Maximize Your Career Options With One Easy Step

When you’re job-hunting, you want to make sure that you’re taking advantage of every possible situation that could lead to a potential professional connection. This means that there is no real down time when looking for a job. Whether you’re at a coffee shop, at a cookout with friends or even a night out on the town, you’re always networking. tapped published author and industry leader Dawn Graham, PhD, LP for her thoughts on how to make sure you’re maximizing your career options and she had one incredible tip to share.

Summer is made for being outdoors – BBQing with friends, running into neighbors, attending little league games, and casual conversations at the dog park.

While many discussions revolve around the latest heat wave or our kids’ summer camp escapades, these informal meetings offer a huge opportunity to positively influence our careers and the careers of those around us. Yet, most of us will miss it.

Here’s a test:

Can the people you interact with regularly – your neighbor, second cousin, the outgoing German Shepherd owner, your beloved hair stylist, or fellow book club members – verbalize what you do for a living in a sentence or two in a way that sells your value to others?

I’m not talking about the company where you work or a generic job title, but rather, can the people with whom you have an established (or at least baseline) relationship specifically relay the value you bring to your industry?

The truth is that many of the people closest to us, the ones we feel comfortable talking to and in many cases the ones invested in our success, don’t really know or understand what we do for a living. This means they’re unable to spot or relay opportunities that might be a match for our expertise. Also, we’re unlikely to be able to do the same for them.

Even if you’re not looking for a job in the moment, building a network of like-minded people can be very beneficial to your long-term career. Statistics point to the fact that you’ll be in a job search at some point in the next few years, and if the people you feel most comfortable around don’t know your professional value, they can’t help you.

Don’t wait until you need ambassadors to start creating them. While you don’t need to turn every summer social gathering or soccer practice sideline conversation into a business meeting, here’s what you can do now:

  1. Learn about your contact’s work. Don’t be embarrassed if you’ve been having conversations with someone for a while and don’t know specifically what they do. This is the entire point of this article – it’s pretty common. Simply say, “I’m sorry – I feel like I should have asked this earlier, but I really don’t know what you do at the firm downtown.” It will be rare that someone mistakes your interest as prying, so don’t psych yourself out.
  2. Share what you do in layman’s terms. Reciprocate and avoid using titles or industry phrases that may be meaningless to others. You may assume everyone knows what a programmer does, but your goal is to give someone the language to potentially sell your value, or at least be able to explain your role to another person. Sometimes an example goes a long way to opening the door to a great discussion (e.g., “Do you know those annoying pop ups that cover the screen when you’re trying to read a Facebook post? I program a software that removes them from commercial websites.”).
  3. Identify commonalities. Chances are there is some overlap in the people you know, vendors you use, places you travel, perks you receive or something else. The more you engage, the more likely you are to discover these similarities, which builds trust and possibly opens the door to new introductions for one or both of you.
  4. Ask about their future career goals. Since the average tenure in a role is about 4.2 years, it’s likely your contact will have some ideas about her next career move. Listen for opportunities where you might be able to assist with information, introductions or other ideas and support. If you can’t right now, make a mental note so that you can be helpful when the timing is right.
  5. Share your future career goals. Even if still hazy, confiding your plans in another can both motivate you to more forward and also might inspire a conversation that helps you to clarify your goals. Often we get stuck in our heads, spinning about the possible paths, so this could be an opportunity to both convey your intentions, while getting some objective feedback. People who aren’t in a similar profession can ask questions that others hadn’t thought to, which may enable you to see new possibilities.
  6. If the opportunity arises, take action. In some cases, you might learn about a way you can help a contact straight away. Don’t wait for the ask – many are uncomfortable being vulnerable and may shy away from being assertive or may not know what to ask for. Offer to help, perhaps more than once. If you’ve only been talking about casual topics up to this point, your contact may not want to inconvenience you, so be the first to speak up.
  7. Check in on occasion. While not every future conversation needs to turn back to business, make it a point to ask how things are progressing and what has changed. It’s tempting at social gatherings, sports events, or Happy Hour to steer the conversation to non-work topics since we’re trying to detach. That’s fine, but periodical check-in’s will open many doors for you and your network.

Many professionals dislike networking in a job search. That’s because it’s not meant to be a transactional activity in your job search checklist. Networking is about building relationships, consciously and constantly, so they’re there when you need them. It’s also about helping others to achieve their goals, which you can’t do unless you understand clearly what those goals are.

These seven steps can literally be completed in 10 minutes, or you may find that the conversations continue naturally over several meetings. If you don’t take the first step, you’ll never know.

And if the voice in your head says, “Yeah, but what if…he’s unemployed, she hates her job, it’s an industry I don’t understand, he should already know this…” – stop. Don’t let your discomfort dissuade you from having the conversation. The only way to build a relationship is to remain open to being vulnerable. And, many professionals’ careers are intertwined with their identities, so it’s flattering when others take an interest at a deeper level.

