Live in a tough nurse practitioner job market? If so, an on-the-ground job search may be in order. What is on-the-ground job search, you say? In tough job markets, nurse practitioners must employ all tactics at their disposal to land a coveted NP position. This includes stepping away from filling out online applications on a laptop and visiting prospective employers in person.
Stepping out from behind the computer screen shouldn’t be taken lightly. No, you cannot simply wake up, rub your bleary eyes and walk out the front door in your favorite pair of ‘fat day’ jeans to schlup your resume on unsuspecting administrative assistants. This method will not only prove ineffective but may also damage any credibility you have established with a prospective hiring institution. On the other hand, a well executed resume drop-off can land you your next nurse practitioner position, even in a difficult job market.
How do you drop off your resume with a prospective employer? Here are a few tactics for making the effort as effective as possible.
1. Know Your Stuff
How embarrassing will it be if you are successful in getting a few minutes of face time with the person responsible for hiring nurse practitioners at your employer of interest but don’t know anything about the company? Do a little background research before your resume drop-off venture. If at all possible, identify the name of the person in charge of hiring nurse practitioners so you can ask for them directly, or at very least specifically ask that your resume be dropped off on that individual’s desk. IDing the decision-maker may be as simple as looking at the job posting itself, or reviewing the clinic or hospital’s website.
2. Prioritize Appearance
Dress for success when dropping off your nurse practitioner resume. Sure, the clinic of your dreams may be located next door to your gym, but this doesn’t mean you should maximize efficiency by stopping in while wearing yoga pants. Dress as you would for an interview when you present your resume to prospective employers. Similarly to your physical appearance, the appearance of your resume must be up to par. Package your resume in a manila envelope. Include a completed job application if one is required by the employer along with a brief cover letter.
3. Smile and Ask for Help
Treat everyone you meet in the clinic or hospital you enter with respect. Smile. You never know who has influence over a hiring decision-maker. Ask the receptionist if he/she can ‘help you’. Then, explain what you hope to accomplish. Launching directly into your drop-off pitch may come across forceful and is more likely to be met with pushback. Everyone loves to ‘help’. Don’t forget to say ‘thank you’.
4. Give an Action Plan
Stepping inside the doors of a clinic, sliding your resume across the reception desk and saying you ‘just wanted to drop off your resume’ is unlikely to be effective. Give the receiving party direction. Ideally, you will not deliver your resume to the receptionist but to the individual responsible for hiring nurse practitioners. Ask for the name of this person. Ask if he/she is available to talk with you for 5 minutes so you can hand over your resume directly. You may not get through to the big cheese, but an attempt is in order.
The clinics and/or hospitals in your area may not be hiring nurse practitioners at the moment. But, this doesn’t mean they won’t be in the near future. When you drop off your resume, the receptionist or HR person with whom you are speaking may let you know they don’t have any open positions. Ask for an informal interview regardless. This way, when a position does open up you will be the first in line for the formal interview process.
6. Anticipate Pushback
If you get a soft ‘no’, or redirection in response to your resume drop-off attempt, your efforts may still be effective. Thank the person you are speaking with for instructing you as to how to apply for the opportunity. Ask if they would still be willing to pass along a hard copy of your resume to the person in charge of hiring for the position so he/she knows of your in-person efforts.
Follow-up your in-person visit with a professionally written email saying something along the lines of “Great to meet you, have you had a chance to review my resume?” one week after your visit. This reminds employers to open that envelope you dropped off in case it has been lost in the shuffle.
8. Expect Rejection
Dropping off your resume in-person won’t always be well received. If you receive a firm ‘no’, put your shoulders back, thank the person who you are speaking with for their time and direction as to how to apply for the opportunity. Smile and move on. Employers in tough nurse practitioner job markets may be inundated with resumes. Or, your timing may simply be bad. Being pushy won’t benefit your efforts.
Have you had job search success by dropping off your resume in-person?
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