It takes a special person to be a Certified Nursing Assistant. Due to the personal nature of being a CNA, employers are looking for individuals who are kind, compassionate, and dedicated to their patients. To move forward in your career, you need to accurately highlight your skills and experience. The goal is to show your worth as a healthcare professional.
Create a SMART Action Plan
When you look at your future, what do you see? You need to figure out what your long-term goals are in order to start preparing for your future. Do you want to become an RN one day? Are you looking to work in a different environment than you do currently? Write it down.
Once you have your long-term goals set, you can start planning your short-term goals. Your short-term goals help you take the necessary steps towards achieving your long-term goals. Use a SMART action plan to help keep you on track. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely steps will ensure your goals are met with accuracy and speed (if you stick to your plan). Without a plan, you will waste valuable time and money with no real measure of the success of your actions.
Write (or Rewrite) Your Resume
One excellent place to start when planning actionable career steps is your resume. Your resume will give the first impression of you who you are and should be kept up to date. If a great opportunity shows up, you want to be ready to take advantage of it. Avoid common pitfalls of resume writing by doing a little research before you start. There are many great websites and templates that can help you get started.
When writing your resume as a CNA, you should highlight your experience, skills, and character qualities. Have your contacts review your resume critically. Your resume should highlight not only why you should get the job, but additionally describe your character, talents, and how you have overcome obstacles.
Character Qualities: Certified nursing assistants work closely with their patients; so many employers look for the character qualities of kindness, compassion, and patience in their prospective employees. Use personal examples of how you exemplify these characteristics to your patients.
Experience: Note your experience as well as your goals. Your experience can set you apart from other applicants and your goals will show an employer you are serious about your career. What experience do you have that matches the job description? Make sure to highlight this experience and connect it to the job you want.
Skills: A CNA is required to have a large skill set. From documentation to patient care, list your strengths in these areas. Make sure to include any special recognition you have received for your skills. Also, note your education, licenses, and certifications.
Periodically, Review Your Career Plan
Good plans are sustainable with frequent evaluations. When creating your plan and establishing goals, make sure you write down future dates when you will stop to check your progress. This will allow you to evaluate what you’ve done so far and make the necessary adjustments to stay on the path to success. If something isn’t working, you can change it in the moment instead of waiting until it’s too late to have a positive impact. Time moves quickly. Don’t waste more time than you need to. Once you’ve made the adjustments, you can glide right back on track to achieving your goals.
The demand for caring and qualified CNAs is growing. Put yourself at the top of an employer’s list by crafting a clear and concise goal for your CNA career.