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Tips for graduates and students

Tips for graduates and students

Graduate and First Year Support Officer, Jess Mengel

Starting your career as a professional nurse or midwife can be challenging and daunting. If you have a general question for our Graduate and Final Year Student Support Officer, Jess Mengel,
go to bit.ly/ask-jess

Grad question

Dear Jess,
I’m a graduate and am passionate about environmental sustainability. I see a lot of hospital waste thrown out that could be recycled. How can I make changes in my workplace?
Craig

Dear Craig,

Here at ANMF we believe the environment and sustainability are matters of public health, and to achieve this we need more champions like you!

Check to see if your workplace has a green team? If they don’t, you can start one with the support of our Environmental Health Officer (email records@anmfvic.asn.asu). You can also connect with other green-minded nurses and midwives via our Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/ANMFVicGreenNM).

The Department of Health and Human Services is hosting a series of free metro and regional workshops to help you understand how to set up or improve a recycling program in your hospital, who you need to talk to and how to sell your idea. (details at wasteinhealthcareworkshops.eventbritestudio.com)

We also offer training, so think about enrolling in our ‘Nursing for the environment’ seminar which will be held on Friday 4 October (register at anmfvic.asn.au/NFE). You clock up CPD hours for attending too.

Student question

Dear Jess,
I’m a final year student and I missed undergraduate student study day. Do you have any advice about my graduate applications?
Thanks, Mira

Hi Mira,

Most importantly, don’t leave things to the last minute, so you have enough time to pay attention to detail. Other important ‘don’ts’ are: don’t use unprofessional email addresses (e.g. usernames like ‘imaprincess69’) and don’t copy and paste your responses. Tailor your application to each health service and ask someone to proofread your application before you send it.

I asked several graduate coordinators for their advice and the common answer was that applications should demonstrate why you want to work there and that you’ve researched their organisation. For instance, if you want to do cardiology but the hospital doesn’t offer it, you won’t be selected for an interview.

Here are five tips from Barwon Health’s Graduate Program Co-ordinator Kelly-Ann Humphreys:

  1. Sell yourself but be honest.
  2. Format your letter and resume with a clean design using plain fonts.
  3. Don’t list tasks. Provide succinct examples using strong action verbs (e.g. created, developed, coordinated, etc.) For example, if you worked in fast food, don’t write ‘serving customers, worked close shift’, talk about how you managed customer complaints or followed cleaning protocols to ensure hygiene and safety standards.
  4. Utilise your university careers services to assist you with letters and CVs.
  5. Choose your referees wisely and get their permission.
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