career rescue Consider networking to learn about nursing opportunities

March 10, 2019

Q: How competitive is the field of RN/nursing today and why? How do you stay competitive when looking for a new position in this marketplace?

A: The nursing field has had its share of job growth predications, beginning with an impending shortage of nurses to an overabundance of candidates in some locations, according to the U.S. Human Resource Services Administration. Despite the changes, nursing opportunities remain strong as the health care industry continues to make advances toward increasing lifespans and shifts as nurses approach retirement.

Even though data suggests more nurses in the job market than forecasted, you can’t always base your career opportunities on data. Rather than wait on the sidelines until positions become available, you can start preparing now by attracting hiring decision-makers to you.

Taking charge of your career is always a good habit to keep. Regardless of your title, focus or employment status, since it’s up to you to market your background and experience. Standing out among a crowd of candidates requires self-awareness of your value as a nurse in patient care and as a viable team member.

Start by conducting a needs assessment of your resume and LinkedIn profile. Resume formats have changed, reflecting a more personable brand that distinguishes you from others, so an updated format sends a stronger perception.

Make sure your resume demonstrates more than listing responsibilities and tasks in lieu of your accomplishments. The mistakes nurses often make is leaning too much on the reader to discover their background rather than selling it to them. Nurses tend to assume their certifications and experience will be enough to create attention, but in a competitive market you need more than credentials.

Your resume, just as your LinkedIn profile, needs to have your own personal brand that highlights your value and reasons why an employer should be interested in talking with you.

Resumes need to stay within two-pages and should be compelling to read. Make sure keywords and results are listed to support your work and professionalism. Your LinkedIn profile is a separate strategy to help you connect with others and grow your networking opportunities.

Use LinkedIn actively to join groups, meet new people and start conversations. Social networking is powerful and has opened doors much easier than in the past. In a competitive job market, consider stepping out of the traditional ways of job searching and ramp up your networking activities.

Look at competition as way to keep your information sharp and use it to become a stronger job candidate by making you more prepared.

Kimberly Thompson is a board-certified counselor. Send questions to kim@careerrescue.com or Houston Chronicle, P.O. Box 4260, Houston, TX 77210. Visit her blog at www.blogs.chron.com/careerrescue.