Rejection is an inevitable part of the application process to work as a nurse in the United Kingdom. This happens in different forms and various platforms. Often, you do not hear back when you apply directly to vacancies advertised by employers and when you do get one, you receive a general vague feedback that goes something like this, "Thank you for applying for the position of a registered nurse but unfortunately your application has not been selected at this time". Does that sound familiar? In some countries like Philippines and India where there are established recruitment agencies recruiting on behalf UK employers, you also wonder why you are not being shortlisted for an interview despite providing tons of documents asked of you by the agencies.
You can ask a recruiter why you weren't chosen and occasionally receive some meaningful feedback. However, in almost all cases, interviewers will either not respond to requests for feedback or will offer a rationale like: "Though you were a strong candidate, we found someone who was more qualified." So we thought it will be helpful to give you the top 5 "real reasons you are not getting that one shot job interview you have been seeking for":
1. Have you any gaps in your nursing employment? On 25 September 2018, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) announced that nurses trained outside the EU are no longer required to have at least one year work experience after qualifying. This was a welcome news but what many international nurses did not realise is the fact that employers remain to look for applicants who have years of experience to consider their application. If your work experience has been a few months here and then, don't expect to be selected against those who have tarried to work continuously in the last two years or so with the aim of nursing in the UK in the future.
2. Have you any experience relevant to the role you are applying for? How closely did your background match the qualifications and experience for the job? In a competitive market, applicants who have the exact match or closest will get the invite to attend a job interview.
3. Does your resume/CV showcase skills and accomplishments related to your target job? Did you target your resume? Does it show clearly and accurately your skills, accomplishments and how you added value to your previous or current jobs, appointments, volunteering or other projects?
4. Is your CV compelling, error free and well written to attract interest from interviewing officers? Have you simply copied job description templates from the internet and pasted them on your CV? It's very obvious how others do not simply take the time to carefully write their CVs and expect to get an interview. Is your CV organised, showing your strengths from top to bottom? Is it short enough but rich and complete to attract interest? Remember, your CV is being read on top of hundreds of applicants and must stand out to be read.
5. Are you currently working in the role you are targeting? Is your current role in nursing or are you working in a call centre or insurance company in the last 6 months or longer? If such is the case, your employers view is that you are being deskilled and will have no appetite to even consider you for an interview. We find that this is true even if you have a 5 years work experience in the past but have not been working or working in another role in the last 6 months or so.
..."When asked about processes relating to clinical scenarios, the applicant was not very clear on clinical practice, e.g. diabetes, pressure wounds - a very clear indication that the nurse lack experience"... Interviewing Manager
Note that employers are investing thousands of pounds to employ a nurse from overseas and need to ensure they are selecting not only strong candidates but also those who are committed to work with them for at least three years. Read my blog here to know the true cost of international recruitment.
If you have been applying in the last 6 or 12 months and are unable to secure a job interview, you might want to consider our International Apprenticeship for Nurses [IANS] Programme that we run in the Philippines in partnership with two hospitals. This is a 3-6 month pathway guaranteed to offer you work experience, English language, CBT and OSCE training guaranteed to secure you UK nursing employment at the end of your programme.
We piloted this project with R.O. Diagan Hospital in June 2019 and to date out of 10 that join our programme, we have successfully assisted 4 to pass IELTS, one awaiting result and got all them job offers from our employers. This is a paid employment over 3 days and 3 days of training. We are now rolling out this programme to all interested applicants across the Philippines beginning January 2020. Follow this link to know more or sign up with the programme. This is now your chance to return to practice, gain and fill the gaps in your work experience, access all the training you require to become eligible and get a job interview and enter the UK at the end of your programme.