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How I aim to find myself a job

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Adult nurse, Sarah Harris, is on the hunt for the job of her dreams and wants to help you find yours

So here I am, at the end of my nursing training. 

I am due to qualify with a degree in adult nursing in February and am keen to make a difference to every patient and their family. I want to be the best nurse I can possibly be: an inspiration to others, a source of support and comfort.

But like the vast majority of my cohort, I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance. 

When I started my training we were all told there would be billions of nurses due to retire in the next few years and we’d get their jobs, no worries. However, now when the time is here to start looking for a job, it’s like the proverbial needle in a haystack.

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That is why the applications you submit to prospective employers need to stand out. You need to shine, to show the short-listing panel that you are someone they need to interview.  

However, before the application stage you need to find that elusive job. Luckily for me I have been on the local NHS bank as an auxiliary for the past 4 years which puts me at a definite advantage over my classmates as I am eligible to apply for the few internal posts that come up. It also gives me experience in various wards and gets my face know to areas that may be hiring. There are other ways of sourcing jobs though if you don’t have this advantage. External jobs are advertised through the NHS websites, local job centres and job sites such as the

Read the job description carefully

Once you’ve found the job you’d like to apply for, you need to find out as much as possible about the area so you can tailor your application form. Read the job description carefully, see what clinical skills they want, and if you have them, make sure your application makes this clear. If you don’t, make sure the short-listing panel know you are eager to gain these skills as soon as possible. Let the panel know that this is an area you want to work in and you are eager to gain the necessary skills and knowledge.

Use your personal statement

Your personal statement is your chance to show the panel what you are all about, make the most of your strengths and identify how you aim to improve any weaknesses. Use clinical practice assessments to make the most of your skills. For example, if a mentor you’ve worked with has described you as an asset to their team make sure the panel know this. Your mentors are the ones who have worked alongside you so make sure you ask one of them to be a referee.  A good reference from a qualified nurse will go a long way if selected for interview. If you’ve attended extra courses, conferences or done online training make this known, it shows commitment to your PDP and that you are eager to extend your knowledge and skills.

Your supporting statement is normally the only thing made available to the short-listing panel so it has to stand out.

With these things in mind you can make it impossible for your dream employer not to invite you for interview.

Sarah Harris has finished a BSc in Adult Nursing at the University of the West of Scotland Ayr.

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