If you’re a new grad, entering the job market can feel overwhelming. It can be a challenge to know where to start. That’s why we’ve made this infographic and blog to help you land your first nursing job. Complete these items, and you’ll be in a much better position to kickstart your career in no time.  

View Infographic Version of Workbook to Land Your First Nursing Job
View Infographic Version of Workbook to Land Your First Nursing Job

Research Hospitals and Careers

Determine what your “must-have” benefits are and make a list of them. When you’re doing your research, check the employers benefits and ensure they meet all of your requirements. Using Eisenhower Health as an example, must-have benefits on your list may include items such as:

•  Paid time off

•  Tuition assistance for advancement of professional degrees

•  Competitive compensation

•  Health and wellness programs

•  Benefits packages and matched retirement plans

•  Reimbursement for professional dues and seminar attendance

•  Growth opportunities within a prestigious organization

•  Relocation assistance/reimbursement

Utilize your existing network on LinkedIn. Who knows? Perhaps your former classmate or colleague is now employed at your dream hospital. This could be a great networking opportunity to potentially get your foot in the door. At the very least, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask them what they did to get the job there or how they like working there. From speciality job sites, employers sites, LinkedIn and job boards, you have many options to research potential employers and careers. With all of these potential avenues to spend time researching, it can easily become a disorganized mess. We recommend creating a spreadsheet to keep track of job opportunities. Your spreadsheet might look something like this:

Company Name Job Title URL to Job Post Benefits Date Applied Contact Name Status
      Does the employer offer your “must-have” benefits? This column will also help you keep track of whether or not it’s time to follow up with this employer. You may also want to record whether you applied directly on an employers’ site, a job portal, direct email, etc. If there is someone at the company you are directly corresponding with, make note of their name and contact information. Keep track of whether your application was just submitted, is still being processed, you have a scheduled interview, or you just followed up via email.



•  Make a list of must-have employer benefits

•  Reach out to people in your network

•  Create a spreadsheet to keep track of job opportunities

Ensure You Meet the Requirements

When it comes to health care careers, job requirements are usually pretty stringent. If a position requires a minimum of X years in the area of specialty, or a specific certification or license, recruiters typically aren’t using the word “requirement” loosely. So, there is probably little chance that hiring managers will settle for any less. Make the best use of your time, and only apply to jobs where you meet the requirements.  


•  Spend your time applying for jobs where you meet the minimum requirements

Update Your Online Presence

In this day and age, employers are posting jobs online and candidates are applying online. With everything already being online, this means your online presence is just a click away to prospective employers. Take the time to update your LinkedIn profile and any other social media profiles you have. On LinkedIn, make sure the primary email address associated with your account is the one you would be okay with prospective employers seeing and emailing. That is, make sure it’s a professional and personal email address. For instance, you probably don’t want your primary email to be your work email for an employer you’re planning on parting ways with, and you definitely don’t want it to be your hotmail email from 8th grade (let’s all agree to leave our koolkid143@hotmail.com in the past 😏). Additionally, make sure your professional experience is up to date. Especially if you’re applying for jobs directly in LinkedIn, you want to make sure your experience is completely up to date. In case a recruiter chooses to scan your experience directly on your profile (versus downloading your resume) you want to make sure you have all of your bases covered. For a more comprehensive look into how to prepare your LinkedIn, check out these tips. Along with optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you’ll also want to ensure your social media profiles don’t include anything you wouldn’t be okay with a potential employer seeing. You might have an old MySpace page you completely forgot about. Now is the time to probably deactivate that. A simple Google search of your name to see where your online presence is most prominent can help make this process a little easier.


•  Revamp your LinkedIn profile (check your email, experience, etc.)

•  Update Social Media profiles

•  Perform a Google Search of your name

Create Tailored Versions of Your Resume

It may be worthwhile for you to tailor your resume to cater towards each position you apply for. To do this, look at the job requirements and responsibilities for a specific position you’re interested in and customize your resume to ensure you highlight those requirements clearly in your resume. The job responsibilities may include skills that you just didn’t think to include. Before you start customizing your resume, you should start by creating one master version of your resume. This will include any and all experience you have- whether it be volunteer work, hospital internships residency programs, job shadowing, per diem roles, etc. Don’t worry about the length of this. The purpose of this is to get all of your experience down in one, accessible document. This way, when you’re ready to create a tailored resume, it will be as simple as creating a copy of your master and deleting everything not related to that specific position. If you don’t have enough experience to create a completely customized resume for each position, it may be as simple as just modifying the summary section at the top of your resume to highlight specific skills. If you need more help formatting your resume, be sure to check out this blog for a comprehensive look on how to prepare your resume.


•  Create a master resume

•  Tailor your resume for specific positions

Sort out the Logistics

You’ve probably determined whether you were willing to relocate up front. If you are, while you’re doing your research, you’ll also want to be sure to consider logistical items as well. For starters, an important one is to check if your prospective employers offer relocation assistance. Many hospitals offer relocation assistance or reimbursements. For example, Eisenhower Health will reimburse new recruits for up to $15K (depending on the specialty) of their moving expenses. In addition, when researching employers, you’ll want to consider the following:

•  Real estate – how’s the real estate market looking?

•  Climate – what’s the climate like in the surrounding area? Will you be due for a full wardrobe revamp before your move?

•  Tourist spots, activities, restaurants – what’s the scene like in the area? Does it fit your lifestyle?

•  Transportation – What is the typical mode of transportation for that area? Is it practical to bring your car? Or is it better to opt for public transit options or alternative methods like bicycles?


•  Determine whether you are willing to relocate

•  Research your target locations (real estate, climate, tourist destinations, activities, restaurants, transportation)

Landing your first nursing job doesn’t have to be stressful! Just stay organized and accept that you will have to invest time into finding your first job. Now that you’re equipped with a checklist of tasks to get your nursing journey started, why not start today? Get your job hunt started and browse open nurse positions on Eisenhower Health today.  

Originally posted on 21/7/2020

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