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What are the best ways for an unemployed nurse to network?

Dear Donna,

I am an experienced, unemployed nurse looking for a new job. My last company closed after I worked there for 10 years. I have been looking for jobs on the Internet and have posted my resume online. I have not had a response. Do you recommend including an online cover letter? Would you suggest omitting the year I graduated from college?

Would you suggest mailing in resumes or going in person?  I am interested in working at one of the local medical groups or as an RN assessment nurse for home care agency.

Since becoming unemployed, I joined a professional service group and attend their meetings and lectures. A couple of the speakers recommend attending networking meetings. Can you suggest networking groups specifically for RNs?

Wants To Do More Networking

Dear Wants To Do More Networking,

While searching the Internet for positions and posting your resume online are two aspects of a job search, they are typically the least effective ways to land a position.

The speakers who recommended that you attend networking meetings are right on the money. Networking is well known to be the most effective way to find job leads and get interviews. A good place to start would be your local chapter meetings of the American Nurses Association and/or the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing. Attend meetings as a guest for now if you’re not a member. Have business cards made with your name, credentials, phone number and email address so you can exchange contact information with those you meet.

You should also attend nursing career fairs. These are great ways and places to learn of opportunities, have face time with recruiters and managers and network with speakers, attendees and so on. Plus there are usually some nursing agencies at these events, many of which offer nontraditional options of the type you mention. See what career events are coming up in your area  on the Events page. Before you go, read “How to get the most out of attending a career fair.”

If there is a particular place you are interested in working at, by all means give them a call and ask to speak to the office manager or hiring manager. I don’t recommend just showing up without an appointment. But you can connect with others who work there via LinkedIn. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, find someone who does. Ask for their help in getting your profile up and making connections on the site.

Regarding your resume, you should never include the year of graduation unless you are a very new nurse. That being said, I doubt your age, whatever it might be, has anything to do with your current situation. For the latest resume, writing, interviewing, job hunting and self-marketing information and samples, read The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses. Also, check out the articles “10 Steps to a Successful Job Search” and “How to find your forte.”

You also would benefit from attending my Career Alternatives for Nurses seminar Oct. 23 in New York City. You have many interests and tons of options. Spend a full day with me and like-minded nurses exploring them all and getting your questions answered. More importantly, learn how to identify transferable skills and how to effectively market yourself in a highly competitive job market.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP,’s career advice columnist is president of Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” She brings more than 20 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru. To ask Donna question, email [email protected]

By | 2020-06-22T11:07:00-04:00 August 12th, 2015|Categories: Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Barry Bottino
Barry Bottino is a freelance writer and editor who has more than 25 years of experience at various newspapers and magazines.

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