When new nurses seek their first position, many begin by poring over online nurse job postings. They may also look for open nursing positions on the websites of facilities or health systems of interest.
Perusing online postings is one method, but it shouldn’t be the only tool in your nursing career toolbox.
Job post blinders
As a career coach for nurses, I often hear complaints from new grads and seasoned nurses alike that they’re having trouble finding work. When questioned about their strategy, they’re often stumped, because the only strategy they know is looking for open positions. This is fodder for a larger conversation, and some nurses are shocked that a resume and Internet search engine aren’t enough.
If a new grad is seeking a position, the first task is to remove the blinders that make looking at job postings the be-all and end-all of a job search strategy. Not all open positions are posted publicly; some positions can be approached from the side door or back door. Thus, strategizing is paramount.
Network like mad
This blog will continually reference the importance of networking for nurses, so feel free to take an antiemetic if you think it will help you digest this crucial message.
If you’re seeking a nursing position, your full-time job is the search process, and that doesn’t mean asking Google to do the work for you.
It means, for instance, learning to use LinkedIn effectively, connecting with people who have a relationship with facilities or organizations of interest to you, and asking them for introductions, connections and advice. If those contacts are relatively nearby, take them out for lunch to pick their brains, or offer to visit their offices for an informational interview.
Networking can mean attending local meetings of nursing organizations or introducing yourself to nurses at other events. You can also review your contacts for anyone with the slightest relation to the healthcare industry, and ask them for introductions or leads. Former professors, classmates and preceptors should be first on this list.
Even if your friends, colleagues and family members aren’t in healthcare, they might know someone who is. Email, write, text or call almost everyone you know, and don’t forget to regularly post status updates about your job search on your personal Facebook feed, and have a specific request or call to action in each post.
So much more
There’s much more to do vis-à-vis your job search process, but today’s focus is on taking off your blinders, looking beyond the classifieds and striking out into the world of professional networking and beyond.
Dig deep into your network
Feel free to peruse the ads, but allow yourself to move into a more creative place with your job search and see what results you manifest.
How have you used networking in your job search? Share your experiences with us.