Congratulations! You've worked hard over the past few years to earn your degree and are excited to leave school and put your new skills to work. You have high hopes for getting started and may have even identified a healthcare institution that you want to work for.

Now, welcome to the exciting world of job hunting! The job application process can seem complicated at the beginning. However, investing time and effort into each of your applications will help you stand out from the crowd and improve your chances of getting the job you want. 

Here are seven tips to help you grab a recruiter's attention and land your application in the YES pile, which will lead you toward the long-awaited interview!


1. Avoid sending a generic application to several companies, even if the job title is the same.
Make sure to draft separate applications for each of your target job postings. Recruiters can quickly identify a generic application if it doesn't align with what they are asking for. Employers want you to know about them and that you chose them for good reasons. Check out their website and see what their mission statement is and what values they embrace. This not only helps you see from your perspective if this company is the right workplace for you but also, doing this allows you to reference this alignment in your application and interview.

2. Keep your resume simple and organized.
A recruiter appreciates when resumes intuitively display all information. They might even run it through an Applicant Tracking System. So, it's better to focus more on clear and concise content in an easy to read layout, rather than fancy resume design.

3. For applicants with little to no employment experience, insert a 'resume objective'.
This will serve as your elevator pitch. Keep in mind that even though you haven't been officially employed, you still have experience to highlight. Your years of education - including hands-on training - is indeed an experience you can be proud of and should emphasize. You may also have other experiences that were not "official employment" but demonstrate who you are and what kind of employee you will be. This could be volunteer work you have done or organizations you participated in. 

4. Demonstrate your qualifications and how you plan to contribute to the company.
An example may be: Seeking an opportunity to demonstrate my strong clinical skills, commitment to continuous improvement, being a proactive team member, and passion for providing the highest level of compassionate and quality care.

5. Read through your target job posting and extract the selection criteria.
A job posting is essentially a recruiter saying, "I want someone who has the skills and experience listed here." Take the time to study the selection criteria. It can be helpful to copy and paste them into a list and synthesize them into bullet points that represent you well. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Well-developed coordination, assessment and case management skills
  • Experience in the aged care work environment at a clinical nurse level
  • Proven team player with strong communication skills 

6. Show evidence that you are capable of excelling at the job responsibilities.
Reference relevant experiences that support your skills – it's better to include numbers if you can!

Here are a few examples:

  • Performed basic life support and administered blood and intravenous infusions in a 90-bed medical center.
  • Conducted assessments and performed wound treatment according to plan of care on busy 26-bed medical floor.
  • Consistently received 95% positive evaluation for patient education.

7. Mention any extra work hours you worked, higher duties delegated to you during training or volunteer work you completed.
These details serve as further recognition of your abilities, work ethics, and proactiveness.


With these tips in mind, you can now start knocking out those job applications! 

Remember: After submitting your resume, don't forget to follow up if you haven't heard back after a few days. Persistence often pays off!


How to write exceptional resumes and cover letter to forward your career, book by Tim Larkin

Healthcare Professional Resume: Samples and Writing Tips


About the Author


Karen Alinas 

Karen Alinas is a freelance health content writer based in Toronto, ON.