• No results found

Job Search Guide for Nurses


Academic year: 2021

Share "Job Search Guide for Nurses"


Loading.... (view fulltext now)

Full text


Job Search

Guide for


Career Services Center

Connelly Center ∙ 216.373.5290



What’s Inside? Resumes

Cover Letters & Online Applications Career Portfolios


Interview Preparation Resources


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 - Page 2

This guide was written to assist you in conducting a successful job search for a nursing position. Before you start your search, consider what area of nursing is best for you. Registered nurses may choose emergency, critical care, medical/surgical and many other specialty areas. What type of work setting is preferred? For example, nurses are employed in many organizations such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, state and local health departments, prisons, schools, government agencies, colleges and universities.

The job market is very competitive today so you must market yourself with a professional resume and cover letter for starters. The resume is a critical item to help you land an interview. Practice makes perfect so prepare yourself before an interview – research the organization and practice your responses to the questions included in this guide. You must be able to demonstrate your value to the organization!


Header/Contact Information

 Your formal name is in the largest font size (up to 16 point) and in bold at the top.

 Mailing address, home telephone number or cell number is current (with a professional message on your answering machine or voice mail).

 Include a professional email address (your school email address if fine until graduation).

Objective or Summary of Qualifications

This section tells the reader what position you are seeking and may summarize your strongest qualities to show your value to the employer. Avoid the use of pronouns such as I, my and me.

 Indicate which specific care area you are seeking (i.e. Cardiac Care, Emergency Care, Pediatrics)  List the type of position you are applying for (Full Time, Part Time, Registered Nurse)

 Indicate type of work setting you desire: i.e. hospital, nonprofit agencies, school, government, etc.


 List your most advanced degree or most recent degree, i.e. a PhD would appear first, then an M.S. or M.S.N., and finally a B.S.N. or RN degree. You do not need to include your high school diploma!  List your degree i.e. Bachelor of Science in Nursing, May 2013

 List the name of the college or university and location, i.e. Notre Dame College, S. Euclid, Ohio  Include your GPA if 3.0 or higher

 Include your Ohio RN License date of expiration once you have passed the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX)

Clinical Experience

 List clinical experience: Unit floor, organization, city and state, dates you completed

Your resume should be free of personal data such as age, marital status, height/weight and photos!


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 - Page 3  Start with your current or most recent position and list experience in reverse chronological order

(present to past)

 Professional or relevant experience should be related to the position you are applying for. List all medical, nursing and care positions under this heading

 List the position, organization, city, state and dates

 Include specific skills and knowledge you used; special projects completed, practicum, and other specific training

 Use short work phrases with strong action verbs to describe your work experience using a bulleted format for easier reading for each position (refer to the key words list)

Do not use pronouns such as I or me

Campus Activities/Awards/Community Service

 Provide names of organizations (professional, community, campus) you have been involved with.  Indicate professional awards or scholarship recognition

 List academic, volunteer, community or professional organizations in which you held a position or membership; they should be relevant to the position you seek

 You may also include any presentations or publications that you have conducted.

Before you print, proofread it!

 Is your resume free from grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and typographical errors?  Is your resume preferably one page?

 Have you used an appropriate font style such as Times Roman or Arial and font size (11-14)?  Did you create visual impact using bullets, bold face, headings, underlining and italics?  Is the text centered and balanced on the page?

 Was it created in WORD and professionally named such as “Smith Resume 2012.doc)?  Ask a Career Services Center staff member to review it!


 Develop a list of 3-5 professional references and create a separatedocument from your resume  Your references may include supervisors, faculty, and/or co-workers or peers who know you in terms

of your work history and ability

 Include the following information about each reference: Name, title, organization, address, telephone number, and email address


A cover letter or application letter accompanies your resume to introduce yourself to the recruiter. It must be positive, brief and attract the reader’s attention. Every cover letter should be customized to the employer and highlight your attributes, skills and experience. It is typically three paragraphs in length maximum.  Demonstrate how you can help the employer. Detail your experience as it relates to the job opening

or organization without repeating the content of your resume!  Show you have done some research on the organization

 The resume and letter are examples of your written communication skills and organizational skills.

