Nursing is – and will be for the foreseeable future – one of the fasting growing professions in the country. But for the job seeker, it’s important to remember that the scope and nature of nursing jobs is changing just as rapidly, and competing for the best jobs means you need to strategically position yourself.
“We have a competitive market, because health care is changing,” Donna Cardillo, author of The Ultimate Career Guide for Nurses. “Nurses need to look for jobs in a completely different way than they were accustomed to in the past.”
Nearly as important as the degree you list on the resume, is the activities you engage in. Make sure that your resume shows of your volunteer work and professional organizations. Older nurses need to show they are enthusiastic, according to Lynn Berger, a career counselor in New York. New nurses need to show their commitment and eagerness to learn. You need to highlight these on paper and then embody them in the interview. “Many managers will take a chance on the right personality,” Cardillo added.
Furthermore, the best jobs may not be easy to find. You have to be ready to network and present yourself beyond just the formal interview. Leverage your volunteer and professional activities as places where you can find job opportunities.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a low unemployment rate means it’s not a competitive field. According to Cardillo, “Because the job market is more competitive and will stay that way, it’s important for all nurses, at every level of practice, to keep their education current, get further education, and stay current with clinical, communication and social skills.”