You’ve completed the requirements to become certified as a nursing assistant! Congratulations! You’ve worked hard for this credential and you deserve it! So, what next? Are you looking for a job to utilize your training and expertise? How will you go about finding your first clinical position?
The first thing you will need is a strong resume, highlighting your education, skills and experience. You can build a resume yourself using a template from Microsoft Word or a similar software program. Free resume templates or formats can also be found online by searching “free resume template”. If you need help constructing your resume, consider hiring a “resume writing service”. For $60-$100 you can purchase a high quality document that will make you stand out among the sea of applicants. And if this leads to a prompt job offer, the investment will be well worth it!
Once you’ve decided who will prepare your resume, you will need to decide what it will say about you. As you map out the content, be sure to give yourself credit for the clinical experience you received during your training. Highlight specific examples of your ability to manage your patient assignment. For example, if you have successfully managed a patient assignment of 5 or 10 patients, you will write that you “provided personal care for 10 residents at a long term care facility, attending to all aspects of care, including, bathing, grooming, safe transfers, skin care, feeding and emotional support”. You will also want to include any personal interests that will make you stand out. If you have participated in a cancer walk, taught a Sunday school class or worked on a neighborhood improvement project, list it!
With resume in hand, you can begin to actively search for work. Many organizations advertise vacant positions in the local newspaper or on internet job boards (careerbuilder.com, indeed.com, monster.com, craigslist.com etc.). As you look for jobs online, don’t limit your search keyword to “CNA”. Using keywords such as “personal care attendant” or “patient care technician”, “patient care assistant” or “nursing assistant” will greatly expand the list of search results. Many organizations including nursing homes and hospitals have websites. From the homepage, look for keywords such as “careers”, “jobs” or “employment opportunities” to view vacant positions.
If you really want to stand out among the crowd, however, nothing beats face-to-face contact. Many people who have visited the human resources department in a facility, arriving professionally dressed with resume in hand, have been offered an immediate interview. During your interview, confidently sell yourself and your abilities. Consider the questions they may ask you (ie “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”) and practice your responses. Ask yourself “would I hire me?” and present yourself accordingly.
Happy job hunting and good luck!
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