Student voice

Calm your nerves to get ahead when job hunting

Preparation is vital for approaching the job hunting process, says third year nursing student Emma Cowen.
Emma Cowen

Preparation is vital for approaching the job hunting process, says third year nursing student Emma Cowen

I have reached the point in my training where the end is in sight. Ive completed my dissertation and final essay and have started my management placement. However, instead of this being the time to relax, this is the time when job hunting begins.

Applying and interviewing for jobs is a nerve-racking experience. Preparation is vital. I approached writing the application form systematically.

I printed out the job specification and highlighted key words or phrases. With supporting information, I checked against the job specification to ensure I was demonstrating my ability to meet the employers requirements.

Using resources

Dont be too descriptive. You are a newly qualified nurse and have limited

...

Preparation is vital for approaching the job hunting process, says third year nursing student Emma Cowen

Job_application
Interview applications are opportunities to show you can write concisely. Picture: iStock

I have reached the point in my training where the end is in sight. I’ve completed my dissertation and final essay and have started my management placement. However, instead of this being the time to relax, this is the time when job hunting begins.

Applying and interviewing for jobs is a nerve-racking experience. Preparation is vital. I approached writing the application form systematically.

I printed out the job specification and highlighted key words or phrases. With supporting information, I checked against the job specification to ensure I was demonstrating my ability to meet the employer’s requirements.

Using resources

Don’t be too descriptive. You are a newly qualified nurse and have limited experience. This is a good opportunity to show you can write in a concise manner as you would in nursing documentation.

Prepare before the interview and use the resources around you. If you are on a placement ask for advice from the nurses.

Ensure you are familiar with the NHS trust you apply to. The one I applied to has a section on their public website setting out their expected values and behaviours.

Theory to practice

When asked a question about treating colleagues and patients with respect I was able to relate my answer to my knowledge of these values and how I would use them in my practice. For each question that is likely to come up, ensure you have a prepared answer with a scenario linked in.

If you are asked how you will deal with an aggressive relative, state what you would do and follow it up with an example. Practise saying your answers aloud a few times.

Make eye contact in the interview, be friendly but professional. Prepare a question and show you are actively engaged.

You’ve survived 3 years of university, essays, placements, juggling a social life and working hard to become a nurse. If you manage that, you can do this.


About the author

​Emma Cowen is a third-year children’s nursing student at the University of Brighton

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