Dear Career Coach: I am a new grad NP with celiac disease and I am unable to eat at restaurants due to potential cross-contamination that inevitably leaves me ill for a week. What suggestions do you have to handle not being able to eat at a restaurant, without coming across like a "major diva" as you mentioned?
Dear Reader: The structured office interview is how the employer learns more about your skill set and experience, but in order to gain a greater understanding about who you are and how your personality might fit into their workplace culture many employers like to connect in a less formal and lower key environment such as lunch or dinner. So because this is such an important part of the interview process we need to find you a solution.
I feel it is important that you not decline the invitation so I will give you a few ideas that you may find helpful.
- 1. Just say it. The bad news is that food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities have become more common. The good news is that food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities have become more common. It's likely that everyone who will be attending knows someone or has treated someone who has a dietary restriction for a medical reason. It's also likely that they will understand the importance of your request. Also in your favor is that you will probably be working with either H.R. or an office assistant to set up the meeting so you may feel you can speak a little more freely. Remember too that your medical history is technically protected information and H.R. should not be sharing what you tell them with your future boss and co-workers.
- 2. Don't overshare. Spare the details and the history of your issue. Going into what has happened or may happen when you eat a particular food WILL make you sound like a diva. I would simply keep it simple and just say "I have a food allergy" and then share the specific accommodations you will need.
- 3. Offer a solution. If you know of a particular restaurant that you trust to prepare your meal correctly then by all means offer to meet there as an alternative. If you absolutely can't eat food prepared in a restaurant then perhaps you could suggest meeting for coffee. If you meet mid-morning or afternoon in a coffee shop then the expectation to order food will be less and you won't feel so uncomfortable.
- 4. Call ahead. Most of the better restaurants should be able to meet your needs if given some notice. Talk to the manager and explain the situation and come up with a plan. Tell them that it is imperative that you a safe meal without calling unwanted attention to your condition.
If you are about to look for your first job or you are just thinking about making a change, I have a couple pointers for you:
- Job searching requires a plan. Before you send out your first resume or application, you should have an idea of what it is you really want in a job. Sit down and make a list of YOUR job requirements. If there is one thing that employers dislike it is non-serious candidates. Finding a job shouldn't be a fishing expedition. Applying for jobs that you are only lukewarm about can come back to haunt you. Employers pick up pretty quickly on applicants that are out there just testing the waters. As I have mentioned in other blog posts, responding to every job you see posted can backfire, and can very likely cause your name to be flagged in the system for multiple applications- that is not a good thing. You may think that applying for every opening makes you look interested and eager but employers disagree. What you are saying to a potential employer is either a) you are desperate or b) you have no idea what you want to do.
- If you are a seasoned clinician considering a new job, prior to sending out your first resume you should have already determined exactly what it will take for you to leave your current employer. Determine your bottom line in terms of salary, benefits and hours. If it is clear that the new employer will not be willing to meet your requirements then don't apply for the position. I am aware that many job ads do not state the compensation package up front. When that is the case, you are going to have to do some homework. Better to spend some time on the phone tracking down the recruiter or hiring manger than to submit an application to a job that doesn't offer what you decided you will need.
- Once you have determined your bottom line, stick to it. If you tell a prospective employer that you need A, B and C during an interview and then when an offer is on the table you inform them that now you need D, E and F there is going to be a problem. No one likes a bait and switch. And believe it or not, employers don't like negotiations any better than you do. If you make your expectations clear from the beginning the employer knows what they have to do to close the deal. The only caveat I have is that you should be reasonable. Outrageous demands make you look unstable and out of touch.
A funny thing happened on the way to full practice authority...
We have been working hard for years on passage of a bill to update the nurse practice act and free APRNs of outdated and restrictive practice agreements. In fact we have been focused for so long on achieving our goal that we haven't really thought much past - well, achieving our goal. We put a great deal of effort into winning hearts and minds and last month our hard work paid off: the governor signed the APRN bill and our dreams of full practice authority were realized. On January 1st, 2015 the new law will go into effect and mission accomplished, right?