Many organizations will require you to complete an online application. Always compete it truthfully and provide accurate information.


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 - Page 4 KEY WORDS FOR RESUME PREPARATION

Below is a sample list of action words followed. Go down the list and check those you feel could be used in sentences or paragraphs to describe your accomplishments.

Achieve Analyze Answer Apply Assemble Assess Assist Calculate Chart Classify Coach Code Collaborate Collect Communicate Compile Complete Conduct Consolidate Consult Control Counsel Define Deliver Demonstrate Determine Diagnose Edit Eliminate Estimate Evaluate Examine Explain Formulate Generate Guide Handle Identify Implement Improve Increase Install Instruct Interact Interpret Investigate Judge Lead Maintain Manage Measure Mediate Modify Monitor Obtain Offer Operate Order Outline Perform Prepare Prescribe Process Protect Prove Provide Receive Record Reduce Refer Repair Research Respond Review Search Select Serve Solve Study Succeed Summarize Support Teach Test Train Troubleshoot Utilize Verify Volunteer


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 5

SAMPLE RESUME (recent graduate)


123 Main Street, South Euclid, OH 44121 330-555-1212 ▪ Sparker@email.com Registered nurse in labor or delivery


Bachelor of Science in Nursing, May 2012

Notre Dame College, South Euclid, OH GPA: 3.4

Ohio RN License, June 2012


Student Nurse (2009-2011)

Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH: Performed nursing duties in a level one trauma hospital University Hospital, Cleveland, OH: Emergency Care Unit

University Hospital, Cleveland, OH: Labor & Delivery/Newborn Care


Nursing Assistant, Long-term Care Unit; University Hospital, Cleveland, OH (1/2008 - Present)

■ Demonstrate active listening and assess patient needs ■ Perform patient care in a 13 bed long-term care unit ■ Chart and document activities

■ Provide basic care services such as bathing and hygiene of patients

Health Care Volunteer; Free Clinic, Cleveland, OH (Summer 2009)

■ Worked in a team of volunteers to distribute health care information ■ Provided flu shots and blood pressure checks to the general public ■ Referred patients to appropriate health care services


Resident Assistant, Notre Dame College, S. Euclid, OH (8/2009 – 5/2010)

■ Supervised and supported 20 residence hall undergraduate students ■ Organized and implemented social and academic activities

■ Mentored students about college student learning and progress

Sales Clerk, The Limited: Beachwood, OH (4/2006-8/2007)

■ Assisted customers for sales and marketing of clothing items

■ Operated cash register, inventory of clothing and trained new employees


Student Nurse Association (2010-2012)


Bilingual: English / Spanish


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 6

SAMPLE RESUME 2 (recent graduate)


1245 Main Street, Cleveland, OH 44121 216-555-1111 Jasmith@email.com Dedicated registered nurse seeking mental health nursing position. Reliable and ethical healthcare provider with ability to stay calm during crises and collaborate on multidisciplinary teams.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing, May 2012 Notre Dame College, S. Euclid, OH

GPA: 3.5

Registered Nurse, State of OH, 6/2012


2009-2011, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH

Worked under the supervision of an RN providing bedside care, treatment and clinical documentation for patients on cardiac, medical-surgical and mental health crisis floors.

Implemented treatment plans, handled medication administration, dressing changes, IVs and all other aspects of nursing care. Prepared chart notes and other documentation.

