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Do you have any suggestions about how I can find a mentor and get help with my resume and job search?

Monday August 4, 2014
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I am writing to you because I have been an RN since 2010 and I have had a difficult time finding work. I work in a clinic, and have eight months telemetry experience. I had to quit one hospital job because the commute was more than two hours each way. I think I need a mentor and help with my resume and job search. Do you have any suggestions?

Needs Mentoring

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Needs Mentoring,

I’m assuming you’re not satisfied with the clinic work and that’s why you’re looking for other work. If you’re trying to find a hospital job, know those are hard to get right now without current hospital experience, unless you’ve been away only a few months. This is partly because jobs are moving out of the acute care/hospital setting and moving into the ambulatory/outpatient care setting and alternate inpatient settings, such as subacute care. In a competitive job market like the one we’re now in, you do need to have a top-notch resume plus excellent networking and self-marketing skills. There are several ways you can accomplish all of this.

I would recommend you start with reading my book, “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses,” which you can purchase wherever books are sold. It provides information to market yourself in the best possible ways, including creative ways to find jobs and get hired. You’ll even find resume and cover letter samples you can adapt for your own use plus step-by-step instructions on how to create a dynamite resume.

You may also benefit from working with an RN career coach (as opposed to a non-nurse coach. An RN career coach should be able to support you in getting your self-marketing skills up to date and coach you through the job finding process. Find an RN career coach by doing an Internet search or by asking other RNs for a recommendation. You might be able to get a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association whether or not you are a member.

I also suggest you start getting out to nursing career fairs. See what’s coming up in your area (www.nurse.com/events/career-fairs) and read the article, “How to get the most out of attending a career fair” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Career-fair).

Additionally, it’s important to attend local chapter meetings of nursing professional associations such as the ANA. If not a member you can attend meetings as a guest. Everything happens through networking or word of mouth. An association can provide a support system and is a good place to find mentors and role models.

Even though you are not a new nurse, this article provides additional tips and advice you could use: ‘New nurse, new job strategies’ (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies).

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.