Not so quick. Our arguments may have won over the legislators and a good portion of the public, but we are learning that it may be a bit premature to declare victory. Our opponents didn't get what they wanted at the Capitol, but that doesn't mean it's over for them.
It seemed so promising when we reached an agreement, but perhaps it was only the battlefield that changed and not the battle. While we were pursuing our goal on the house and senate floors, organized medicine had already turned their attention to the workplace.
I don't think it's a coincidence that many large healthcare organizations have been quietly altering the job descriptions for their NPs. Practices are being restructured so that NPs no longer have their own patient panel and are now required to "share" a panel of patients with an MD. Recent job ads describe the NP as working under the "supervision" of an MD. It's looking suspiciously like what the docs were unable to put into statute they are now putting into work rules.
And yes, they can do it. It's perfectly legal for an employer to be MORE restrictive than the law.
But we don't have to like it. And we don't have to work for them. We must continue to educate and demand respect. If you are one of the folks out looking for a position, you need to let employers know that these terms are not acceptable to you. I know it's a little scary when you really need a job but if we allow our roles to be diminished now it will set a precedent. It's much harder to undo rules than to make them.
This is where I make a plea again for you to get involved with your local and national professional organizations. We cannot let this become the accepted culture. Remember, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Dear Career Coach: I think I need a professional to write my resume. I have a resume right now that is 8 pages long and so boring it puts me to sleep. I'm sure there is a ton of overkill in it but I'm a nurse practitioner, not a resume writer. I'm not sure what to keep and what to get rid of. My resume goes all the way back to my first nursing job. I just can't seem to let it go for some reason. Maybe it needs to go or maybe it needs to stay ... I just don't know. I would greatly appreciate any recommendations from you.
Dear Reader: It seems that the hardest thing for nurses to do is edit themselves! It may make you feel better to hear that most NPs have a tendency to put too much info into their resumes.
When trying to decide what information to include and what to remove, try repeating this phrase to yourself: The purpose of this resume is just to get me an interview. No one has ever been hired based solely on their resume. This will help put you in the proper frame of mind to begin the process of letting go.
Employers want only one thing, and that is to put the right candidate in the right job. Your resume should demonstrate to the employer that your qualifications are a potential match for the position. Too much other information just muddies the waters and won't increase your chances of landing an interview.
To boil it down to the basics means that the reviewer will be focusing on what I call the "Big 3."
1. Do you meet the educational requirement?
2. Do you possess the correct license and certification?
3. Does your experience and skillset match the job description?
What stays and what goes? Look at each entry on your resume and ask yourself if it is pertinent to the job you are seeking. Prune out information that is not applicable. If an item isn't pertinent to the job you are applying for, then it probably isn't worth keeping on your resume and you can safely let it go. How do you know when you have it right? If a reader can look at your resume and know exactly what sort of job it is that you seek, you have written an effective resume.
Don't get too carried away. You don't want any gaps in your employment, so if a previous position is not relevant do NOT omit it, just make the entry brief. No need to elaborate on skills and duties that have nothing to do with the job you are seeking.
The rule of thumb for how far back to go on your work history is 10 years. Seasoned NPs need only include their NP experience, so that should help you cut down the size considerably.
And lastly, I don't recommend hiring someone to write your resume. The reason for that is twofold. First, you need to tailor you resume to the position. A resume writer will produce a generic one-size-fits-all version and you won't be much better off than you are now. Second, employers often complain that candidates don't seem to know their own resumes. I suspect this is because they hired someone to write their resume for them.
For as long as I can remember, nursing has been one of the most trusted professions. We should be very proud of that status -- it's not easy to gain the trust of the public, much less mange to hold on to that trust year after year.
We have never campaigned or actively sought out this designation, instead we earned it by simply doing our jobs day in and day out. Nurses don't really like to show off or brag, we prefer to just let our work speak for itself.
But now our role is changing and we need to start thinking more seriously about our "marketing." We may be trusted, but we need more. We need authority.