 Treated an average of 15 patients daily (above average student caseload)

 Gained experience in management of assaultive behaviors and psychotropic-medication administration

 Responded to numerous volatile situations and violent outbreaks, earning the respect of staff to remain levelheaded to restore the safety and security of patients and staff

 Presented in-service training on ethics concerning elderly atrial fibrillation treatment RELATED EXPERIENCE

8/2007- present, Certified Nurse Assistant, University Hospital, Cleveland, OH  Assisted health care team in delivering overall care to patients

 Demonstrated active listening and assessed patient needs

 Provided basic care services such as bathing and feeding of patients ADDITIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE

1/2008- 5/2011, Student Worker, Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, S. Euclid, OH  Greeted students, answered telephones and filed

 Entered job postings into job database system  Assisted staff during career fairs and workshops ACTIVITIES/HONORS

Member, Ohio Nursing Student Association (2009-2011)


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 7

SAMPLE RESUME 3 (current student)


123 South Street, South Euclid, OH 44121

(216) 555-1574 | smuarray@email.com

Certified Nurse Assistant EDUCATION Notre Dame College, S. Euclid, OH

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, expected May 2014 GPA: 3.4; Dean’s List (four semesters)

Certificates: Basic Life Support


Student Nurse, University Hospital, Cleveland, OH: Emergency Care Unit (2012)


Records Assistant, Primary Doctors Office, S. Euclid, OH (March 2008-April 2010)

■ Filed, copied and prepared patient charts for office visits ■ Scheduled patient appointments

■ Organized and distributed test results to the correct location

Student Worker, Notre Dame College Athletics, S. Euclid, OH (August 2010-present)

■ Prepare equipment for various sports teams

■ Responsible for answering phones, filing and greeting students and guests ■ Recorded monthly inventory of supplies using Excel for the equipment manager


Member, Men’s Soccer, Notre Dame College, 2010-present

Member, Student Nurse Association, Notre Dame College, 2011-present

■ Performed free blood pressure checks for NDC students, faculty and staff during health

awareness day


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 8


Your Address

Your City, State, Zip Code Date

Name Title

Organization Address

City, State, Zip Code Dear Mr. /Ms. Last Name:

First Paragraph: State why you are writing. Remember to include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one. Be clear and concise regarding your request.

Middle Paragraphs: State what qualifications you can bring to the employer/job. Convince the reader that you are a strong candidate and use specific examples rather than vague or canned phrases. Convey energy and enthusiasm and remember that this letter is an example of your writing skills. Demonstrate what you know about the organization.

Final Paragraph: State how you will follow up to obtain an interview. Refer to your resume and include telephone number where you can be reached.

Sincerely, Your Signature Your Typed Name Enclosure


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 9


123 Main Street

South Euclid, OH 44121

September 5, 2011 Cathy Blankenship Nurse Recruiter

Cleveland Clinic Hospital

123 Euclid Street, Cleveland, OH 44241 Dear Ms. Blankenship:

I am writing in response to an announcement recently posted on your website for a registered nurse. I will graduate in May 2013 from Notre Dame College with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Through my clinical rotations, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including community, acute care, labor/delivery and pediatrics. My experiences enabled me to develop strong critical thinking skills that prepared me well for this position. I plan to complete my leadership rotation and practicum this spring and am confident that I will continue to develop as a nurse, particularly as I provide care to a diverse patient population.

In addition to the nursing education, I have gained additional leadership skills through acting as a resident assistant at Notre Dame College. I have planned several activities including a health awareness seminar and distributed health care information. Through these activities and my volunteer and service-learning experiences, I have not only strengthened my leadership, but have also developed additional planning and communication skills, which are essential in nursing.

I am very interested in beginning my nursing career at The Cleveland Clinic and believe that my skills and experience will enable me to succeed. I would like to set up an interview to discuss how I can contribute to your institution. I may be reached by phone at (330) 555-1212 and I look forward to speaking to you about this opportunity.


Sara Parker

Sara Parker Enclosure


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 10 CREATING A PROFESSIONAL NURSING CAREER PORTFOLIO

It is highly recommended that you create a portfolio as a convenient and comprehensive way to organize and display your academic and career information and achievements. This tool will help you stay organized throughout your time in school (beginning as early as your sophomore year), during a job search, as well as when you transition to your nursing career.

