Date Published: January 14, 2020
Your time in nursing school is quickly approaching its end and you’re ready to start applying for nursing jobs, hooray! While this is an exciting next chapter of your nursing journey, the job application process can be a little overwhelming. We’re here to help with advice from the experts.
Check out these 5 tips that will help you rock your applications and land the nursing job of your dreams!
Timing is Everything
If you’re in your last semester of nursing school, the best time to start applying for nursing jobs is right now! You should begin applying for nursing jobs at the beginning of your final semester of nursing school, if not sooner. Many employers start looking for spring graduates in January and fall graduates in August.
Starting the application process early is also vital to make sure you have time to get your materials together and you don’t miss any important deadlines. Some nursing job applications are only open for 2 – 4 weeks, so be prepared to jump right into it!
There’s a good chance that you’ll be applying to more than just one nursing job opening, so keeping everything organized is key.
One easy way to stay on top of it all is by making a spreadsheet. Start out by creating a row for all of the places you want to apply to and the application requirements and deadline for each job. Then, mark down the date that you actually submit each application; this is super helpful for knowing when you need to follow-up with potential employers. You can add additional information to the spreadsheet for your reference such as the employer’s contact information, the date you expect to hear back from them by, or the date and time of your interview once you land one!
Staying organized also includes all of the documents and files that you will use during the application process. Try creating a folder on your computer for all of your application materials, and keep folders or file names unique to each job you are applying to so you don’t accidentally submit a cover letter addressed to the wrong employer!
Check Your Documents
Speaking of cover letters, your application documents are one of the most important parts of your job search. Before beginning the application process, double and triple check your resume and cover letter to make sure they are up to date and free of grammatical errors. Ask a friend or family member to proofread for you too, as sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to catch mistakes.
For more in-depth tips about creating a great resume and cover letter, check out this article full of advice from nurse managers and recruiters.
Do Your Research
Knowing all that you can about the company that you are applying for will help you be successful throughout the entire application process, so it’s important to do your research. The company’s website is a great place to start! Read through any information you can about the company’s history, culture, and operations and include that knowledge in your application materials.
- Does the company have a particular set of values that they look for in nursing team members? Pick out one or two that resonate with you and explain how you embody those values in your cover letter.
- Did the employer or nursing staff recently win an award or gain some sort of recognition? Mention your congrats to the person interviewing you and ask about how they were able to achieve that level of success.
Learning more about the company is also a great way to come up with questions to ask at the end of your interview. If you find any information that you find particularly interesting or confusing, jot it down and use it as a conversation point.
Searching for a nursing job can be a long and busy process. If you start feeling a little overwhelmed, take some time to think about your goals and remember why you chose this profession. Applying may be tough, but it’s the first step towards achieving that thing which you’ve been working so hard for over the past few years. Stay confident in your abilities and with the right preparation, you could just land the job of your dreams!
For even more tips and detailed information about getting your first job out of nursing school, check out this Facebook Live event we did with Nurse Recruiters and Nurse Residency Managers from Children’s Mercy Hospital, and this blog article for information about our Facebook Live series, “The Job Hunt,” with even more answers to your job search questions!