4 Ways To Improve Your CNA Job Search

CNA Jobs

The healthcare industry is one of the most competitive industries when it comes to finding and securing a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The job search process can be a difficult one to navigate. The process is further complicated by all of the different things that each job seeker needs to do to ensure that they are successful in the long run. Healthcare is one of the most competitive employment industries because candidates need to have certain certifications, licenses, education, experience, and more to even be considered as a potential fit for a role. These additional requirements for job seekers make it tougher for qualified candidates to truly stand out as the level of competition continually rises each year. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you need to do everything in your power to ensure that you’re doing all that you can to stand out as the most qualified candidate, and ultimately secure the job that you’ve been working so hard for.

The good news is that you can implement a few simple tips and tricks into your routine job search to improve your CNA job prospects, and they only take a little bit of time to implement. This means that you don’t need to radically alter your job search process or spend countless hours to ensure that you improve your job prospects. These methods are quick and efficient! By implementing these techniques, Certified Nursing Assistants can rest assured knowing they are doing all that they can to improve their job search.

1. Review the Job Posting Thoroughly

One of the most important things you can do when you’re conducting your CNA job search is to make sure you thoroughly read and review the job posting. It might seem like you’ve reviewed the job posting already, but you’re most likely just glancing through it and making a quick decision before applying. With the advent of quick apply websites or one-click apply methods on these large job boards, it has never been easier to apply to healthcare jobs. The problem with this is that it has also never been easier to skip out on crucial details that will automatically disqualify you from consideration for the position.

As we’ve stated earlier, employers and recruiters are trying to find the most qualified candidates. One way they’re narrowing down candidates is through the use of certain requirements or steps that must be taken when filling out the job posting. They might specify in the job posting to fill out or include certain things regarding the job application, or submit the application through a separate process.

One example of this is when employers or recruiters directly ask for all submissions to be sent to an email instead of the site where the job posting is listed on. If this direction is buried at the bottom of the job posting, and you’re only reviewing the preview before deciding on whether or not to apply, then you’re missing out on crucial details that help employers and recruiters determine who they’re going to interview.

Another reason you want to thoroughly review the job posting is to ensure that it’s a position you can actually see yourself in. We’ve all applied to job postings that we were unsure of, only to find out that we didn’t really like the job after the interview process. Unfortunately, applying to jobs that you’re not certain you’re passionate about will waste your time. Don’t waste your time applying to jobs that you’re not passionate about, and take the time to review the job posting thoroughly so you can ensure you submit comprehensive applications to jobs you truly care about.

2. Research the Employer

The next tip you can use to improve your job search as a CNA is to thoroughly research the employer. Often an overlooked aspect of applying to healthcare jobs is evaluating the employer or healthcare facility you’re applying to. The question you have to ask yourself when applying to jobs and reviewing the employer is, “Can you envision yourself working for this company/employer/healthcare facility?” If the answer is yes, then you need to evaluate why that is. Often times when doing this, you can use these reasons in the interview to your benefit. Employers and recruiters will often ask you questions such as, “What made you want to apply for this particular position?” If you can highlight specific reasons about what interested you in working for the employer, you’re going to stand out as a candidate who truly wants to work with them instead of just another candidate looking for a job.

3. Reconstruct Your Resume

The next thing you can do to improve your CNA job search is to evaluate and then reconstruct your resume. One of the best ways to separate yourself from other CNA candidates is to tailor your resume for each job you’re applying to. This means you remove all the unnecessary or irrelevant experience you might be including on your resume. One of the myths job seekers face when they’re constructing their resume is that it has to be a certain length, or that it has to include a certain amount of jobs as previous experience. The truth to the matter is that the length of your resume or the number of jobs you have as previous experience plays a relatively small role in the candidate evaluation process. On the contrary, employers and hiring managers look at how qualified the candidate is, and how closely they meet the requirements for the job posting. In other words, how much of a fit is this candidate going to be for the job when compared to other candidates.

Some candidates also believe they should have a broad resume to allow them to apply to more jobs and save more time. The problem with this is that when you use generic resumes that include irrelevant experience you’re essentially disqualifying yourself from further consideration. When you include experience or jobs that aren’t related to the one you’re applying to, you make it seem as if you do not have any relevant experience for the position - which ultimately makes you appear as unqualified. If you’re trying to secure a new job as a CNA, the last thing you want to do is make it seem as if you’re unqualified.

To avoid this, you need to tailor your resume to the specific positions and jobs that you’re applying for. When you take the time to tailor your resume, you also have another opportunity to highlight things that the employer is looking for based on the job posting. For instance, if the employer highlights how they are seeking a CNA with additional certifications and you have them but aren’t listing them, you should spend the extra time ensuring that your resume reflects those additional certifications.

Reconstructing your resume and tailoring it to the individual job posting by removing the unrelated jobs will help set you apart from other candidates. If you’re worried that your resume is too short or too limited because you don’t have other experience, then you include the irrelevant experience - just take the time to highlight the relevant experience.

4. Sell Yourself With A Cover Letter

In the modern job search, it might seem like a waste of time to include a cover letter for every job that you apply to. In fact, many job seekers choose to forego sending a cover letter and spend more time on their resume or application. If you’re not sending a cover letter with every job application you submit, then you’re missing a prime opportunity to stand out. Cover letters are a great way for you to market your skills, experience, and background to the person reviewing your application. The cover letter is a perfect opportunity for you to elaborate on some of the more obscure things in your resume and application as well. If you’ve done your research on the job posting as we’ve highlighted above, you can speak to some of the things in the job posting and highlight how your resume and professional experience aligns with what they’re looking for in the ideal candidate. This is the best way to sell yourself with a cover letter!