So, let’s get started:

 Purchase a three-ring binder or padfolio and divider sheets with tabs for easy identification.  You can also create an online career portfolio on College Central (create an account or log-in

at: www.CollegeCentral.com/NotreDameCollege).

 Assemble personal documentations of your accomplishments. Photocopy or scan the originals (keep the originals safely at home as you take your portfolio to job interviews).

 While there are many portfolio variations, below is a recommended table of contents: o Short statement of nursing philosophy

o Short statement of career goals/plans for the future o Current resume

o Education

 Academic transcript(s)  Diploma(s)

o Certifications (licensure)

o References and recommendation letters o Immunization history/health record

o Course projects, work samples, and graded papers/exams documenting skills and other evidence of effectiveness and achievement

o Clinical rotation summaries (brief description of unit, goals for the rotation, duties, patient interaction, learning outcomes, observations)

o Presentations ( PowerPoint, handouts)

o Writing samples (published articles in journals, newsletters, reviews) o Professional associations/ memberships

o Awards/recognition

o Employee performance evaluations o Continuing education units (CEUs) o Committee work

 When conducting a job search, you may want to include a section to track your search efforts (i.e. networking contacts, potential employers, applications, interviews, etc.).

 Plan well and intentionally collect data relevant to your nursing development efforts and start as early as possible. Remember, this will be continually updated throughout your career!


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 11 NETWORKING

Networking is the process of gathering helpful information from personal and professional contacts. Networking is important in all career fields and at all professional levels as it is an effective way to research career paths of interest to you and later create job leads. It is also a good way to build a business, sell services or products, or promote your favorite cause. Getting started

 Consider and list your existing and potential network. o Friends

o Family and their friends

o Former or current supervisors and/or customers o Faculty and alumni from the College

o Neighbors

o Professionals such as your doctor, dentist, etc. o Fellow church members

o Club members, teams, etc.

 Practice your 60-second introduction that tells a person about your background, experience and what direction you are headed.  Join networking clubs and professional associations to meet

people in your career field  Connect on social media

o LinkedIn.com – you can find people, research

organizations, join groups and find job postings on the world’s largest professional online network

o Twitter.com – you can find jobs and talk to others in your career field Conduct informational interviews

 Call, write or email people that you want to meet and schedule a meeting. Emphasize that you are researching an industry or position in which you are interested (reiterate that you know that they may not be hiring).

 Set a time limit of 20-30 minutes and have 5-10 questions prepared so you do not waste your contact’s time. Questions might be: Why did you choose this career? How did you started at this organization? What education and experiences have prepared you for this position? What professional associations do you belong to?

 Always thank the contact for their time and input. Ask your contact for the names of two other contacts in the industry. Keep talking to people!

Only 20% of all jobs

are advertised in

newspapers or online

job boards, yet 80% of

job seekers only look

there! Network to

reach the “hidden” job


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 12 INTERVIEW PREPARTION

The job interview is arranged . . . now what? The interview is a chance for both parties to determine if you are the most qualified candidate and to evaluate whether or not the position is right for you.

Before the Interview

 Research the organization. Consult their website for information about their mission, goals and organizational structure.

 Know yourself. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Be able to demonstrate your achievements.

 Prepare your questions. Write down 4-5 good questions to get specific details about the position.

 Assemble a professional outfit.

 Practice your responses to interview questions! We highly recommend that you schedule a mock interview with the Career Services Center to practice your responses with a staff member and to gain feedback.  Review the contents of your career portfolio; bring pen and paper to take


During the Interview

 Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your appointment time.  Interviews are usually comprised of three stages:

o Introductions are made and rapport is established.

o Information is exchanged. The employer will ask questions first and then you will have a turn to ask questions.

o The close. Emphasize your interest and ask what the next step is.  Take notes. Listen. Be positive in your responses.

