DiversityNursing Blog

Get the Job Before Your Interview Starts!

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jan 19, 2015 @ 01:19 PM

By Bridgid Joseph

job search resized 600

Changing jobs can be a stressful process for some because of the dreaded interview process. But there are a few pretty simple tips that can help put you, and your interviewer, at ease to make for a much better experience, and lead you closer to that new job you’ve been wanting! Stop letting the interview process paralyze your career.

For most people, the worst part of thinking about changing positions, or getting a new job, is the interview process. Maybe you are someone who gets nervous and sweats, shakes, or just can’t focus on the questions being asked, which makes the interviewing process torturous for you, something you dread, and guess what?

If you feel awkward and uncomfortable, so does the person interviewing you. As someone who has moved around quite a bit, interviewed for numerous jobs, and scored an offer each time (not to toot my own horn), I have learned some tricks to interview well, that are applicable to most people. And as someone who now interviews applicants, I have a whole new perspective of what and interviewer “sees” during an interview; there are some small Do’s and Don’ts that can make you appear more poised and ready than you may feel!

DO Dress the Part:

Even though you may be coming in for an interview for your first job as a nurse, Medical Assistant (MA), Patient Care Technician (PCT), etc. you want to dress as if you are coming in for a job as a Director or the Chief Nursing Officer. I am not telling you to spend a ton of money on some fancy suit, but you want to look nicely put together with clothes that fit you well and look nice.

I was walking from my car to an interview and I was wearing these great fitted pants that I found on sale at one of my favorite stores and couldn't believe they were 60% off, they looked great, fit great, and with a top that I already owned, and a pair of smart black shoes, I felt (and looked) like a million bucks. Until I tripped a little, looked down, and realized the hem gave away on one of my pant legs (probably why such an amazing pair of pants were on such a super sale in my size), so I acted quickly, hobbled quickly to my car, did a little “runway” hem with some tape that I had in my car (i.e. I taped up the hem inside of my pants), and went back on my way. 

Even though it was a bit of smoke and mirrors show, no one knew that my pants were taped together, and I even got complimented on how great my outfit looked. You don’t need to spend a lot, to look like a lot, but looking neat in nicely fitting clothes, shows that you are putting in the effort to put your best foot forward and show yourself in the best light. 

DON’T Dress for a Night Out or a Day of Work:

If you are applying for a clinical job, yes it is awesome that we get to wear scrubs to work everyday, and it does make those of us that work clinically, at a deficit for “business” attire in our wardrobes, but it doesn't make it acceptable for us to wear scrubs to an interview. You also want to make sure that you aren't wearing something that you would choose to wear out to a bar/nightclub with your friends. 

I have seen quite a few outfits in my time that make me think twice about the applicants common sense. Don’t make the interviewer question your common sense; that means you have set yourself up to have to prove your intelligence and critical thinking skills, despite what your resume might say!

(I realize I put this in twice, but I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people really inappropriately dressed for interviews!!)

DO Have Good Posture: 

Did you know that sitting straight up and keeping your shoulders back make you appear smarter, attentive, and more of a leader?

Well, it does. I may be interviewing you for a position in an entry level, but I am more apt to hire someone that shows me they can be a leader within their position and will work hard and role model their leadership skills. And if they stay in their position, they will hopefully move up the ranks quickly.

DON’T Oversell Yourself: 

A big mistake interviewees make is overselling their skills. If you don’t have a certain skill set for a job you are interviewing for, that’s OK. Not everyone is an expert in their field when they first start, right? 

We all start somewhere. So when you are asked, for example, “How comfortable are you taking care of a patient on with an intraaortic balloon pump?” and you think “A WHAT?!?!?”

Don’t sweat it, and give an honest response such as, “I haven’t had the experience of taking care of such a patient, but I have extensive other skills, such as [insert skills here] that I learned quickly, and I would love the opportunity to learn more about those patients and their specific needs. Is this a common patient type on your unit?” 

