical thinking skills and teamwork. The hiring manager wants to know that you can utilize critical thinking while remaining internally focused and controlled enough to recognize that you cannot be in three places at once and that you will then call on your team members to help you. Challenge Questions: are questions that reveal how much you know about the facility/unit/floor. Ex. “why are you applying for this position and what could you offer us that other candidates could not?” The best way to answer this question has more to do with preparing beforehand to make your answers confident, concise, and correct. Google the hospital, find out facts about the unit, find out about the patient population and who you will be serving and utilize that information to give a confident answer. Ex. “this facility houses a level-one trauma center and for that reason, I have volunteered in the ER throughout high school with the goal of learning on this unit, completing nursing school with the required GPA, and to join your team when I earn my RN licensure.”
Job Search Strategies: Avoiding Common Pitfalls & Mistakes Avoiding common mistakes includes being mindful of what you say, how you answer questions, and communicating your level of competence. The nurse recruiter wants you to engage, so maintain eye contact, remember to smile, and you can ask him/her to repeat questions during the interview if necessary. The interview will almost always include a question that pertains to conflict, negative situations, tense interactions, personality clash, etc. The way to answer the negative scenario question is with a positive spin on what you learned. Never bash the person, place, or thing you are talking about. You can answer by using words that describe the situation without any personal opinions or commentary about the situation. Ex. “The patient was upset did not agree with the intervention that was required, so I sat down with him and explained why we needed to do the procedure and explained what would happen if we did not intervene. After I took the time to explain, the patient was still unhappy, but he understood why it needed to be done and eventually agreed to the intervention.” Mainly, the interviewer wants you to demonstrate the common goal, which is the best patient care. Also, you want to show that you know that not every situation has a positive outcome, but that you are still able to learn from the conflict. Attention to detail is key, so always check anything and everything you submit for typographical errors, misspellings, and correct facility name, address, recruiter title/credentials, etc. These are small measures to take and are guaranteed to help you if you utilize them or if you do not double-check, your application will most likely be overlooked. Make it a habit of checking for all of these errors on every application. Past work experience is always valuable. Never discount a job because it was a restaurant because the same people that you serve in restaurants are the same people that you will encounter in the hospital. In your restaurant job, you still learned the basics of serving individuals and that is valuable. If you are unable to relay a story about an experience in the clinical, hospital, or medical arenas, do not omit experience gained in a job outside of nursing. If you have a great customer service story from a fast-food job, pull from that experience because it has value and can demonstrate your ability to interact with dissatisfied patients, their families, and coworkers.
Job Search Strategies: Landing the Job you Really Want Landing the job you want includes applying for a position that you actually want. Finding a job is important, but until you get your job, it is up to you to make your nurse recruiter feel confident in recommending you for next-round interviews or putting their stamp of approval on you and hiring you for the job. In order to get that second-round interview or that job offer, you need to sell yourself and to make those hiring you confident that you really want to serve in that area. Demonstrating your level of interest includes only applying for a limited number of jobs at any one facility, applying for only an absolute maximum of three service areas (preferably related areas), and crafting a cover letter with an accompanying resume that show why you are the candidate that should be selected for the position. You can address various service areas and multiple applications for various facilities fairly simply by tweaking your resume and cover letter for the different positions. Last, but certainly not least, take the extra time and effort to send thank you notes to your interviewer. You may not be offered the job at that specific facility today, but if you make a great impression, you can build a relationship that could benefit you later in your career.
