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.