 Maintain good eye contact and use good posture. After the Interview

 Immediately after the interview, do a written recap. Consider what went well and what aspects went poorly.

 Write thank you notes to everyone you met within 24 hours after the interview. Express your enthusiasm for the job and reiterate a specific discussion point.

 Be prepared to complete a drug test. References may be contacted and a criminal background check may be conducted if you are a strong candidate for the job.

 Be prepared to discuss starting salary. Starting yearly salary ranges for recent nursing graduates is $42,240 - $60,000 (source: National Association of Colleges & Employers, Summer 2011 Salary Survey).

TYPES OF INTERVIEWS Telephone Screen: A human resources representative or nurse recruiter may contact you first and ask you general questions about your interest in the position. The screener is looking for enthusiasm and good communication skills. Selection Interview: This is a face-to-face interview typically with the unit supervisor. You will be asked more specific questions about your skills and education. Panel or Team Interview: You may also meet with other staff members from the unit and/or from various departments so that they may question you at the same time. Job Shadow: Be prepared to conduct a job shadow after the formal interview. Ask appropriate questions and display interest as you are still being evaluated by the staff.

Interview Quick Tip Don’t forget to ask the interviewer(s) for their business card before you leave the interview.


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 13 Professional Attire

Though dress codes in the workplace have become much more informal in the past several years, job interview attire has remained strictly professional. Men and women alike are expected to wear conservative business suits to interviews.


 Dark color suit in black, navy blue or charcoal gray

 White shirt and conservative tie (should reach your belt)

 Polished leather, dress shoes

 Wear dark socks that match your shoes  Shave before your interview (go easy

on the aftershave)  Clean nails

 Cover tattoos and remove visible body piercings


 Dark color suit or jacket in neutral colors: black, navy blue, grey or dark brown

 White or light color blouse or top (cleavage should not be showing)  Neutral hosiery or trouser socks

 Pants or skirt in neutral colors  Closed toe shoe and medium heel  Little or no perfume

 Simple accessories

 Clean nails (neutral color or no nail polish)  Cover tattoos and remove visible body piercings

Interview tip: Bring white lab coat with you to conduct job shadow.


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 14 Interview Strategies and Questions

The interview consists of a series of general questions and behavioral questions. Here are a few possible questions by type.

General questions:

■ Tell me about yourself.

■ Why did you select a career in nursing?

■ Why are you interested in this position/organization? ■ What are your strengths and weaknesses?

■ What are your most significant accomplishments? ■ Why should I hire you?

■ What are your long-term and short-term career goals? ■ How has your education prepared you for this position? ■ How would you describe yourself?

■ What challenges have you overcome? ■ What is your ideal work environment?

Behavioral interview questions:

■ Describe a stressful clinical situation and how you handled it. ■ Tell me about a time when you handled rapid change.

■ Describe a challenging patient experience you encountered. ■ Tell me when you could not answer a patient’s question. ■ Describe a time when you delegated a task to a peer.

Possible questions to ask the interviewer:

■ Describe a typical day on the job.

■ What type of orientation will be provided for this position? ■ What qualities does the ideal candidate possess for this position? ■ To whom would I report?

■ How will my performance be evaluated? How often? ■ What is the patient/staff ratio?

■ What do you most enjoy about working for this organization? ■ When do you expect to make a hiring decision?

Behavioral Interviewing A behavioral interview question focuses on specific situations of previous actions or behavior that may be used to predict future actions and behavior.

Your objective should be to clearly communicate how your past experience and knowledge can benefit the organization. You can use specific examples from your academic experience, work experiences and leadership involvement in student or community groups.

Use the STAR method to properly

respond to specific questions.

S: Describe the situation or

problem that you faced that had a positive outcome.

T: Describe the task that you

needed to accomplish.

A: Describe the action that you


R: Describe the result you

achieved. Example:

Tell me about a time when you showed initiative.


