By: Guest Blogger Kaitlin Olson for HEALTHeCAREERS.com

So you’re looking for a job as a nurse practitioner? You’ve heard that there are great employment opportunities for nurse practitioners, but for some reason you still can’t seem to get your job search strategy down. You’re not alone. And if you’re like the many nurse practitioners looking for a fresh start, you need to stand out from the competition. From filling your resume with keywords to using the tools at your disposal, here are five tips to help power your nurse practitioner job search.

1. Pack your resume full of keywords.

Online job boards, such as HEALTHeCAREERS Network, are the first stop for nurse practitioners searching for a new job.  If you’ve spent any time on a job board recently, you’ve probably noticed that almost every board includes an applicant tracking system (ATS).  And many healthcare employers will use ATS to help narrow down their candidate search by using keywords. With a simple search on Google Adwords, you can start targeting the terms employers use the most when searching for positions. It’s also a smart idea to browse open positions you’re interested in, make a list of keywords used in the job description and insert those keywords into your resume. This will give you maximum exposure and a head start over other NPs.

2. Sign up for job alerts.

As a community manager for HEALTHeCAREERS Network, I’ve seen NPs overlook the importance of signing up for job alerts. Many job boards offer this free service to job seekers – but oftentimes it’s the tool least taken advantage of. Take time to customize your job seeker account and sign up for job alerts. This will ensure that you are notified of jobs matching your credentials as soon as they’re posted.

3. Consider your career objectives.

If you’re just starting your job search, you’re probably scrolling through job postings with no clear idea of what position you want – or you may be selling yourself short. Taking the time to consider what your next career step should be will help you in the long run. Interviews, resumes and job applications will be more focused once you determine which positions you really want to apply to. If you’re not sure what your next career step is, start with considering whether work culture, salary or title is more important to you.


4. Don’t forget to network.

If you’ve ever read my blog posts on the HEALTHeCAREERS Blog, you’re probably well aware that I focus on the importance of networking. I do so only because I’ve heard time and time again how networking has helped healthcare professionals land a job.  Industry associations, such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, are great resources for professionals interested in networking with other NPs. In addition, Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups and even following healthcare Twitter accounts will start you in the direction of gaining important industry contacts. Don’t forget to stick close to home and talk with coworkers or nurse practitioners in your area. A simple introductory email to a nurse practitioner or hiring manager at a desired hospital may also garner you an informational interview – which could lead to a job later on.

5. Ramp up your personal brand online.

Believe it or not, signing up for a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account almost automatically gives you a personal brand. Clean up your personal brand online by checking your security settings. View each of your social profiles as “public” and see what information employers might be accessing about you from your online profiles. Remove any embarrassing photos, update your about section to include your specialties, qualifications and education, and update your profile picture to a professional photo. These little tweaks will go a long way in establishing credibility online.

While the above tips will help you on your path to a successful career as a nurse practitioner, staying confident is the key to a successful search. Remember why you became a nurse practitioner, what you love most about your job and let that shine on your resume and in interviews. For even more nurse practitioner job search tips, visit the HEALTHeCAREERS nurse practitioner resource center.

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