Career Resources

10 Tips for Healthcare Workers Looking for a Job

Despite the shortage of healthcare workers, especially nurses, it can still be difficult to find and secure a job within a reasonable timeframe. Some facilities can have up to 6 weeks of delay in contact after a candidate applies for a permanent staff position. This is unacceptable given the staffing shortages that are plaguing hospitals nationwide and isn’t fair to those already in the workforce. 

Vivian wants to lighten that load for healthcare workers. We know that when nurses and other practitioners are looking for a job they are likely to have specific qualities in mind. We match our jobs to our talented candidates using the details of the profile provided. 

Whether someone is looking to start travel nursing, change specialties or facilities but stay local, or trying to find that perfect side hustle per diem job, Vivian matches great talent to great jobs.

Here are some tips that candidates can use to increase their chances of getting the job that checks all their boxes.

1. Apply to a few different jobs

Unless you have a very specific position in mind, it may be wise to apply for a few different jobs in your area. This allows you to compare the characteristics, roles, pay, and benefits of each job so that you can make the best decision for you. The more applications you put out there, the more likely you are to land a job. 

2. Utilize your Vivian profile

Vivian uses the Universal Profile as a tool to match candidates on the site with their ideal healthcare jobs. Make your profile stand out with a short but enticing “About Me” section. Using words like ‘motivated’, ‘certified’, and ‘experienced’ may draw employers to your profile. Add pertinent details to your work history that are relevant to the jobs you are searching for now. Focus on shaping your profile to be appealing to the types of employers you want to attract.

3. Find a way to negotiate pay

Many candidates are either uncomfortable with discussing pay or have a very specific rigid number in mind that they are not willing to budge from. When asked what you expect for pay, there are two different, but excellent ways to answer:

“I want to be compensated appropriately for my experience that I am bringing to the table as well as the skills I am capable of.  What do you think is a fair number?”

OR

“I don’t have a certain number in mind, but I would like to hear more about the responsibilities and role I’d be performing. Is there a range that the facility had in mind?”

Both of these answers will get better results than naming a very high or unattainable number. 

4. Double, triple, quadruple check your resume and application for spelling errors. 

When an employer sees a candidate describe themselves as ‘organized’ or  has ‘great attention to detail’, and there are spelling errors on a resume—that doesn’t really support the qualities listed. Have someone check your resume for you. The Vivian Universal profile also provides the option to download your profile in PDF form to create a resume. As long as the work history section is filled out completely, along with other key information, users can build a resume in less than 10 seconds

5. Familiarize yourself with the role you are applying for

Do research on the facility, and read their mission statement. This can help you prep for the interview and give you talking points when discussing yourself. Also, make sure to thoroughly read the job description of the position you are applying for in order to prepare your answers and match them to the responsibilities of the role when applicable. Be ready to answer questions about why you feel you are a good fit for the position. 

6. Be prepared for the interview questions

Most healthcare facilities ask similar questions. The interviewer usually starts with a ‘tell me about you and your career’ type question, usually with an added ‘why did you get into healthcare?’ addendum. No need to be long winded here. Tell them about your background, especially anything that is relevant to the current job you are applying to, why you want to work for their healthcare organization, and any future goals or aspirations you may have that are relevant to the role.

The second and third questions are usually behavioral questions, like ‘tell me about a time you made a mistake’ or ‘how would you deal with a difficult patient or family situation?’. Both of these are easy to prepare for and you should take the time to think of 2-3 examples for each question. That way, you won’t panic on the spot and have a variety of answers to choose from. 

Know which skills you possess that can apply to the position and be ready to talk about them. Highlight those skills with your answers to the above mentioned. 

7. Prepare a few questions about the facility or unit that is posting the job

Hiring managers like to hear that candidates are invested in their interest and love to talk about their units or organizations. Ask about staffing ratios, options to become certified, and any committees that may be available to join. You can ask about pay if not already discussed, but it shouldn’t be the first question you ask. Again, researching the healthcare system can be useful here in preparing. 

8. Stay positive when discussing prior employment

When asked why you are leaving your current position, or why you left your last position, do not say bad things about your prior employers. A better answer may be ‘it wasn’t a good fit and I am looking for a place where I can grow’, or ‘I am looking for a place where I can be a better advocate for my patients’, instead of ‘my manager hated me but she was crazy’ or ‘staffing is horrible and I can’t deal with it anymore’. 

9. Be flexible

If you really want to get your foot in the door at a facility, try to be flexible to schedule and shift. Some places with more competitive salaries or learning environments may mean that you have to bite the bullet and work nights for a bit. Or maybe, you are a nurse that wants to change specialties. If the hiring manager won’t hire you without experience, ask to be transferred to the manager that hires for your current specialty. You can always try to transfer within the hospital after a year. Employers are more like to accept job changes within the facility rather than hire from the outside. 

10. Don’t be scared of rejection!

Not always getting the job is part of the process and is bound to happen if there are a lot of candidates applying for a limited number of spots. Don’t let it stop you from applying to other jobs and if needed, re-examine your interview question answers and maybe take another approach. Employers are looking for someone that vibes with their values and matches with their mission. 

Vivian has thousands of jobs from hundreds of employers and travel nursing agencies to choose from! Start your search for your perfect healthcare job here!

rachel-nurseflygmail-com
Rachel Norton BSN, RN

I have been a critical care nurse since 2007. I grew up in the northeast but enjoy every corner of the country. My passions are people and travel. Travel nursing allows me to meet amazing people and satisfy my wanderlust. I love inspiring other nurses to travel and expand their practice.

Comments (2)

Excellent Institution. Professionalism. Opportunity Jobs.

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I. I have been a certified clinical medical assistant for 3 yrs now . I have worked mostly in pediatrics which I loved. I did some work in Urgent Care. I would love to pursue my career and thought about traveling.

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