You do two things with that answer...

You let me look back at your resume to review your skills, and you also show that you are interested in this experience and willing to learn. I may be looking for a more experienced nurse, but I will definitely consider you and your willingness to learn as a huge asset; I would rather hire someone motivated to learn and improve than someone who is stagnant in their learning process and no longer feels excited about their role. 

DO Be Honest on Your Resume: 

Sometimes it is glaringly obvious when people tell mistruths on their resumes, and sometimes it isn't, but it usually becomes obvious during an interview. I have had perspectives that added some skills into their resume that they don’t have, and through standard interview questions, it got quite awkward as I realized they did not have the skills they boasted about. (see don’t oversell yourself!)

DO Be Positive: 

As with all experiences in life, if you walk in feeling positive, confident, with a big smile on your face, and an open mind, you can win over almost anyone! There is no need to be nervous as the worst thing that can happen is that the job isn't a match; so think positively and imagine that you already have the job, and your interview will be a great experience. 

If you want a change in your career/life, send out those resumes and get your interview smile on and go get that new job! 

Source: http://allnurses.com

Topics: jobs, work, job, resume, interview, job interview, hire, hired, healthcare, career, careers

10 Warning Signs You Are Working with the Wrong Nurse Leader

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 01:01 PM

By Cynthia Howard RN, CNC, Phd

10 Warning Signs You Are Working with the Wrong Nurse Leader resized 600

Finding the right nursing job includes finding a manager that will help you grow, develop, and support your career goals.

There is a saying that people leave their managers and not their jobs and to have success in your career may mean you want to circulate your resume in order to find the best fit for you. This means you have to know what you want and need in the area of support.

Here are 10 warning signs you may be working with the wrong manager:

  1. You never hear from your manager prior to your performance reviews. Over 75% of performance problems can be improved with proper feedback and less than 33% of the time, feedback is provided.
     
  2. You have no idea what they want.  This can be worse than not having feedback at all. When a manager says, “I do not like how you did that,” you really have no way of knowing what they really mean. Make sure to ask for clarification. Review your job description and ask for your manager to specify what parts of your job responsibilities are most important to them. It could be they are focused on patient safety and you have an interest in health literacy. Knowing what they want gives you the advantage of focusing your efforts for the greatest gain.
     
  3. It is their way or the highway.  This is a problem for many nurses. Job satisfaction comes with autonomy and the opportunity to solve your own problems as they show up on the job. When a manager consistently tells you what and how to do something, employees quickly turn off their own creativity; more than likely, with an increase in mistakes.

    A nurse who is practicing for 7 years shared a story about his experience on a new unit. His Clinical Specialist was a micro-manager. She told him to give this medication immediately because of incoming admissions. She had poured the med. This went against his better judgment but because he knew she would have a fit, he gave it, to the wrong patient. She was extremely apologetic however the “error” was on him. Do not compromise your judgment for the sake of status quo.
     
  4. Your manager wants you to figure it out.  The opposite of micro-managing is to not manage at all and letting everyone figure it out for themselves. This happens quite a bit leaving the power position to go to the most domineering individuals on the unit. Everyone needs to know the manager is in charge and when needed will make those tough decisions.
     
  5. You could not recognize them if your life depended on it.  If your manager hides behind email or a closed door, having a relationship with your manager will be impossible. Communication and trust is the foundation of a great working relationship.  

    Suggestion for managers: Time is an important commodity and getting around to all your staff can be time consuming. Why not use technology and set up a short video. Most iPhones take excellent video. Take 2-3 minutes every week and share what is going on. You may also want to share something personal about yourself; if you just started juicing, kickboxing, celebrated an anniversary or a milestone with your children. Interview them, show images along your morning run, and share something of yourself in order to make the connection with your staff.

