This week we are talking all about job applications!
If you haven’t heard, we are hosting a live webinar tomorrow on Securing Your First Job! Join us on Thursday, September 10th at 12:00pm (central time zone). Taught by guest speaker, Salisia Valentine, CRNP, Vice President of Provider Relations at American Family Care.
Applying for jobs online can be downright painful. It seems like each employer asks the same questions over and over again, not to mention most of this information can be found on your resume. The temptation for nurse practitioners is to write ‘see resume’ in text fields to decrease pain of the online application process is high. But, doing so will not make for a standout app and may even mean your application won’t meet human eyes at all.
Avoiding common mistakes on your online nurse practitioner application makes you a more competitive applicant. Completing your application with intention is essential to getting noticed. The following tips will take your NP or PA job application to the next level.
1. Compile necessary materials in advance
Some computerized systems time out leaving Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) only so long to complete a job application. So, have your licensure, certification, reference contact information, and other necessary materials handy before beginning the application process. This prevents a potential electronic disaster.
2. Complete each and every field
Online applications seem redundant. Work experience and information regarding your level of education can easily be located on your resume. Regardless, complete each and every text field on your application. Doing otherwise may land your app straight into the virtual recycle bin. Plan on spending at least one hour on every application you complete. Applying to jobs online on a whim, or writing ‘see resume’ is not a recipe for success.
3. Think carefully about salary requirements
Carefully consider your salary requirement before committing to a number on a job application. Doing otherwise may squash your compensation negotiation efforts in advance. Choose a salary that is not so high as to have HR staff laughing as they review your application, but not so low that you won’t be comfortable accepting the job for the salary you indicate. These 3 answers to the question ‘how much do you want to make’ will help.
4. Follow system directions to a T
Following directions provided by online job application systems is essential. Not only must you complete each field with the information requested, directions as to how to use the system also apply. For example, avoid using your browser’s back button instead navigating from page to page within the functionality of the application system itself. Save your work frequently as a draft. This way, you avoid losing your hard work as the result of a computer snafu.
5. Upload your resume in a user-friendly format
Resumes and cover letters may look unpolished if opened in a program other than that with which they were created. To avoid submitting documents that look unprofessional, upload materials in the format requested by the program. If no specific format is indicated, upload documents in pdf format to ensure the document appears as intended.
6. Keep the job description in mind
As you respond to questions on your job application and enter requested information, keep the posted job description in mind. When describing your prior experience, use keywords that also match the job description for that which you are applying. List your skills with those most relevant to the prospective position first.
7. Be concise
Online applications can get lengthy. Just like you don’t enjoy filling them out, recruiters don’t enjoy reading them – unless they are to the point. Be concise in describing your current and former employment. A cover letter that is succinct is best. Include sufficient relevant information in your application package, but avoid verbosity. More doesn’t always equal better here.
8. Apply with discretion
Submitting applications for multiple, unrelated nurse practitioner positions within the same health system indicates a lack of focus. You may be open-minded as to where you work, but keep this information under wraps. Employers are looking to hire NPs passionate about their specialty and the position to which they applied. Submitting applications for multiple primary care jobs in the same geographic area, for example, is OK. Applying to neurology, cardiology, hospitalist, urology, and primary care jobs across the country, all with one company, however, is a major red flag.
9. Follow up by phone, email, or in-person
Sending your completed application out into the online abyss isn’t enough, even if a particular facility prefers to keep their employment application process electronic. Email, call, or stop by the recruiting or HR department in person to confirm receipt of your app. This gives you a chance to make a more personal impression, and improves the chances of your application being reviewed by an actual person.
What is your experience with online nurse practitioner or physician assistant job applications?
Don’t forget to join us tomorrow for our live webinar! You can register to attend HERE.