Travel Nursing – Is Your Skill List Up-to-Date?
So you’re ready to start travel nursing. You’ve got the education and experience, your resume is newly polished and you’ve prepared for those tricky interview questions. Have you forgotten anything?
If you’re using a recruiter affiliated with a service – which I highly recommend – it’s a good idea to make a list of your skills, talents, and competencies. This helps the recruiter match you up with jobs that are perfect for you…and helps avoid wasting time on jobs that are not.
Things to include
It won’t put you over the top to list only the obvious. Go above and beyond. In a competitive job market, selling points can often be overlooked. Do you speak or understand a second language, including sign language? Do you have experience or education with computer programs, spreadsheets, of other record-keeping tools that may come in handy? Have you worked in a major emergency situation, like the aftermath of a hurricane or a flood? Make sure the recruiter has all the information necessary to paint an irresistible portrait of a well-rounded, experienced nurse with some special skills. That way, you’re sure to have your choice of assignments. Let’s face it, we’re not all cut out to live in Florida in the summer heat…or Montana in the winter. Make sure you get to choose.
Be honest about your skill level. Don’t exaggerate your abilities. In the long run, exaggerations can damage your reputation and that of the company representing you.
Stay on top of it
Keep your skill list up-to-date. Whenever you pick up a new experience, add it to the list. Travel nurses often find new opportunities to add new skills and learn new things. Embrace these opportunities – every new experience makes you more marketable and qualifies you for more jobs.
Travel nursing offers great opportunity, but not for everyone. To stay competitive and grab those plum assignments, grab every chance that comes your way to pad your resume with new classes, skills and certifications. Even on the road, keep an eye out for local and online seminars and professional organization opportunities.
After each assignment update your resume with start and stop dates, location, type of assignment, and specific new duties and skills learned. If your assignment was associated with a special circumstance, like a natural disaster, be sure and make note. You never know what will demonstrate exactly what an employer is looking for – adaptability, a cool head in a stressful situation, the willingness to work under less than desirable conditions. At the same time, make your preferences known. After a stressful job assignment, you may want some time to unwind, filling in at a quiet rural office during pregnancy leave may be just the ticket!