Let's start with who we are. Even though many legislators have heard of nurse practitioners, few have a real understanding of our role. If you don't believe me, try lobbying your state legislator! You will find that before you can even begin to plead your case for independent practice, you will have to explain what exactly you do and what "advanced practice" means. I am convinced I can see eyes glaze over when we say things like "scope of practice," "nurse practice act" and "consensus model." And just try to explain all our different certifications. I dare you!
We desperately need professional help to bring some clarity to our messaging. In the business world there is a saying that "if you don't manage your message, someone else will manage it for you." That means you need to speak up or you run the risk of having others define you. It's no accident that we have terms like "midlevel" and "nonphysician provider." Who do you think chose those demeaning labels? And who continues to use them? Don't kid yourself, organized medicine knows the power of those words.
And speaking of organized medicine, those folks take their own messaging seriously. There is no doubt in my mind that every word they say has been crafted and focus grouped to have maximal impact. I watched over and over legislators nod and agree when meeting with NPs, only to have seeds of doubt sown later by physicians. If an MD says something, it must be true, right? The public professes their love for nurses but when push comes to shove they still take what physicians say more seriously. Why? Because doctors have done a good job putting forth messaging that establishes them as "authorities." Marcus Welby may have gone off the air more than 40 years ago, but somehow organized medicine has managed to keep the myth alive that everyone in healthcare works for the physicians.
We can change this paradigm. But we can't do this on a one-to-one basis. It will take an organized effort. If you are member of a nursing organization, urge them to consider a PR campaign. Get involved. Speak up. That's the proper way to celebrate Nurses Week!
Today I am going to discuss an interview type that can make many job seekers a little uncomfortable: the lunch or dinner invitation.
You have applied for a job, and the practice has invited you to a restaurant. The invite might occur early in the process or it could be the last hurdle before the official offer. It might be fine dining or the local café. Make no mistake, no matter what it is called or where you go, it is still an interview so the standard rules will still apply. Dress professionally, show up on time and be prepared to ask and answer questions. But, as they say, the devil is in the details.
Here are a few etiquette pointers to help you lower your stress level.
- 1. Order something easy to eat. Please stay away from any sort of finger food. Virtually no one is going to look dignified eating with his or her hands. Seriously, have you ever watched someone trying to eat a large burger? Not a pretty sight. Any food that you have to touch will also lead to food getting on your hands. This leads nicely into tip #2.
- 2. No messy or drippy food. Stay away from spaghetti or foods that have a juicy filling. I don't know about you but the nicer I am dressed, the greater the chance that I will spill. I mean, isn't it a known fact that "dry-clean only" clothing attracts spills? Note, ribs and burgers violate both #1 and #2.
- 3. If you are picky eater or have a lot of "special requests," keep them to yourself. You are going to sound like a major diva if you have a laundry list of do's and don'ts for your food. Asking for your dressing on the side can be forgiven but if you are getting into fat, salt or garnish discussions, you have gone too far. No one wants to hear that. Your goal is to be remembered for what you said during the interview rather than for how much you stressed out the server when you ordered.
- 4. No alcohol. I don't care if everyone else at the table is having a glass of wine YOU are not to partake. The other people at the table can drink - they are not the ones interviewing for a job! In order to be on your best behavior, you should stick to nonalcoholic beverages.
I do, however, recommend treating yourself do the adult beverage of your choice when you get home. :-)
I find myself thinking quite a bit about how much healthcare has changed since I was young and trying to figure out how it is that we have come to find ourselves in our current situation.
I just want to state, for the record, that I am not that old. I was a kid in the 60s and I had my children during the 70s and early 80s. I am not talking ancient history here, only the last 50 years.
When I was growing up my family didn't have health insurance. My father, who was a hairdresser, was considered self-employed so he did not receive any work benefits. But what he did for a living probably wouldn't have made much difference, because during that time most families didn't have health insurance as we know it today. With the exception of a major medical policy that covered only hospitalizations, people expected to pay for all clinic visits and medications out of their own pockets. And we did. And somehow it was affordable. Even the occasional trip to the emergency room wasn't unmanageable for most budgets. And for that matter, neither was having a baby. I had no insurance when I had my children but it didn't send me to bankruptcy court. Granted, my youngest was 5 years old before I owned him free and clear, but the monthly payments were reasonable!