If you’re ready to open up your options to the 80% of jobs that can’t be found online, this is your ticket.

Happy hunting!

Click the link to read Dr. Dawn Graham’s original article on Forbes:

Join Us for the ARH Career Fair in Pikeville

Ready to Live, Lead and Love What You Do!

Join the Largest Healthcare Provider in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia for a Career Fair.

Thursday, June 7
7:30am – 8pm
Hilton Garden Inn
849 Hambley Blvd., Pikeville, KY

Whether you have 20 years on the job or you are just out of school, you’ll find great benefits, room to grow, and lots of opportunities for advancement at Appalachian Regional Healthcare!


  • RNs
  • LPNs
  • Nurse Aides
  • Physicians
  • APRNs
  • Hospital Clerks
  • Personal Care Aides
  • Environmental Care Aides
  • IT Professionals
  • Business Professionals

To learn more, call 1-855-WORK ARH!


HR Rep

4 Incredible Resume Tips You’ve Probably Never Heard Before

In today’s job market everyone needs a resume, and those in healthcare are no exception. More and more healthcare related careers are requiring resumes as a part of the hiring process and in order to be competitive, you need to make sure your resume is well written and sets you apart from the crowd. Does your current resume separate you from your peers?

Shelcy Joseph, Forbes Contributor, has some incredible resume tips that we think are worth reading. We think #3 is particularly important! See what she has to say below.

Yes, recruiters only spend six seconds reviewing your resume.

No, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend time on it.

You know the dream job you’ve been eyeing on that company’s website? Your resume is the first thing that’ll get you considered for it—granted you tell your professional story in a compelling way.

Of course, it’s easier said than done. How can you compact your experience in a concise, yet interesting and relevant way? This is where Career and Negotiation Strategist Claudia Telles comes in. She shares her top tips for writing a resume that will successfully pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)—and get your foot in the door of any company.

Have a summary section and mention the role you’re applying for

Here’s an example of what it may look like:

SUMMARYAs a motivated, ambitious and self-directed individual with [hard and/or soft skills], I’m ready to leverage my experience in [skills] for a [Job Title you’re applying for] role. 

When the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) scans your resume it looks for the position title. If you include the role in your resume it will help you rank higher and increase your chances of it being seen by the recruiter.

Include both soft and hard skills under the skills section

Hard skills are skills you can prove you have. Example: coding, creating and managing a budget, advertising on Facebook, etc. Soft skills are harder to show or measure. Example: entrepreneurial spirit, collaborative attitude, organization etc. Include both sets under the skills section. Hiring Managers don’t necessarily spend too much time here but it’s important to mention it to help you rank higher in the ATS system and put your resume on top of the pile.

Be sure to avoid words like hard worker because it’s already assumed you are. Plus, it’s just cliche and overused.

Mention your biggest achievement as the first bullet point in every role

Since you only have 6 seconds to make an impression and land an interview it’s important to be strategic. Your first bullet point should be your biggest achievement at work. Impress them right away by sharing something they’ll find relevant or have questions about.

You don’t have to describe every task associated with each position you’ve held. Aim to have 2-4 bullet points under each role. Share just enough to capture their attention.

Here’s a trick I use to decide if a bullet point is strong and worth mentioning it. Read the bullet point and ask yourself, “how is it relevant?”.  The key here is to be as specific as possible, yet concise.

Here’s a quick example:

  • Increased sales year over year

This is too vague. Consider this instead:

  • Increased sales by ~27% for the past 5 years by implementing a new marketing strategy that enabled me to get more qualified leads.

Be sure to include detailed information and back up your achievements with numbers whenever possible.

Make sure your resume aligns with the job description

Use this free tool called Jobscan to see how well your resume matches with the job description. It tells you what keywords you’re missing and it gives you an opportunity to get creative and include it in your resume. Aim to get more than a 65% match before submitting your job application.

To read the original blog on, click here:

becoming a nurse

6 Things You Need To Know Before Becoming A Nurse

Whether you’re a young student looking to major in nursing or someone who’s looking to change their career, the thought of becoming a nurse can easily become daunting. It’s common to not know what to expect and most are nervous at the thought of stepping into this fast paced world where every step can at times be critical.

So, what can you expect? What are some things you should know before you leap into this next chapter of your life? Contributor Sean Dent, MSN, ACNP-BC, CCRN compiled a list of 6 things you should expect before starting your nurse career. See what he had to say below!

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

You’ve watched them on the big screen, you’ve seen them in action on television, and you may have even observed them at work in real life.

