Negotiating a salary for an entry-level position can be tricky, but not impossible. It’s all about showing the employer the value you can bring to their organization. Watch the videos linked below for great pointers on negotiating a salary if you are just finishing college versus if you are a seasoned professional.
Video interviews are more and more common. Here are some things to remember when you are preparing for a video interview.
- Wear colors. Computer cameras tend to wash you out, so having some color will help you look healthy and engaging. It may be worth applying some make-up, particularly to your eyes and mouth, to avoid looking washed out.
- If possible, try to set up your computer so you have natural light on your face. This is better than electric light for keeping your skin a natural color.
- Consider background. Is there an open closet behind you? Are there stacks of boxes? Does it look like you are sitting on your couch in your living room? An “office” typesetting is best, but if you don’t have a space like that, a neutral wall in the background is better than something that appears to be too “homey.”
- Be sure you will have quiet, uninterrupted time during the interview. If you have family or roommates at home, be sure to let them know what you are doing and that you need privacy for that time.
- Tape the job description, resume, cover letter, and questions you have for them on the wall behind your camera so you can review them without looking down at papers.
- Because you are not meeting in person, it is important to remember to still be engaging with the interviewer as if you were face to face.
Finding the perfect job isn’t just about you filling an organization’s needs. It’s also about finding an organization that meets YOUR needs, and not just paying your bills.
Think about what is important to you in your daily life and compare your needs to what the organization represents. Do you need excellent health benefits for your family? Are you seeking opportunities for advancement? Does your personal mission statement mesh with the mission statement of the organization? These are important things to consider when you are making a career move.
Some of the information you are seeking will be available on the company’s website, but if you can’t find it, don’t hesitate to contact the Human Resources department to ask your questions, particularly when it comes to insurance, retirement benefits, leave policies, and expectations for work hours. Another great resource is www.Glassdoor.com. This is a site where you can learn from former employers what they thought of their experience with the organization. Keep in mind that people who respond to websites like this are generally very happy or very angry, so the responses may be skewed, but it will give you an idea of what about the organization keeps people there as well as what drives them away. This can help you decide what you are willing to take on. To get an idea of how the skewed answers may guide you, look up the Glassdoor information for a company where you have worked in the past. Compare the answers to your own thoughts on that organization. This will help you be aware of how bias can enhance or mitigate information, knowing that the truth is generally somewhere in the middle.
Health professions are in high demand, so finding a great job will likely not be too challenging, but we want you to find the perfect job for you. Here are some ideas and resources to make that happen.
Chronological or Functional Resume?
First, in health care, you can do either a chronological resume or a functional resume. A chronological resume is where you list your positions, most recent at the top, and work backward. A functional resume is where you list your skillsets and the number of years’ experience you have in each function, followed by the organizations where you used those skills. If you have had to move around a lot (typical for military and/or college students) you may want to focus on functions. In either case, be sure you read each position description and use the exact same words in your resume that the company used in the description.
Particularly with larger organizations, many companies are using applicant tracking systems that weed out resumes if the software cannot find a high percentage match for the exact words used in the description. For example, if the job description asks for “ped nurse” experience and your resume lists “pediatric nursing,” change your resume to match what they are seeking.
Make your Resume Easy-to-Read
Second, an easy-to-read template is essential. Be sure you have one-inch margins all around and leave “white space” – space where there is no text, so it is visually appealing. Use the same bullets for each level of each breakdown. Also, use the same tense in the verbs describing your functions. Usually, you will use the present tense for a current position and past tense for prior jobs. Avoid having orphans, one word on the next line, so as not to waste space.
Lastly, if you are submitting your resume online, be sure to submit a Word document. Some applicant tracking software packages are not able to read pdf documents, so your resume may never make it to the hiring manager.
We are Here to Help!
We are happy to review your resume to be sure you are selling yourself in the best possible way. If possible, please submit it to us with a copy of the position description so we can give you the best possible version of your resume for each job. Please allow one week for review and return. You may also use the resources below for advice on how to write the perfect resume.
Congratulations on your interview! It is also important for you to understand the culture of the organization so you know whether you will be happy there. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
Interviewing is the first step in the job process to showcase to your potential employer your professional skills and individuality. To prep for the interview, it is important to do your research on the companies history and culture. You can do this by reviewing the potential employer’s website and social media pages. Try reviewing their employee reviews on www.Glassdoor.com or indeed.com also to read employee reviews of that company. There, you will be able to gather enough information about the company and its culture to see if you would fit into its culture. It is also important to rehearse interview answers to common questions in an interview. A helpful hint is to review the job description and cater to your answers to what the job description is looking for. At the end of the interview, always have at least three or four interview questions for the potential employer. Through your own questions, you will be able to dictate if the company is the right fit for you.
On the day of the interview, if you are not sure what to wear, you can always play it safe by wearing a nice shirt and black pants. Attend the interview with a copy of the job description, your resume, and cover letter you used for that application. It is important to remember that an interviewer is also a person, so be friendly and cordial with the interviewer. Though you have rehearsed your answers, do not sound like a robot. The feeling of nervousness will be there, but try and take a couple of deep breaths before walking into the interview.
Remember to highlight your skills, professionalism, and why you would fit into their company and culture.
Writing a cover letter for a prospective employer will make you stand from the crowd of applicants. Your cover letter is where you get to list anything you want to be considered that is not appropriate on the resume. For example, if you do not have direct experience in a certain specialty but are looking for opportunities to get experience, you can say, “At this time I am seeking to expand my skill set to include…” Again, it is critical that you use the exact words in your cover letter that they use in the position description.
This is a time to personalize your resume and let them know that you are applying to a specific position with a specific organization. If you can find the hiring manager, use their name. In the opening paragraph, let them know that this is not a blanket application, but one that you have considered. “Attached please find my resume in application for the position of Pediatric Nurse with ABC Hospital.”
In the second paragraph, highlight the points that are especially attractive to you about the position and how you best meet their needs. If you are deficient in some level of expertise, you can also talk about how you are incorporating learning into your personal development.
In the last paragraph, reference how your personal strengths mesh with the mission statement of the organization and again, name the organization so they know you are not just sending out blanket resumes. This is always more eye-catching than when you send the same information to several organizations.
Again, we are happy to review your cover letter for clarity, match, grammar, and presentation. Please send with a copy of your resume and the position description, and allow one week for review and return. You may also use the resources below for advice on how to write the perfect cover letter.
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