How to Get Noticed in Today’s Nursing Job Market

04/05/2018

Get Noticed in Today's Nursing Job Market

By Katelynne Shepard, contributor

A nursing career is a strong choice if you love helping people, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting that the nursing job market will continue to grow at “much faster than average rates.” 

However, this demand has also led to more people pursuing a nurse career, meaning you’ll be up against some strong competition. Use these five tips to help position yourself as a top candidate.

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5 Ways to Stand Out in Today’s Nursing Job Market

1. Conquer the nursing job market by narrowing your search.

To some degree, getting your nursing career started is a numbers game. More applications translates to more interviews, and that translates to more job offers, but depending purely on percentages isn’t a great idea. Start by thinking about which facilities you’d really like to work at and then see what’s available. 

2. Target your special interests.

Employers are looking for applicants who have a true passion for the job and aren’t just going through the motions. If you can explain why you are interested in working in oncology instead of pediatrics, for example, you’ll show your potential employer the dedication you’ll bring to the position. If you’re applying for a general nursing job, focus on the specific parts of nursing you enjoy.

3. Focus on interview prep.

A nursing career involves a lot of face-to-face interaction with coworkers, patients and even patient families, and the interview process is a great opportunity to show off your people skills. Arrive on time, dressed professionally and prepared to answer — and ask — a lot of questions.

Your education and prior experience will certainly be a point of discussion, but the interviewer will also ask you questions involving real-life scenarios to gauge how you react under pressure. Being able to problem-solve in high-stress situations without losing your cool is critical to a successful nursing career, and you want to show you can handle whatever a shift might throw your way.

4. Network with other medical professionals.

Eighty percent of open positions are never advertised, so if you’re only spending your time searching the online nursing job market, you could be losing out on some great opportunities. Start building relationships with people in the know by joining professional organizations and attending nursing conferences. Make sure to also let your peers know you’re looking for a new opportunity so they know to mention your name when they hear of an opening.

5. Follow up appropriately.

Sending a thank you after the interview is never outdated, and 86 percent of hiring managers view it as a very important part of the application process. Set yourself apart in the nursing job market by sending a thank you email within 24 hours after the interview. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can also send a handwritten thank you in the mail, but send the email first so you don’t have to worry about your card getting delayed or lost altogether.

Whether you’re a new graduate or an experienced RN looking for a change, being able to navigate the nursing job market is the first step toward a successful nursing career. 

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