    Suggestion for staff: Make a short video on your unit of a new initiative, gratitude board in the break room, more efficient way to give report, a snippet of rounds, and just a friendly hello from everyone on the unit. You may even want to say thanks and express appreciation; managers are people too!
     
  6. The way out the door is faster than up. If you have a manager that makes any attempt for you to advance your skills difficult, it will be hard to boost your resume. Managers can feel threatened by qualified staff members who want to move up the ladder and may indirectly thwart your efforts to move forward. This is really short sighted on the manager’s part because any manager that turns our qualified leaders actually looks really good to their higher ups given the ongoing need for good talent in any organization.
     
  7. Lack of training.  Being able to do a job well requires the right training. Often it takes the manager to assess the need for training based on performance and outcomes. This relates to the lack of feedback. While every employee really should do their own assessment of what they need to do well and then make the request of their manager, the manager should also be on the lookout for staff that need training and set up opportunities to make this happen.
     
  8. When the manager has obvious “favorites.”  Everyone has preferences in personality style, but when the manager consistently selects one particular individual for all the initiatives, opportunities for advancement, or other assignments that provide variety, the manager is sending a message to others they do not care about your skills or your future.
     
  9. When your manager routinely says, “I’ll think about it.”  Obviously considering all sides of the problem/ situation is important however some managers hide behind this and never make a decision about what is the ideal way to go.  Quickly, this can be frustrating if you are looking for a course of action to solve a problem.
     
  10. When your manager over reacts or criticizes you in front of others.  This is a toxic behavior and is an indication you want to find a new place to work. Quickly this will diminish your self-esteem, leading to resentment and stagnation.

    Knowing what you want in the way of workplace is key and will help you avoid a poor manager. What type of opportunities are you looking for in the workplace? What are your career goals? Evaluate the workplace, ask questions, find out the management style, review a performance appraisal, ask about turnover, and see if you can build a relationship with your new manager.  

Enjoy the opportunity to find a place that truly supports and honors you! 

Source: www.nursetogether.com

Topics: jobs, work, patient safety, job, resume, shift, manager, LPN, performance, clinical specialist, nursing, RN, nurse, nurses, medical, hospital, medicine, practice, career

What can a new graduate do to setup and update his or her resume to make it more attractive to employers?

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Mar 03, 2014 @ 01:26 PM

Question:

Dear Donna,

I'm a recent new graduate and I'm trying to figure out how to setup and update my resume to be more attractive to employers. Are there certain topics or headlines that should be included and what are the rules for putting my clinical experience on
my resume?

Wants a More Attractive Resume 

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants a More Attractive Resume,

Although you may hear varying opinions about whether or not your clinical rotations should be on your new nurse resume, it is a good idea for several reasons. It looks good if you're applying to one of the facilities in that healthcare system where you did some clinical time. This is especially true if you're favorably remembered by a staff member and if you did a clinical rotation at a
well-known facility.

It's not necessary to give much detail about each position or to provide dates and time frames other than the year. You can mention significant experiences you had, such as working with ventilators. On the other hand, if you have prior healthcare work experience as an LPN or nurse's aide, it may not be necessary to list clinical rotations. Be sure to include any externships or special internships you did as well. Once you've had your first job as an RN, clinical rotations and externships would no longer be listed.

As far as categories, the other common ones are: work experience; education; licensure/credentials; volunteer work (if applicable); and special skills where you can list other languages you speak, special computer skills or any other noteworthy skills. You'll find very detailed information, including new nurse resume samples, in “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses” (http://ce.nurse.com/
course/7250/). 

Also read “FAQs about student nurse resumes” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Student-Resumes) for answers to other commonly asked questions.

A good resume certainly is an important marketing tool but there is much more involved in launching a successful job search, especially as a new nurse. Read “New nurse, new job strategies” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies) to help give yourself an edge when looking for that first
full-time position.

Best wishes,
Donna 
Source: Nurse.com

Topics: help, resume, graduate, Dear Donna, employers, nurses

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