You’ve graduated your CNA course and are ready to start working. What’s the best way to find that first job? Newspaper ads are one way to look for jobs but they can be a bit impersonal. Think about the personal connections you have and take advantage of technology to find a position. Our top tips for finding your first job are:

1. Talk to the career counselor at your school. Many schools which offer CNA courses have career counselors who can advise you where to look. Some of them send their graduates to specific agencies which will help out with placements. Career counselors usually know where there are jobs available so they can save you a lot of searching time.

2. Ask friends for referrals. If you have friends from your class who already found work or you know more experienced CNAs, LPNs or RNs, ask them to keep an eye out for jobs at their place of employment. They can often earn referral fees by bringing in new employees so they will be happy to help.

3. Broaden your search. Don’t limit yourself to a specific type of job. Your goal is to gain experience so that future jobs will be easier to land. Don’t be too picky on location. Work in private homes or nursing homes and even accept a job which doesn’t require certification if it will get your foot in the door. Salary should also not be a big concern in your first CNA job; the important thing is to start working.

4. Deliver your resume in person. Agencies and institutions get hundreds of resumes and it’s easy for yours to get lost or overlooked. When you deliver it in person, you get immediate feedback and don’t have to wonder whether the email went through. You can also differentiate yourself by dressing nicely and speaking politely and knowledgeably.

5. Go online. Websites and social media sites are a great source of job postings. Towne Nursing has many listings for inexperienced CNAs for which you can apply directly online. Connect to the Towne Nursing Facebook page and Twitter account to stay informed of the latest locations of positions open.

It can be daunting to start looking for a job but if you use these tips you will be working sooner rather than later. And then you will be in a position to help out friends and classmates who are looking for their first job as CNAs!