I have a lot of initiative. For example, I thought it would be beneficial to my residence hall to start a student council to address our concerns. So I recruited interested students and went to the college administration with a proposal. Now we have an active residence hall council which meets monthly with the dean of students and the residence hall staff. This has increased communication and decreased conflicts and

misunderstandings between students and college staff.

Practice, practice, and practice your responses!


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 15



1234 Broad Lane, S. Euclid, OH 44266

440-555-1717 email: JSmith@ndc.edu

May 7, 2011 Ms. Jane Smith Nurse Recruiter

Cleveland Clinic Hospital

123 Euclid Street, Cleveland, OH 44241 Dear Ms. Smith:

Thank you very much for interviewing me yesterday for the nursing position at The Cleveland Clinic. I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about your organization. The opportunities and learning environment in the Emergency Care Unit sound exciting and challenging.

The position we discussed certainly seems to have many of the features I am seeking as I begin my career. I think my education and clinical experiences fit well with the job requirements, and I am sure that I could make a significant contribution. I was very impressed by the professional development opportunities for staff and administration that we discussed.

I want to reiterate my strong interest in the position and in working with you and your staff. Please feel free to contact me if I can provide you with any additional information. Again, thank you for the interview and your consideration.


Sara Parker

Sara Parker

Letter is dated, with proper inside address and heading; professionally done. It is OK to hand-write on a note card if you have neat hand writing.

Mentioning something specific learned during the interview is a good idea. Restate your qualifications. Make sure to “ask

for the job” again. Show that you are


Don’t forget to sign your letter.


Provided by the Career Services Center, Notre Dame College, 2012 – Page 16 NURSING RESOURCES

Job Search and Networking Websites Allnurses.com (http://allnurses.com/) Campus RN (http://www.campusrn.com/) LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/)

Nursingjobs.com (http://www.nursingjobs.org/) Nursing Jobs Help (www.nursingjobshelp.com)

Occupational Outlook and Career Information for RNs Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm) Campaign for Nursing (http://campaignfornursing.com/)

Nursing World (www.nursingworld.org/especiallyforyou/advancedpracticenurses.aspx) What Can I Do With This Major? (http://www.notredamecollege.edu/majorsandcareers/)

- Lists areas of nursing, types of employers and job strategies Ohio Board of Nursing

17 South High Street, Suite 400 Columbus, Ohio 43215



Professional Associations

American Association of Colleges of Nursing ( http://www.aacn.nche.edu/) American Nurses Association ( (http://nursingworld.org/default.aspx) American Society of Registered Nurses (http://www.asrn.org/) Ohio Nurses Association (http://www.ohnurses.org/)

Ohio Nursing Students’ Association (http://www.choosenursingoh.com/) National League for Nursing (http://www.nln.org/)

National Student Nurses Association (http://www.nsna.org/)

Honor Society of Nursing (http://www.nursingsociety.org/default.aspx)

For further assistance,

contact the Director of

Career Services at

216.373.5290 or



Related documents

Discover the guide will fully informed and culture, experienced guide for the tour guide, without feeling rushed is subject to notre dame tour guide make detailed the louvre with

9.02.6 The Department committee shall prepare a written report of each recommendation on renewal, promotion, or tenure in accordance with Article 8.04 and shall transmit the

A lot of cats say you don't have to play fast, but being able to play fast can cause you to phrase better.. I tried it for about

Methods: The analysis included county-level drug poisoning mortality data (2013–2015) from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)and Health Center Program Awardee

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business (Center for Social Sector Innovation), 2017. University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of

The operational retrieval of height-resolved cloud motion vectors by the Multiangle Imaging Spectro Radiometer on the Terra satellite has been significantly improved by

This paper uses Japanese firm-level data from the 1990s to investigate whether client firms shift their main banking relationship away from distressed banks, and whether the ex post

Interest- ingly, the ERP measures yielded signi ficant differences between conditions: (1) although during learning, multiple exposures supported Chinese orthographic learning in