Like many new or aspiring Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, you've probably heard how easy it is to find work. That's true because CNAs are in high demand around the country. However, finding a job that's a good fit for you is a much taller order. Therefore, don't rush into accepting the first position you're offered. Instead, take your time during your job search. Do plenty of research. In the long run, the extra effort will pay off when you land a terrific job.
Top Seven Tips for Job-Hunting CNAs
Keep these pointers in mind to more easily find the ideal CNA job the first time:
- Focus Your Search - CNAs don't just work in nursing homes. Hospitals, private practices, and many other facilities hire them, and they also work as home health aides and as traveling CNAs. Investigate the available options and focus your search on environments and positions that interest you the most.
- Write an Excellent Resume - While looking for jobs, you'll notice that many employers don't request resumes and just want you to fill out applications. Hand in resumes anyway. Doing so will help you stand out and give you a better opportunity to more clearly describe why you are a great fit.
- Write a Cover Letter - Your resume should be concise and factual. Give prospective employers a better idea of why you want to be a CNA and why you'd make a great employee by including a cover letter with your resume and application. Make sure to include specific information about the employer in your letter to show that you've done your homework.
- Try Networking - Someone you know might have a great job recommendation for you. Put your networking skills to work by asking around among friends, family, students from CNA school, and former colleagues for job recommendations. This is often how CNAs find really exciting opportunities, so it's well worth it to give it a shot.
- Collect and Use Letters of Recommendation - There are lots of CNA jobs, but there are lots of aspiring CNAs too. Stand out from the crowd by including letters of recommendation with your resume, cover letter, and application. Ideally, they should come from former employers or teachers. However, personal references also work in a pinch.
- Practice Answering Interview Questions - Landing an interview is exciting. How you fare during it can make or break your chances, so practice answering commonly asked CNA interview questions before sitting for yours. Having a basic idea of what you're likely to be asked and rehearsing your answers in advance will give you the confidence you need to ace your interview.
- Follow Up After Your Interview - Regardless of how you think the interview went, always follow up with your prospective employer. This is most easily done via email, but a regular letter works too. Thank them for giving you the opportunity to sit for an interview and ask them to contact you if they need any additional information from you. Very few people bother following up, so this is an excellent way to stand out from other applicants.
After obtaining your CNA license, you'll want to hit the ground running on your new career. Still, don't rush things. Take a methodical approach while searching for a job. By doing so, you will be far more likely to find the ideal position the first time around.