Searching for a nurse practitioner job can be a daunting process. You pull up a job search engine on your computer screen and find either an overwhelming number of opportunities to sift through, or more frustratingly, none at all. When you do reach out about posted positions, you rarely receive a reply. If you do, you are often met with a “not enough relevant experience” assessment. There’s got to be a better way, right?
Fortunately, for job seeking NPs, there are a few ways to get ahead in the nurse practitioner job market. And, some of the most effective tactics can be implemented even before you start sending out your resume. Here are a few ways to get yourself noticed in your job search.
1. Coordinate Preceptorships Carefully
Some nurse practitioner students may not have many options when it comes to preceptor selection. But, those who do may benefit from intentional preceptor selection. As you are considering future preceptorships, opt for practices that may be more likely to hire you in the future. Larger clinics and hospital networks are bound to have more job openings. Facilities in or near the location where you plan to live will be more practical when it comes to providing employment connections in the future. Don’t forget – your work is not done once you identify a preceptor with potential job connections. You must work hard to impress the practice throughout your clinical experience. In this case, your preceptorship is essentially a job interview.
It’s far easier to get your foot in the door of a practice with a personal connection. Whether you’re a nurse practitioner new grad, or a seasoned NP applying to a competitive practice, knowing someone on the inside will be an asset. So, do some sleuthing before you submit a job application. Do you have any connections in common on LinkedIn with other providers in the facility? If so, send an introductory message letting the provider know you will be applying to the practice. Depending on how close your connection, you may even ask to grab a cup of coffee so you can learn a little bit more about working for the company. Chances are, word of your meet up will reach the person in charge of hiring. If you know any current or former employees of the practice personally, reach out to see if he/she can connect you with the person in charge of hiring for the position so you can make a personal introduction.
3. Plan a Non-Job Search
If your job search is still a ways out, you have time to network before you hit ‘submit’ on a job application. Connect with as many nurse practitioners and other providers as possible in the location and setting in which you plan to work. What do they like about their employers? What do they dislike? Would they be willing to let you know if they hear of anyone hiring NPs in the area? Personally speaking with others in your professional space is by far the best guarantee of landing a job quickly when you are ready.
Planning ahead and getting a strategy in place for your nurse practitioner job search before you submit a resume increases your chances of finding an NP position.
What tactics have you used in your nurse practitioner job search?
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