But that was another difference: We actually saw our bills. It's only in the last 30 years or so that bills starting going directly to the insurers rather than the patient. In those days it was up to the patient to submit the medical bill to their insurance company and wait for reimbursement.
There were no big healthcare "systems"; clinics were mostly privately owned. I also remember visit times being longer and less rushed even though charts were on paper and few offices even owned a fax machine. A person could get an appointment in a reasonable amount of time and if not perhaps a phone call was sufficient because the clinic "knew" you. There was no such thing as an urgent care and believe it or not the emergency rooms were not overflowing.
What is going on? I know the "good old days" weren't always so good but is this really progress? Yes, there have been some great advances in healthcare but are we really getting that much more for our money? It doesn't seem that patients are that much healthier (or happier) and not a day goes by that we don't hear grumbling from providers who are forced to dance to the tune of insurers and regulators.
Maybe I am getting old ...
I was speaking to a group of spring graduates a couple weeks
ago about how to create an effective resume. In my talks I emphasize the importance
of both content and format. Those of you who are familiar with my website and
my various articles will note that when it comes to resumes, I recommend a
pretty standard format.
After I finished my presentation, a soon to be new graduate
raised her hand to voice a concern. "I am worried that my resume will look
pretty much like everyone else's resume if I follow your advice."
My answer? Yes, it absolutely will! That is the goal.
Recruiters and human resources personnel review a lot of
resumes and they review them very quickly. In fact, most resumes will get no
more than a 30 second look - if even that much. Your goal is to make it as easy
as possible for the reader to determine whether or not you meet the
qualifications. In other words, you don't want to make your reviewer work too
hard or have to dig too deep to find the pertinent information. The best and
most reliable way to accomplish this task is to use a standard format.
Think about it. That's why we use a standard format, such as
SOAP, in the clinical setting when we chart. Because the format never varies,
the reader knows exactly how and where to find whatever piece of information
they require. Easy peasy. Key information is located exactly where we expect it
I think the student's real concern, and what she was
actually getting at, was a worry that maybe her unique personality wouldn't
shine through. Well, remember, the only purpose of a resume is to get you an
interview. That means at this stage of the application process it's far more
beneficial for you as a job seeker to showcase your skills rather than your
personality. Style doesn't belong in a resume. After all, it's a resume, not
I feel the need again to remind all job seekers to always
keep in mind that when it comes to landing a job it is all about what the
employer wants - and what the employer wants from your resume is simply to
determine whether or not you meet the qualifications.
But don't employers also care deeply about whether or not
your personality and style are good fit for the culture of their organization?
Yes and the proper place to demonstrate that will be during your interview, not
in your resume.
Ready for my rant?
Over the past year or two, I've noticed an increase in physician groups engaging in negative campaigning directed toward NPs. Could it have always been present but I just hadn't noticed? Or is the negativity a reaction to the numerous bills that have been introduced in several states to remove barriers and allow fully independent NP practice? The conspiracy theorist in me suspects the latter.
Whatever the reason, I am now aware. I have also detected some common themes that have emerged often enough that I have to believe they have to be carefully crafted "talking points."
They go something like this:
The horror story. A case that is so uncommon and rare will be presented to illustrate that even the most common of illnesses can't possibly be managed without the skill of an MD. "I just saw a patient in clinic last week who had an earache and it actually turned out to be an ancient medieval disease that hasn't been seen in a century! Thank goodness I saw them and not the NP!" The purpose of this is to scare the consumer into believing they are only one step away from a medical disaster at any given time and only a physician can save them.
Go team go! After decades, MDs have apparently just discovered the "team." Of course, by team they don't mean themselves, they just mean YOU. NPs need to be in teams that are led by physicians. "We cannot have patient-centered care unless physicians are part of the team!" Forgive me if I am a tad cynical when I hear this claim. I mean, what's been stopping them? They have essentially been running the healthcare show for years and until now haven't been very interested in true team care.