Identify things that they are specifically looking for in the job posting, and then highlight that you are the person they are looking for.

In doing so, you can separate yourself from those candidates who use a generic cover letter that broadly expresses a desire to work for the employer without specific details from the job posting or the individual’s resume. Selling yourself with a cover letter might seem like a waste of time, but it’s a crucial step to ensuring that you’re doing all that you can to improve your Certified Nursing Assistant job search.


It can be difficult to separate yourself from the competitive job search environment. It can also feel overwhelming at times when it seems like everything you’re doing isn’t working. By implementing these simple tricks in your daily routine when searching for CNA positions, you can ensure you’re doing all you can to land that CNA job you’ve been hoping for.

About the Author

Ryan Bucci is a Content Strategist with HospitalCareers. HospitalCareers is the leading recruitment platform for healthcare job seekers with over 28,000+ healthcare jobs, career advice, and career insights.

The process of becoming a CNA


      Often times, people seeking to become a CNA (also known as a certified nursing assistant) spend wasted hours researching how they can achieve their goal. Eventually, many of them will find themselves stuck in some overpriced local course taught by a teenager fresh out of high school. Now I am not saying this won’t get you certified, because it might. However, I’m here to simplify the overall process so that you can make a better decision for your future.

First, you must understand almost every country and/or State differ somehow with regards to nursing regulations. For the sake of simplification, I will only be covering becoming a CNA within the United States and as a broad overview to boot. So, if you are trying to obtain your CNA license in a foreign country or you’re planning to transfer your license from a different country to the U.S., this article will do little for you. Also, individuals seeking their license here in the States must first understand CNA regulations do vary from State to State. Although, these variations are typically small, I suggest you contact your local nursing board for more detailed information. Here is a link to all the nursing boards in the United States: http://cnaonlinecourse.com/cna-course-overview/getting-a-cna/

From there you can look into the education aspect itself. Depending on what your local regulations are you may be able to take a CNA training course online and simply test out. Again, check with your local nursing board for more information concerning their requirements. Below is the typical learning options to become a nurse’s aid. They are listed in order from most accepted to least accepted, with the estimated average cost of attendance noted.


Nursing Assistant Education Options

  • State/College Accredited CNA Course - $2,000+

  • Care Facility direct training (requires you to be an employee) –FREE

  • Local Private CNA Course - $600

  • Online CNA Course – FREE


As you can see there are many different options to become a certified nursing assistant. Some of the options take much longer than others. The simplest way to get your CNA is online, however, you must first check to see if this an acceptable method. Many States require you to take a CNA course at an accredited program or college. However, there can be ways around this. For example, individuals seeking their license in Michigan can take equivalent training in another State and, if approved, test out with Michigan for their license. Again, this all goes back to your individual States CNA requirements.

Once you have choose your method of nursing assistant training you then will typically take a test. CNA exams are typically composed of two sections. The first section being a practical. This means you will be preforming skills on a real life person or dummy in front of your examiner. The second section of the nursing aid exam will be a written portion, usually multiple choice.

If you successfully pass your nursing assistant tests and other requirements you will be issued your CNA license. This will allow you to work in the State you obtained the license in. You can begin applying for jobs and once hired work.

The key things to remember when trying to obtain a nursing assistant certification is that every State has different requirements. Always check with local nursing officials for YOUR requirements. Also, be aware there might be special exception to the normal training routes.

A Good Time To Become A CNA


A High Demand for Healthcare Workers

Regardless of all the politically biased healthcare buzz there is only good news for upcoming healthcare professionals. An extremely large increase in healthcare jobs is in progress. Several emerging factors are stimulating our healthcare system and it's demand for new recruits. People interested in getting involved in this rewarding sector could not have picked a better time.

U.S. Healthcare Demand

The U.S. has always had a need for healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants (aka: CNA), etc. As we speak, this demand is growing exponentially with two major factors affecting it. The first being our baby boomers reaching old age and the second being the recent unveiling of Obama care.

Baby Boomers Getting Older

According to the 2011 U.S. census, there were over 41 million senior citizens (65+) with this number expected to continue to climb. So what does this mean? Well, as people get older they require much more intensive medical care. Thus, the need for more healthcare professionals all around. Prior to this spike in senior citizens there was a CNA shortage. With this recent influx of new patients CNA positions will be in demand more than ever.

Obama Care

The second major factor opening doors for people interested in medical positions is Obama care. Obama care, also know as the affordable care act, is providing millions of people with health insurance. These 47 million people will now have access to healthcare and the people in charge of it. As previously mentioned, this will tax the current system and generate many more positions and opportunities.

More healthcare jobs, particularly certified nursing assistants, HHA's, etc.

As you can see, there is going to be a giant demand for healthcare professionals, CNA's and HHA's being at the top of the list. The key point being older individuals typically require more CNA assistance than younger folks. Thus, the surge of baby boomers only strengthens job security for nursing assistants. Hiring is taking place now with many positions opening up every minute. Obtaining a job today in this field couldn't be easier!