Top Five Reasons You Aren't Getting The Job

job search Jan 28, 2024

This is an important topic because I know that a lot of us get really disheartened and discouraged when we do application after application and we just don’t know why we aren’t getting called back.

We may think things like “The market is oversaturated and there are no NP jobs out there.” Or “The experienced nurse practitioners are taking them all.”

But honestly, I think that there is a job for everyone. And I really think that it’s important for you to set yourself apart and do everything you can to be sure that you are presenting yourself in the best way possible.

Let’s talk about the top five reasons you aren’t getting the job:


Remember, your resume is going to be your first impression. So, as you begin to tailor your resume, be sure that you’re looking at that job description and matching it up with what you’re presenting in your resume.

Maybe they are asking for somebody that has five years of experience, and you’re a new graduate nurse practitioner. Most likely, they’re not going to consider you right now.

In another example, they might say one to two years of experience and have other qualities listed. I would want your background to match at least 75% of what they’re looking for, including all those qualities. Sometimes, they may overlook the experience requirement in favor of a really dynamic candidate.

Also, consider that they are probably using an applicant tracking system. ATS is a program that employers use to match up what they’re looking for with the qualifications of candidates who apply for their positions.

Remember, this is a computerized algorithm, so make sure that the keywords they’re looking for in that job description are somewhere in your resume. Follow these same guidelines in your cover letter to improve your chances of passing through this initial screening process.

The key takeaway here is that you want to highlight your background as it pertains to the job that you’re looking for.


As previously stated, your resume is your first impression, so it’s imperative that it contains no grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. It should be formatted professionally in a clean, easy-to-read style. To ensure that it’s polished and pristine, it’s a good idea to have somebody else review your resume. A fresh pair of eyes can reveal small details you may have overlooked.

Now let’s say your resume is looking perfect. I also want you to consider the importance of being focused on the job you’re applying for. Because if you’re not focusing on the job at hand, then they’re going to pass you by. For example, let’s say you’re looking for a family nurse practitioner job and all your nursing experience is in the ICU. What you’re going to put on your resume should be tailored toward the clinical experiences in your FNP program. The reason is that you want to pull out what’s most important and most relevant from your background into this new job.

That’s not saying that the ICU experience isn’t relevant, but there are certain things in that role that are relevant and other things that are not. For example, ventilator management, IV drips, and titrations aren’t really going to transfer into a family nurse practitioner role. But what is going to transfer are those collaboration and critical thinking skills.

Another thing to consider is having a separate resume for each of the jobs that you’re applying for if they fall under different specialties. Let’s say you’re looking at a position in GI and another position in endocrine. You will not use the same resume because it should be tailored toward the job that you’re applying for. If you want to learn more about how to write a powerful resume that gets you more callbacks, check out The Mini Resume Workshop.


Research is so important in an organization. You want to understand exactly what their culture is, how they treat their nurse practitioners, how they work with their nurse practitioners, and how everybody works together on the team.

It might be a large hospital system or a small private practice. And you want to understand what that looks like on the inside as much as you can before going in for an interview.

One way that you can do that is by looking at online recruiting sites, such as Indeed and Glassdoor, where you can, depending on the size of the organization, read reviews from previous employees about their experience working there. You should also visit their website, particularly the “About Us” section, where you will usually find their mission and vision statement.

Once you know their core values and mission; you can align yourself with those goals and talk about them in an interview.

Another important part of your research should be a quick Google search to see what patients are saying about them. Remember, whatever patients are saying, whatever their reputation is—if you get hired there, that’s going to be your reputation. So, it’s important for you to understand how patients feel about their own care before you decide to join the practice.

As you read the patient reviews, understand that people are much more likely to say negative things on the internet than they are to say positive things. However, it’s good practice to go in with eyes wide open, understanding the culture, and understanding what patients are saying.


You want to come in well-researched and understanding what the role is, what you will do, and how you provide value.

And you definitely want to practice your interview questions! For best results, practice out loud. Saying things out loud will help you craft your answers to those commonly asked questions. As you hear yourself, you will begin to think:

• “Is that how I really want to relay myself?"
• “Is that really how I want to speak to them?”
• “Is that really the answer I want to give?”

Another important tip: bring multiple copies of your resume and portfolio so that everybody has a copy, including yourself. This will allow you to follow along as they reference your resume throughout the interview.

Portfolios are especially important because that’s a tangible product of what you’ve done in your career. A professional clinician portfolio allows you to show them, not just tell them, about how great you really are!


This might be the single biggest reason that you are not getting a job.

A negative mindset.

If you really, truly believe that the right job is there for you, you will get that job when the time is right.

It’s about patience.

It’s about positive energy.

It’s about a positive outlook.

So that once that right job comes for you, you are well-prepared, you’ve got your positive mindset, and you’re ready to accept the position.

As a nurse practitioner, remember the right fit is out there. It’s all about finding what matches up with your talents. Consider what you’re inadvertently doing to set yourself back. It’s only a matter of time before the right opportunity presents itself. Don’t give up! Keep networking and keep a positive attitude. Your time is coming.

Then you have come to the right place! At The Clinician Life, we have helped hundreds of nurses and nurse practitioners with personalized products and services, and we also provide custom resumes, CVs, digital courses, templates, and career tracking tools. Let us help you shine a light on all your skills and accomplishments with professional resources that you will be proud to show-off. Your dream career is waiting - we can help you get there! Visit our website to learn more about our custom resume packages for nurses and nurse practitioners. Not convinced? Check out our 5-star reviews on Google to see what others are saying about resumes from The Clinician Life.

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