5 Tips for Landing a Nursing Interview

Are you frustrated from submitting application after application and never hearing back from potential employers?  Are you wondering how your peers have already had multiple interviews and you are struggling to land one?  Read on to discover the five things you can do today to maximize your chances of landing an interview!  

Are you tired of endlessly applying to nursing jobs and never hearing back?  Click through to read our 5 surefire ways to land a nursing interview!


Go Beyond Job Listings

In order to acquire an interview, you can expect to do more than simply filling out applications online.  The key to landing an interview is to stand out among other applicants, and that can be hard to accomplish if you are doing the same thing as everyone else!  One way to get noticed is by reaching out to the nurse recruiter of the hospital that you are interested in working at.  While some people recommend directly reaching out to the manager of your dream unit, we believe that contacting a nurse recruiter directly would result in a better outcome.  Nurse managers wear many hats, and staffing (while a major concern) is one of many.  However, the sole responsibility of nurse recruiters is to recruit nurses for their organization.  Nurse recruiters will serve as your connection to nurse managers, so you don’t have to worry about contacting managers directly!

So how do you go about finding the nurse recruiters for a hospital?  The methods that Kendra and I utilized to identify nurse recruiters were: 1) googling ‘insert hospital name here’ nurse recruiters (simple enough, right?) and 2) browsing LinkedIn.  Hospitals typically have nurse recruiters responsible for certain units, so you usually won’t see a nurse recruiter who recruits for every unit in the hospital (unless it’s a small hospital).  It would be great to identify the nurse recruiter who recruits for the nursing specialty that you are interested in, and contact them! Kendra and I were fortunate enough to know which nurse recruiter covered Women’s Services at our hospital, and we both owe our current positions to her!  If you can’t find the specific nurse recruiter that you need, don’t worry!  Just contact whoever you can find, because they can always link you with the correct person.

Be sure to send a brief email stating the position you are interested in, why you would be a great fit for the institution, and attach your resume and cover letter.  For each job posting that you respond to, pair it with an email to a nurse recruiter to get you on that organization’s radar much faster!

Always Follow Up

Job hunting can be very overwhelming, and you can ease some of the stress by staying organized.  Keep track of your pending applications by marking in your calendar the day that you submit them.  You’ll need to keep up with the time that has elapsed since you’ve submitted your application for our next tip, which is to follow-up with each and every application!  If you haven’t heard back from a potential employer within two weeks, and you aren’t seeing any status changes when you review your application online, be sure to give the HR office a call and question them about the status of your application.  Job postings get hundreds (maybe even thousands in some instances) of responses, and it is possible to be lost in the shuffle.  Calling and asking for updates puts you back on the radar!

Resonate with the Organization

An even better way to ensure that you are an applicant who stands out is by tailoring both your resume and cover letter to each institution that you are applying to.  It is vital that your application materials are not being recycled over and over again.  If your resume and cover letter sound overly generic, potential employers are not going to waste time reading any more of your application because it demonstrates to them that you have not put thought into your decision to apply to their organization. You don’t have to draft a completely new resume and cover letter each time, but they must be tweaked with each application that you submit.  When a potential employer reads your application, they should get the sense that you reflect the values of their organization.

So how exactly do you go about tailoring your application to each institution?  Fortunately, this is very easy to do!  Go onto the institution’s website and browse pages such as “Our Mission and Values” or “Vision Statement.”  You’ll want to incorporate these values into your cover letter and/or the profile summary of your resume.  For example, if the hospital that you’re interested in lists one of its core values as innovation, you would want to provide an brief example of how you are innovative in either your cover letter or resume.  

Another way to show that you are a qualified applicant is to pay close attention to the requirements/responsibilities of each job listing to which you are applying.  You’ll want to put as many of these responsibilities as possible under the skills portion of your resume (but please be honest!).  This is an easy way to demonstrate to potential employers that you have the qualifications to perform the job well.

Perfect Your Online Presence

It’s important to remember that your potential employer will be analyzing your fit not only based on your credentials and experience, but also based on your character.  An easy way for employers to gauge your character is by looking up your social media profiles.  Make sure that you are maintaining a professional image beyond your LinkedIn profile.  Your Facebook and Twitter should not have any inappropriate language or images.  Avoid posting anything offensive or controversial even if you are simply sharing/retweeting what someone else has posted.  And be sure to keep these tips in mind even after you’ve found your dream job.  Nurses have been fired due to their social media, and it truly happens more often than you think.

Put Your Best Foot Forward In Clinical

Landing a nursing interview can start well before you walk across the stage.  Your senior practicum is an amazing opportunity to show a potential employer that you have what it takes to work on their unit.  Each day you should put your best foot forward.  Treat the entire practicum as though it is one big job interview.  Offer your assistance when you are able, conduct yourself in a professional manner, and thank the nurse manager for allowing you to have your practicum on the unit, and you’ll be surprised at how far that takes you!  And this goes for every clinical experience that you have, not just your final practicum.  In fact, if you implement the tips from How to Succeed in Clinical, you’ll have every unit that you rotate through hoping to hire you after graduation!

We know that the job hunt can be downright grueling at times, and the most important thing that you can do is keep going!  Don’t give up!  Your persistence will pay off, even if in the moment it doesn’t seem that way.  We hope that these tips have offered some enlightenment that will pay off for the remainder of your job search!  What other ways have you been marketing yourself as a valuable applicant?  Be sure to comment below!