Travel nursing jobs often get snapped up within days, especially in desirable locales like California, Hawaii and Florida, which is why it pays to have someone on your side. A good recruiter can tell you immediately when jobs in your specialty open up and help you get licensing ready so you can begin a new opportunity.
Here are five ways to use your recruiter to find a travel nursing job:
Respond quickly to calls, texts and emails
You’re a nurse, so you’re busy with work and may be sleeping at odd times during the day, but it pays to respond to your recruiter’s messages within one business day so you can get the news about any open positions or provide information he or she needs to complete your profile.
If you know you’re not great at answering the phone but respond well to texts or even Facebook messages, let your recruiter know that so she can communicate with you quickly.
Know exactly what you want in a job
Even the best recruiter can’t read your mind. If you want a job that fits your location, schedule and pay requirements, you need to communicate exactly what those are — or be flexible when your recruiter calls with an opportunity that nearly matches your perfect job description.
When you speak to your recruiter and fill out a profile, be clear about the states you’d like to work in (and have licenses in) and the dates you’re available to work so he or she can find jobs for you more quickly.
Get organized and ready to work
Your recruiter calls with a fantastic opportunity — but you’re still months away from getting your state license and have an active lease on your apartment. Don’t let this happen to you! Once you decide travel nursing is for you, start applying for licenses, fixing up your car, updating resume and gathering necessary paperwork.
Read 10 Things to do Before Taking Your First Travel Nursing Assignment for more tips on preparing early for your job.
Build a strong relationship with your recruiter
Most travelers tell us the reason they stick with RNnetwork is their relationship with their recruiter. If you want your recruiter to go to bat for you, connect with him over the phone and find something in common to build a friendship. Then answer his questions so he can get to know you better.
If you have young children and only plan to take a travel assignment once or twice during the year, let him know so he can find jobs that work for you. Or, if you’d like to make travel nursing a career, be upfront about your goals so your recruiter is aware. Becoming friends with a consultant can also ensure that you hear about the best jobs first.
Don’t be afraid to say no
You may worry about hurting your recruiter’s feelings, but if she sends over a job opportunity that doesn’t interest you at all, it’s best to decline it immediately. This way your recruiter doesn’t keep working on the details for the job and wasting time, and she doesn’t waste your time by sending you jobs that don’t work.
Be open at all times if anything in the process is confusing or if your situation suddenly changes and you have to put travel nursing jobs on hold. Your recruiter will understand and appreciate your honesty.
Though it may take a few weeks or months to find a travel nursing job that fits your requirements, your recruiter will work hard to get you the perfect position if you tell him or her exactly what you’re looking for.
Check out Five Ways to Make a Travel Nurse Recruiter Happy for more tips on making the most of a nurse/recruiter relationship, and share your suggestions with us in the comments.