Do no harm. Organized medicine has cleverly repurposed this classic phrase and is now using it to defend the status quo. "Gosh, we wouldn't want to make any changes until we can be SURE that this will solve all our healthcare access problems and not fragment care any further." We are meant to believe that fragmentation of care really only occurs when patients are seen by NPs. Fragmentation is perfectly acceptable when docs own the urgent care clinics (and hire NPs and PAs to staff them).
Is it just me or are the organized medicine groups starting to sound like the "providers of no"?
"No problems with the current system"
"No need to change"
It's a shame a few vocal physicians are sending such a negative message.
I usually conduct a brief survey when I speak to groups
about job searching. I ask participants to rank a list of topics to indicate
where they feel they need the most assistance. The choices are: resumes, cover
letters, finding job openings, negotiating and interviewing. Across the board
the recipients choose negotiating to discuss. This holds true whether I query
new grads or seasoned clinicians.
The results are not so surprising when you consider that the
market has been improving for both our professions. A few years ago it was a
challenge to find a job, much less get an actual job offer. Now that jobs are
relatively easy to land, we now have the luxury of focusing more on our
"Nobody likes to talk about money, but everyone wants to be
paid," a former colleague of mine used to say. As a profession the idea of
negotiating tends to make us a bit squeamish. Publicly we are seen as healers,
and the implication is that we shouldn't really be talking about money. However,
privately we are like everyone else who has a mortgage and bills to pay.
Our backgrounds and education don't do much to prepare us
for negotiation either. If you listen to the so-called "experts" you will be lead
to believe all negotiations are a contentious back and forth horse-trading type
affair. You know, an endless cycle of smoky backroom deals where they make an offer,
you counter offer, then they counter your counter, and continue ad nauseum. No
wonder most of us suffer from "negotia-phobia"!
Out of curiosity I attended a breakout session on negotiating
at a national conference. The level of anxiety in the room was palpable as
participants we treated to a summary of "tactics." It was there that I had an
epiphany. This wasn't a talk on conducting negotiations, it was a lecture on
how to make demands!
I realized that an essential key concept was missing.
Before you can negotiate, you must first make the sale. It's
only after making the sale that you can begin to have a conversation of the
terms of the deal.
So if you want to have a less stressful negotiation, then
study sales. You will learn a sale does not start with a price. It starts with both
parties coming to an agreement on the need for the product. Think about the
last time you made a large purchase. There were likely many features and
benefits you didn't even know you needed until the sales person pointed them
out. By then, you were happy to pay the asking price.
Dear Career Coach:
I am an experienced PA
and was reading your resume tips for NPs. However, I'm wondering about your
guidance on listing clinical rotations. You mentioned listing clinical rotations
is only a good idea if you are a new grad NP. Do you think the same applies for
PAs who have completed rotations in surgery and other procedural specialties?
(ER, general, surgical, derm/plastics, etc.)
To answer this question you should ask yourself:
- Will it confuse the reader as to my status? i.e.,
new grad vs. experienced
- Is the experience pertinent?
- Does it make me more competitive?
Generally, whether you are an NP or PA, if you have obtained
your first position it's time to retire the student rotations section from your
resume. One of the reasons is to eliminate confusion for the prospective
employer. It is one way of saying "I am no longer a new graduate - I am a
practicing clinician with actual work experience."
If you are a new graduate, your student rotation section is the
most effective method to demonstrate
to the employer that you possess the pertinent skills. What you did as a
student is really the only valid experience you have in the advanced practice
role. And because the job opening is for an advanced practice clinician (not an
RN or EMT) this section becomes crucial.
Many new grads mistakenly believe their RN or other
healthcare experience is going to be more valuable than it really is and they
will devote too much space on their resume to their previous non NP/PA jobs.
It's OK to briefly include your previous healthcare
positions on your resume but you are far better off putting more emphasis on outlining
your student clinical rotations. Why? Because your RN or EMT skills aren't
going to give you much of an advantage if your competition is experienced NPs
and PAs. And quite frankly, if an employer wishes to know more about your jobs
prior to school they will ask you in the interview.
