Nursing career fairs are a great opportunity to meet and network with other nurses, find out more about nursing as a career and, most importantly, meet recruiters from the healthcare industry. Attending such events can have numerous benefits for both job-seeking nurses and those wanting to expand their network. The benefits include:
- Access to a large number of healthcare recruiters in one place.
- Finding out information about a variety different fields related to nursing.
- A chance to impress recruiters in person.
- A chance to build a list of contacts for networking.
- Meeting other nurses who can offer insightful tips and advice that can be particularly helpful for new nurses.
Whether you are looking to secure a new job or improve your list of contacts, make the most of your time by preparing in advance. Here are some areas to focus on:
Before you attend you should make an effort to conduct basic research, which can give you the information you need to prepare for success later on. Such research may include:
- The type of recruiters expected to attend - the nursing profession is varied and working for different sized healthcare organizations can bring different benefits.
- Healthcare organizations in attendance - Research each attendee to target those companies that share your philosophy in medical care and provide the type of environment that you want to work for.
Creating or updating your resume is a must before attending career fairs. This will ensure that your up-to-date information is available for potential employers and a chance for them to review your skills and experience.
If you are creating a resume be sure to create a unique and original one for each targeted recruiter. Don't be tempted to copy and paste the same resume for all recruiters. Adding a few changes to a resume can make it more appealing for certain jobs.
Don’t forget to include all the extra courses that you have taken or any voluntary work that you have done.
How to Dress
The nursing profession can be a little strict when it comes to clothing. While you don't necessarily need to be dressed in expensive suits you should still be dressed in a smart and professional way.
Men and women with long hair should consider tying it back neatly as they would when working. The worst thing you can do is dress in a sloppy way. The impression that you want to give to the recruiters is that you are a neat, competent person who will be a valuable asset to their organization. How you dress can give them this impression.
You should have a list of the recruiters that you really want to meet. If possible, knowing who is going to be representing the organization on the day can be useful to introduce yourself. Be confident and not nervous. Remember that the recruiters are interested in meeting you and talking to you, as they want the best nurses for their organization.
Those nurses who suffer from nerves can rehearse a brief introduction beforehand so that they are more confident. Creating an easy one-minute elevator pitch about who you are and what you’ve accomplished ahead of time can help calm your nerves when meeting recruiters.
How to Entice a Recruiter
Most recruiters are interested to know just how sincerely someone is interested in working for them so be sure to display genuine enthusiasm. There are many other ways that you can interest the recruiter.
One mistake that job seekers make at career fairs is not doing their research about the companies and/or recruiters ahead of time. A quick way to impress a recruiter is to ask detailed information about their organization and nursing program to show your interest in their company and show that you have done your homework.
After the Career Fair
One overlooked aspect job seekers make is to not send a “Thank You” note after meeting people. By sending the recruiter a nice, handwritten note after the career fair discussing your conversation and affirming your interest in their organization will help keep your name fresh in their mind and confirm your interest in the organization.
Preparation is the key to success before attending a nursing career fair. The more prepared you are beforehand the more you’ll be able to go in and knock a recruiter’s socks off and increase your chances of employment.