Top 12 interview Tips for Nurses

cv

Top Ten CV mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Increase your chances of interview “Call Backs” by 100%

The first thing you must realize is what a CV is actually used for. Most people see it as an information document, however what it actually is, is a sales document to be used to sell yourself and abilities for the position you are applying for. In the Nursing industry making your CV stand out from all the Nurse CV’s is crucial.

Below are what we see as the 10 most common mistakes in Nurse CV’s and how to avoid them

Using MS Word “CV Templates” for creating the CV

For many, the first source of CV assistance in this day and age of Microsoft Office Suite is usually the “CV Templates” found within MS Word. Sadly, while these templates result in fine looking printed CV’s they achieve the worst possible results for electronic CV’s. Bill Gates is not who you should be relying on for creating your CV. He’s never had to even interview for a job in decades. Trust us, don’t use MS Word templates and instead create the CV from scratch using the template as a guide only.

If you are planning on sending your CV as a Word attachment, chances are software of some sort (referred to as Applicant Tracking Software or ATS) will be scanning your CV before a human ever sees it. The excessive usage of style sheets, formatting, tables and cells that are part and parcel of the prefabricated template … among many other problems … will almost assuredly result in your CV causing a hiccup and getting belched out of a company’s tracking system.

Not adhering to the traditional reverse chronological format

What all Directors of Nursing care most about is your current or most recent one or two positions. As one reads back into your past they become less interested about jobs you held 10 or more years ago as they are mostly interested in what you have done during the past five years or so. You should always list the most recent job first, and your very first or earliest position down at the bottom or toward the end of the CV. Functional CV’s are seen as a cover-up for gaps that don’t fool anyone except those candidates that insist on using them.

The two main CV formats are:

  • Chronological
  • Functional

Too cute or overly fancy fonts

Too tiny or excessively fancy fonts can make it impossible to read your CV unless exploded to 200% size or reformatted to a different font style. This will be more trouble than most readers will have time for. Thus your CV’s probability of being discarded in the circular or “delete” folder increases dramatically. Always use conventional text such as Times Roman (found in most newspapers) or Arial (found in many websites, E-zines, or advertising text). .

Electronically Unfriendly CV

Not being “electronically savvy” in formatting the CV results in an electronically UNFRIENDLY CV format. Even if you create your CV from scratch and avoid the templates referred to in item #1 above, you must still exercise diligence. Avoid excessive graphics, clip art, cells, or tables.

Search Google with the key phrase “scannable CV” and you will find thousands of articles that provide many of the same, repeated guidelines for making certain your CV can be “read” by electronic corporate scanning systems.

Duplicate, conflicting or overlapping jobs

Listing jobs such as weekend retail or Golf Course jobs, weekend retail store jobs, or others which conflict with the ultimate goal of the career you are pursuing accomplishes nothing other than sending contradictory messages. Never list overlapping jobs to make up for what you feel might be shortcomings in your “daytime” position. This will only confuse things and if you are lucky to obtain the interview will place you at the defensive end of a line of questioning that is counter productive.

Splitting or embedding your “contact information”

Never split your contact info so that part of it remains at the top of the CV while forcing the remaining remnant to go down to the bottom. If someone has to search the bottom for the phone number, email address, or remaining contact info, they may easily get distracted before ever calling you … and move on to the next CV. Most individuals only spend three seconds looking at a CV and then move on to the next. Make sure your complete contact info including mobile phone, email is all in one conspicuous location at the top.

Inclusion of too-personal information

You should never mention marital status, size of family, political organisations or any other group unless it is related to the job you are applying for.

None of these items will add any benefit to the value of your CV. In fact, if the person you are meeting happens to have conflicting views … it will almost certainly backfire against you. Same goes for religious affiliation, sexual orientation, etc. It’s nobody’s business so why advertise it?

Too long CV length
For most nursing positions from the entry to senior management range, a two page CV should suffice. In fact a one page CV is sufficient for most individuals with less than 8 years of experience. Very few will care about the second page let alone make it to reading your third page. It is your most current experience that matters and that should be listed prominently, in a chronological format as the first item you elaborate on.

Cluttered Appearance

Even a two page CV may be unattractive to read if it is simply blocks of ongoing paragraphs packed into small, narrow page margins. Using bullet lists breaks up and helps highlight strengths and features of your skills. Make sure you spend more time discussing what you’re doing in your current job than having two sentences on the current job and three paragraphs elaborating what you did back during college.

Omitting a Personal Profile

If you are attempting a career change the CV “Objective Statement” will be critical. Chances are your skills may not fit the job openings perfectly and the personal profile will help explain why you are submitting a CV for a job that is not necessarily the perfect fit. Written correctly, the Profile Statement alone (which is usually one of the first items a hiring manager or interviewer reads after the contact info) is enough to trigger a return call.

Each one of these tips can increase your chances of an interview “Call Back” by 100%!

This means if you receive just one call within a certain week, which you might not have because you followed that tip … you just increased your interview chances 100%.

Now imagine what can happen when you incorporate every tip outlined here.

Your interview probability ratio will climb many hundreds of percentages as you “precision engineer” the CV so that it accomplishes its maximum potential of resulting in returned calls and interview invitations!

CV Template

Try this:

  • Have a friend or colleague you trust look at the CV.
  • After handing it to the person, remove it immediately in exactly five seconds.
  • Now ask what they remember seeing on it.

If this sounds like a severe situation, it is not. That is representative of the net time and attention your CV will get in the course of a hyper-busy work day at any typical company.

It better have contained precious verbiage and key terms that makes that person want it back to read more … or you will never hear ba
ck from them.