Job Search Strategies & Plans You can begin your search utilizing the career services website by going to the job links and searching through the facility that you want and going to their job site; Make a template of your resume, cover letter, and references list (templates for each are on the career services website) and remember to proofread every time you submit your information for a job application; Practice your interview with friends, set-up a mock interview with career services, and use the student resource “Interview Stream” (on career services website); Research information on the facilities that you are hoping to be employed with to find out about that facility, patient population, and make note of any facts that are important to you in preparation for articulating those things in an interview; Plan ahead by visiting the facility in plain clothes to witness how the staff interacts with visitors, families, and patients. Also, take note of your drive time to the facility and calculate any traffic variations to avoid tardiness to an interview. Pay attention to parking and whether or not you will need to bring money to pay for parking and/or if you are required to park at a specific lot or area during your interview time; Prepare an interview folder with a pen, questions you will ask, and extra copies of your resume, references, transcripts, letters of recommendations, and/or any other materials requested by your interviewer; Be mindful of your nurse recruiter’s schedule and utilize email to confirm times or to inquire about other items throughout the interview process; Keep your applications for any one facility very focused and be deliberate in displaying your interest for specific areas listed; Do use previous work experience regardless of whether or not it was nursing related. The nurse recruiter would be assisted in hiring decisions if you gave example of how you handled a situation at a restaurant job as opposed to an answer that you do not have a nursing-specific example for a specific question; and Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! Following-up is key, so send that thank you letter and remember that you are building a professional network, so no effort is ever useless!
All the extras we did not mention: If you get a job offer and you know it is not your “dream” job and are pressured to give a yes or no to the offer – while this is not “ideal” in every situation, accept the offer because you did earn the job – they selected you – it is your job to take. If you do get the offer from the “dream” job and decide to decline the first offer, you are allowed to do so, but to avoid burning any bridges, do be sure it is well in advance of orientation so the employer can replace your spot. Do not be afraid to turn down a previous job offer that you accepted – the employer has a long list of “stand by” folks that they can call and you are not occupying anyone else’s spot – YOU were offered the job and you have the right to say yes!
Specific examples from a few facilities with what you could expect on the job: At UT Southwestern, the interviews are divided from HR standpoint first, then a separate interview for the nursing managers on the unit – be sure to target your questions more HR related (when can I hear back, how about benefits, etc.) and then the others more unit related (nurse-to-patient ratio, etc.) depending on who you are addressing; At UT Southwestern, the interviews are divided from HR standpoint first, then a separate interview for the nursing managers on the unit – be sure to target your questions more HR related (when can I hear back, how about benefits, etc.) and then the others more unit related (nurse-to-patient ratio, etc.) depending on who you are addressing; Medical City Dallas has a 500 feet rule in which you need to make eye contact and speak to anyone and everyone you encounter within 500 feet of you to make a positive image for the facility; Medical City Dallas has a 500 feet rule in which you need to make eye contact and speak to anyone and everyone you encounter within 500 feet of you to make a positive image for the facility; At Parkland, they do not prefer a cover letter at all – only your resume and it MUST be in PDF format – there is NO tolerance for tardiness, so be early for meetings with them; At Parkland, they do not prefer a cover letter at all – only your resume and it MUST be in PDF format – there is NO tolerance for tardiness, so be early for meetings with them; Baylor’s critical care and ICU areas are the only areas that currently require the 3.5 GPA, so if you want the ED and do not have the higher GPA – you do not need to worry, just maintain the 3.0; Baylor’s critical care and ICU areas are the only areas that currently require the 3.5 GPA, so if you want the ED and do not have the higher GPA – you do not need to worry, just maintain the 3.0; Children’s Medical Center just changed their requirement from no longer extending offers to GNs and requiring that all nurses have their RN in hand before starting on the job with that facility; and Children’s Medical Center just changed their requirement from no longer extending offers to GNs and requiring that all nurses have their RN in hand before starting on the job with that facility; and Both Hendrick and Hillcrest (Waco) do not have a application deadline or start/stop time, so you can always apply to those facilities at any time. Both Hendrick and Hillcrest (Waco) do not have a application deadline or start/stop time, so you can always apply to those facilities at any time.
Wrap-Up I hope this has been helpful to you and that you will remember some of these tips – mostly, just smile and remember these hiring managers are people just like you, do NOT wear any perfume/cologne at all, realize that some hiring managers are very germ-conscious and may not wish to shake hands, be a few minutes early, prepare yourself to take some exams as some facilities make you go through extra tests, and just show your passion for patient care – you will be great!