The Harsh Truth About Applying for NP Jobs Online

Online applications can seem like quite an ordeal in your nurse practitioner job search. Each hospital seems to have its own system for receiving applications. You may be forced to enter your contact details, education information and work experience repeatedly although you have already painstakingly organized and listed such information on your nurse practitioner CV. The end result of such frustrations? Too often, NPs rush through online job applications making detrimental errors.

If you are applying for nurse practitioner jobs online, whether to a position posted by a major hospital system or an independent clinc, quality and attention to detail are a must on each and every application you submit. Before you click ‘Apply’, consider the following:

1. Your job offer may be based on your application

If an online app asks about your desired salary, think over your answer carefully. Negotiating for a salary different from that indicated on your application is unprofessional and could result in tense relations between you and the prospective employerDon’t lose a job or get stuck with an unfavorable employment offer over a hasty response regarding compensation. 

2. A robot is reading your application

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Part of the reason larger employers require that nurse practitioners enter so much information into an online application is that many times the initial review of applications is automated (here’s how to beat the resume screening robot). The application system ‘kicks out’ unqualified applicants ensuring that recruiters in HR maximize their time discussing opportunities only with qualified applicants. If your responses are incomplete, sloppy, or indicate ‘see CV’, your application may never meet the human eye. Treat each job application as if it was your first, completing all fields with care. It’s your only chance at getting noticed. 

3. Your responses are in writing – forever

It may seem obvious that once you submit an online job application, your information will be stored permanently in that system’s database. But, too many nurse practitioners neglect to think through the implications of such permanence. Accurately respond to all questions as your replies may be referenced at a later time. Even if you aren’t offered a position in the immediate timeframe, your application lives on. Reapplying later could trigger a recruiter to check out prior submissions. Sloppiness or inconsistencies now could hurt your chances of a relationship with the employer long-term. 

4. Formatting matters on your resume

We’ve all opened attachments over email only to realize they are impossible to read as formatted. Nurse practitioners lacking tech savvy may fall into a similar trap with online job applications. If the system asks you to submit your resume in a specific format, it’s imperative you do so. If the system does not make a recommendation as to the formatting of your resume, save the document as a pdf. This way, your resume will appear picture perfect when it reaches HR’s computer screen. Neglecting to format your resume as recommended, or in an unaltered format, could land your application straight into the virtual recycle bin. 

5. Stand out with completeness

HR staff reviewing resumes and recruiters hiring for major hospital systems understand how annoying online job applications can be. In fact, they likely completed similar steps to secure their current position. Responding to each and every question thoroughly on a nurse practitioner employment application shows that you are serious about the opportunity. Quality work on your application says more than just the words on the page – completeness hints to your work ethic and character. 

6. Read, re-read, and read again

By the time you finally reach the end of a job application, your eyes may be bloodshot and your heart racing from caffeine consumption. Resist the urge to click ‘Submit’ out of sheer and utter relief. Rather, review your application. Then, let your application sit for a few hours before reviewing once more. If you find multiple errors, re-read your application once more. You’ve worked too hard for a few small mistakes to outshine your overall app. 

What frustrations do you have about completing nurse practitioner job applications online?


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1 thought on “The Harsh Truth About Applying for NP Jobs Online”

  1. This is great advice. One thing, though: Have you ever gotten to the end of a 2-hour application, and had the “submit” button not work because you stayed too long on one page–any page? I think it’s iffy that you can walk away for an hour on every app, as some don’t let you save and review without submitting first. Or they let you review before submitting, but if you want to edit one item on your “prior experience” or “certifications” or some other really tedious section, you have to start all over at that point. UGH.

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