Looking for a nurse practitioner job? If you’re on the hunt for a new position and proverbial doors are being slammed in your face, there’s likely a reason. While there’s not much you can personally do about the job market or number of opportunities in your area, you can take a look at your own job search behavior to maximize the chances of getting a call back. Why aren’t you being selected for NP job interviews?
1. It’s your resume, silly
Alright, people. I really cannot say this enough. Your resume hands-down, absolutely must shine if you’re looking for a nurse practitioner job, particularly as a new grad or in a competitive job market. I don’t care if you’re about to toss your laptop out the window because you can’t figure out how to align margins properly – get some help. The number of sloppy and unprofessional resumes I see from nurse practitioners is astonishing. Your resume is ‘you’ at a glance. It shares more than just your credentials and experience. A poorly formatted resume implies that your efforts as an employee will be mediocre as well. If you want the job, you’re going to need to put in the effort.
2. You made the job about what you need
Nurse practitioners hear a lot of stories from colleagues about undesirable employment situations. New graduates may find themselves in workplace settings that are unsupportive given their level of experience. NPs may work for employers with unreasonable demands when it comes to patient volume. To avoid similar scenarios, some nurse practitioners approach job interviews as an opportunity to highlight what they’re looking for in an employment arrangement. While the employment relationship should be one that’s mutually beneficial, describing your total lack of experience in a job interview or that you’re ideally looking for somewhere that you can see low patient volumes (i.e. not work very hard) isn’t likely to get you a call back for a second interview. Instead, focus the interview on what you do have to offer.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking, even for the most confident NP. Not to mention, there’s a lot more to consider in an interview than your words alone. Body language plays a major role in how you present yourself (check out these body language hacks for NPs). To come across as confident and competent, you’ll need to sit up straight, make eye contact and give a firm handshake. Practice makes perfect when it comes to interviewing. Do a mock interview with a friend before the big day, or practice in front of the mirror. This will help you come across with poise and get a callback for the second round of interviews. Start by watching this TED talk for some pointers.
4. You forgot to follow-up
Submitting your resume to online job boards can get you some traction in the NP job search, but a more personal connection is better. Once you’ve submitted your resume for an available nurse practitioner job online, contact the individual responsible for hiring at the facility where you’ve applied. This is likely the human resources or recruiting department depending on the institution. A quick internet search will help you find that individual’s name and/or email address- or at least get you a connection in the correct department. Share your resume and indicate your interest in the position with a personal email to stand out above the crowd.
5. You didn’t play the game
Along similar lines, larger institutions may automate pieces of their job interview and application process. Neglecting to answer questions in online forms or submitting incomplete online applications may mean that human eyes never even set sight on your resume. So, while frustrating and time consuming, completing the steps of online job applications thoroughly is in your best interest.
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