In your example of seeking specialty practice, I believe
that your student rotation experience is pertinent and would make you more
competitive. Since specialty rotations can vary from student to student the
prospective employer would have no idea that you had spent time in the related
rotation. Speaking of pertinent, I would only include the rotation(s) that
applies to the job you are seeking or you risk violating the above
To avoid confusion of your status, I would note your student
experience in a separate section from your work experience and clearly label
the section "related experience." Keep it brief, include information such as
the number of hours, the types of cases and identify your responsibilities and
Your cover letter is also another avenue for you to expand
on the past experiences you had as a student.
During the course of interviewing for a new job you are sure
to be asked for the reason you are leaving your current job. How you answer
this question is important. Let me guide you through a little exercise to
assist you in formulating your response.
First, I would like you to make a list all the reasons you
want to leave your current position. Maybe it's the work atmosphere or maybe
your have a boss who is a micromanager. Or perhaps the nurses are hard to get
along with and making your workday miserable. Politics - there are always
It could be your work schedule you dislike, such as the
hours or days you are working. And then there are the patients - too few or too
demanding - it's usually one or the other. Or pay, could be that you feel that
you are not being paid what you are worth and you don't see a raise anywhere in
Great, now that you have the negatives out of your system
please tear up that list and never speak of it again.
Instead, I want you to replace the list with all the reasons
you want a new position. And this list is going to focus on all the positives
of a job change. In this list you will reframe being "sick of your current
dysfunctional co-workers" to "seeking new people and new challenges." You
desire "opportunities for growth" and you have "achieved the maximum potential growth
at your current job."
Of course you will
remark on how much you have learned, and how you will use that knowledge in
your next position. Your dissatisfaction with your pay should be put on the
backburner until you are actually negotiating an offer and not brought up as a
reason for leaving your current job. I am presuming that you did enough
homework prior to the interview to be assured that the pay range for the new
job meets your expectations. If you don't already know the pay they are
offering then shame on you!
My point with all this is that you need to project a
positive attitude during your interview. Find a way to put a positive spin on
your experiences. Nobody wants to hire someone who is a complainer or who is
negative. Employers put a great deal of weight and importance on behavior. How
you act during an interview is a proxy of how you might act with your
colleagues, and more importantly, how you might act with a patient.
Oh, and if you have been taking your work complaints to your
social media page you might want to do some turbo deleting.
For years I have counseled new graduates to hold off on
applying for jobs not only until they had graduated, but ideally until they had
a date scheduled to take their boards. I based my advice on feedback from
In many states, passing the boards would legally permit new
grad NPs to practice, however they could not be credentialed by insurers until
they were licensed. This would present a problem for employers who could not
afford to be paying a clinician who was unable to generate any revenue.
For the last few years there have also been a large number
of applicants for each job. This served as a disincentive to hire someone who
had not yet even graduated. I mean, why wait for 2-3 months for a practitioner
when there are so many other applicants who are available to start in a week or
I also used to warn new grads not to expect to land a primary
care job right out of school. Primary care is a highly desired practice site
and historically has very low turnover. Be realistic, I would tell them, and
consider a specialty.
Well, I would like to announce a major change for new grads
or soon to be grads. Due to a market shift most employers are now willing to
entertain your applications earlier!
I am officially revising my previous advice. If you are
graduating in May you can now begin applying as early as March. I don't know
that I would send out applications any earlier than March though. Don't worry
-- if you prefer to wait that's OK too. It won't hurt your prospects. The last
few weeks of the program are usually fairly stressful and adding a job search
into the mix might not be for everyone.
The other change for new grads is that it is no longer
unrealistic to pursue a primary care position. As you probably all know the
demand for primary care providers has risen and many new positions have opened.
And many of these new primary care jobs are new grad friendly too.
Great news for 2014 graduates, this year is shaping up to be
a good year for you.
This week I am finishing up with the last half of my list of
the 12 reasons why your resume may have been rejected.
