On vacation earlier last week, my friend and I strolled a London street market. Browsing the wine selection at a food stall she commented to me that she always chooses wine by the label. I agreed with her approach. Admit it or not, we all judge products based on appearance. You have most certainly picked a book off the shelf based on its cover art or reached for more expensive items at the grocery store as the packaging design caught your eye. Marketing is all around us, the perception it creates prompts our purchases.
Marketing can get a bad rap, but you can’t blame manufacturers and retailers for their efforts. Think about the time and effort that goes into developing a product. Authors spend months, even years writing a novel. So, of course they take pains to make book covers appealing to buyers in Barnes and Noble. Chefs work tirelessly to formulate mouth-watering recipes. When it comes time to open a restaurant, the best ones spend an equivalent amount of time and effort designing and decorating a restaurant space packaging the presentation and experience of enjoying their meals.
In a similar way, as a nurse practitioner you need to package and market yourself. You’ve got a product, your NP skill set, and you worked hard to get it. When you launch a job search, you’re putting your skill set on the open market. There’s competition out there. Convincing employers that you’re the best candidate for a job opportunity begins with your marketing materials and packaging – your resume. Your resume is like the cover of a book. And, you’d better believe that when sifting through resumes, hiring decision makers choose candidates by their cover.
Creating a resume can be a bear. Margins never seem to line up just right. Deleting a line here causes words to shift there, but a simple formatting mistake could very well take you out of the running for a nurse practitioner position. An impressive, professional looking resume may even be enough to get you a second look as a new graduate, less qualified than other applicants. You would be amazed at the number of resumes I read that include spelling or grammar errors. This is simply unacceptable if you plan to be competitive in the job market. You’re not going to pick the wine off the shelf with a shoddy label, are you? No matter the quality of the bottle’s contents you question what’s inside. In the same way, nurse practitioners who cut corners when crafting a resume sell themselves short.
As a nurse practitioner looking for a job, you’re headlining your own marketing campaign. The first step to successfully promoting yourself is getting your collateral and packaging in order. Does a first glance at your resume give off a competent, professional impression? If not, don’t take the route many nurse practitioners choose calling it ‘good enough’. Give yourself an edge in your job search by producing quality marketing materials.
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