Preparing the Nursing Job Application

Filling out the job application is a fact of life when seeking nursing jobs. Unfortunately, there is no generic form or format; each hospital or organization has its own methods and information needs.

You should plan to spend 4-8 hours per job application. This estimate includes gathering materials, filling out application, and preparing the package.

Now it’s time to add efficiency to your skills because the preparation of job applications is something of a production line process where efficiency will save you time and help you avoid errors.

Nursing Job Resumes

  • A well constructed and designed resume plus an effective cover letter is important. You will be selling yourself, your qualifications and experiences.
  • Like the 15 second 1st impression, your goal is to create material that will encourage the reader to finish all of your information on the resume
  • Learn as much as possible about the position you are applying for, the company’s missions and goals
  • Summary group at the beginning of a resume will attract the readers interest
  • The layout of your resume is very important; it needs to be professional in appearance with correct grammar and spelling. Use “bolding” and “italics” sparingly. Visual readability is enhanced through neat margins, adequate white space, and indenting to highlight text.
  • A sparkling GPA and list of extracurricular achievements will usually earn you a shot at an interview
  • Knowing the basic rules of interviewing etiquette will help you. Your ability to display proper social skills is critical.

Nursing Job Cover Letters

A cover letter serves as a formal introduction and should briefly reflect why you are qualified for a position. A cover letter also does the following:

  • Gives an employer a snapshot of your personality.
  • Signals that you pay attention to details.
  • Conveys professionalism.
  • Demonstrates immediately your written communication skills.
  • Gives you an opportunity to highlight your skill sets and experience.

Getting Started on Your Cover Letter: Things to Think About

  • Why are you applying for the job? What are your objectives?
  • What are your reasons for wanting to work for the employer?
  • What are your skill sets and how do they fit into the job you are applying for as well as the vision and mission of the employer?

Cover Letter Guidelines

  • Keep it short, usually one page.
  • Ask a reliable source to read and edit your cover letter before you send it.
  • Customize your letter as much as possible by acknowledging the reader and the employer.
  • Focus on what you can offer the employer.
  • Express your career aspirations and goals.
  • Establish what makes you different from other candidates. Recruiters get a lot of cover letters and resumes, so make yours stand out.

The Bottom Line

The job application is a paper model of you. Make sure your application is professional and compelling.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013

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