6. Too generic. You submitted a one-size-fits-all resume.
Job seekers often fall into the trap of thinking that they only need to create
ONE resume. In today's job market employers want to see resumes that are tailored
to each position. Customizing your resume shows an employer that you are
interested in that specific position and that you cared enough to take a few
minutes to craft a resume that fits. This is one of the reasons why I don't
advocate hiring someone to create your resume for you. One resume simply cannot
meet the requirements of every position.
5. The job skills you listed sound suspiciously like the
definition of an NP or PA. I read a lot of resumes and for some reason in the
majority of them the job seeker describes their work experience with some
version of this: "Performs physicals, interprets labs, prescribing and patient
education" or "manage acute and chronic conditions." To which I say, "No
4. Mind the gaps! Dates have to be sequential. You must
explain any gaps in your employment that are longer than a month. Unaccounted
for time in your resume is a huge red flag. If you were out of work then
acknowledge the fact with a brief entry so that you don't look like you are
hiding anything. There are lots of legitimate reasons that you may have been
unemployed but an employer just sees the gaps. If you were out on maternity
leave, caring for a family member, or the last clinic you worked at went broke
and laid you off then just say it!
3. "TLTR" Do you know what that means? "Too long to read."
Resumes that are more than 2 pages tend to get ignored. Recruiters and hiring
managers skim when reviewing a resume. This means that you better have your
most important info on the top of the first page or it may not be seen. And the
more that you can have on the first page the better because the reader may
never get to the 2nd and 3rd pages.
2. Show your credentials. Believe it or not job seekers
often forget to include their licenses and certifications. NPs are particularly
prone to omitting their nursing license on a resume. This is critical, because
the first reviewer may actually be a computer program, and if you leave off
credentials you may appear not to meet the requirements of the job.
1. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Get to the point. Resumes that
contain too much irrelevant information, such as non-pertinent, non-medical
jobs or skills, obscure the very point you wished to make. Employers are only
interested in reading what qualifies you for their position. Remember, the
purpose of the resume is to market yourself and get you an interview. Irrelevant
information does not accomplish that goal.
Editor's note: Click
here to check out reasons 12-7.
Hey, it's not the Twelve Days of Christmas, but to get into
the spirit of the season I will share with you twelve reasons that can cause
your resume to be rejected (and employers will never tell you!).
12. You live too far away. The out of state address and
phone number on your resume have employers concerned that your relocation might
turn into their headache. They worry that you won't be able to sell your home,
your family might talk you out of moving and finally that because you don't
have ties to the community you won't stick around.
11. Your resume showed up by snail mail or fax. I know it's
almost 2014, but there are still a few applicants out there that insist on
submitting a resume the old fashioned way. Hard copies end up in the trash or
in a pile on a desk. It's a digital world and employers are a little frightened
by job seekers that aren't comfortable using technology.
10. Your resume is over formatted. You used so many tabs,
tables or special effects and formatting doo-dads that when you uploaded or cut
and pasted your resume into the employers online application system it became a
garbled mess and totally unreadable.
9. You applied for
every job that was posted and therefore you now have multiple applications in
the system. This can be a red flag for employers. Applying for anything and
everything makes you look either desperate or like you really aren't sure what it
is you want.
8. Missing dates.
Contrary to what you may have heard you need to include the date of your graduation
and for each place of employment. When
applicants omit dates it makes an employer think the job seeker may be trying
to hide something. In fact, many employers have their applicant tracking
systems set up to automatically exclude applications with missing dates.
7. You decided to go with a functional format rather than
chronological. I know some job seekers do this because they believe by putting
a bunch of the keywords from the job description in to a "skills" section it is
more likely to trigger a match. The trouble with this strategy is that while it
may indeed get the computer to flag you as a match it doesn't do so well with a
human reviewer. Detaching your skills from the setting where you performed them
just creates confusion. It's important for an employer to know where and when
you last used these skills. Oh, and it's really obvious to a "live" person that
you were trying to game the system by loading up the keywords.
Stayed tuned! I will finish the list in my next blog.