It’s easy to assume that everyone knows about the profession of nursing. I mean, nurses have ranked as the #1 most trusted profession for 15 consecutive years according to the annual Gallup poll.

But does the public really know who nurses are and what we’re capable of? Do people truly understand the profession of nursing or the men and women who carry the title — not to mention the dizzying number of specialties we practice?

Better yet, if you’re interested in becoming a nurse, do you know what you’re getting into? Here are six things you need to know before you take the leap of submitting your application to a nursing program:

  1. Hollywood medicine gets it wrong
  2. Male nurses do exist
  3. We’re the most trusted profession for a reason
  4. Alphabet soup: there are a lot of acronyms and credentials
  5. Not everyone can do this job
  6. The opportunities are endless

Hollywood medicine gets it wrong

Everything from the scrubs we wear down to the actual function and role we play at the bedside is generally misrepresented in movies and television. Many of the popular TV shows get it wrong – just ask any nurse.

Real-life nurses are high-functioning, independent, critically thinking healthcare providers who are treated as colleagues, not servants or handmaidens – and definitely not like sex objects.

Oh, and let’s be clear on one thing: nurses are not there to just take doctors’ orders – we have more autonomy than you think.

Male nurses do exist

Yes, we do. While we only make up roughly 10% of the nursing workforce, our presence is growing. Most of us don’t really like the term “Murse” and no, we didn’t lose our “Man Card” when we became nurses. There is a very high percentage of male nurses who love the adrenaline rush of emergency and critical care nursing, but you’ll find them in all areas of the profession.

We are the most trusted profession for a reason

As mentioned above, we’re #1 (for 15 years and counting) according to Gallup. We speak for our patients when they’re unable to speak for themselves. We’re the linchpins of the healthcare system for patients in all walks of life, at any stage of their medical journey. We help not only bridge the gap of understanding for our patients, but we’re honest enough to tell them the things they may not want to hear but need to hear.

Alphabet soup. There are a lot of acronyms and credentials

The world of healthcare loves acronyms. We love to abbreviate, probably because we just don’t have the time to write out everything. In addition to abbreviations, our profession is swimming in a sea of credentials and certifications.

Just to be clear, a CNA, LPN, RN, CRNP, CRNA, DNP, MSN, and BSN are all nurses – and yes, it can all be very confusing. I promise we’re not doing it on purpose. You’ll learn what each letter means as you progress through the profession.

Not everyone can do this job

It takes heart to do this job – both the physical and proverbial heart. You not only will be challenged physically (and mentally), but you’ll need to have a firm grasp on your emotions. What we see and are subjected to on a daily basis is not easily digestible. We nurses see the human condition at its worst and most vulnerable moments, and not everyone can handle that.

Opportunities are endless

The profession of nursing has a very unique and attractive feature: once you pass your state board exam, attain your license, and hold the title of nurse, you now have the ability to choose where you practice within the nursing profession and healthcare ecosystem.

You can choose to work in multiple areas of nursing, all without having to re-enter formal schooling. As a licensed nurse, there are many jobs you can “transfer” to without having to attain another degree. You can also pursue a wide variety of specialty certifications in order to elevate your career and increase your credibility and marketability.

What do you think? Is nursing in your future?  It’s truly not for the faint of heart, but it’s truly one of the most rewarding professions to be found in the professional world.

To see the original blog posted on, follow the link:

positive nurse

Top 10 Perks of Being a Nurse

No one can say that nursing is an easy career. Nurses sacrifice a lot when it comes to their career. We often hear about the negative aspects of nursing, but what about the positive aspects? These positive aspects of the career often get ignored, but they are no doubt present and motivate nurses around the world to continue to do what they love.

Health eCareers’s contributor Anita Ginsburg touches on 10 of the positive “perks” of being a nurse and sheds a little light on the great parts of this rewarding career.


While the basic work day for most people is an eight-hour day, five days per week, the average for nurses in long-term health facilities or hospitals is 12 hour shifts, three days per week. While this structure does include longer work hours, the fact that they are condensed into three days means more time to spend doing the things you want to do on your days off. Every facility may vary in shifts, but longer work days working also means longer days off.


Most nursing jobs offer plenty of opportunities to get overtime work – which comes with a nice pay increase! Hospitals and other facilities need nurses around the clock, so it’s usually easy to pick up an extra shift when you need one.


Advancing in your career as a nurse is easier than in many other occupations. If you are an asset to the facility you work for, it’s likely that they will provide tuition benefits for furthering your nursing education. And of course, along with career advancement comes an increase in pay.


Nurses are needed everywhere, so you should be able to find a job anywhere you might go. You should also be able to retain your experience levels and certifications pretty easily wherever life might lead you.


Nursing is a very active job. Not only must you be mentally engaged at all times, but you also have to be physically engaged. Nurses have to walk a lot from room to room. They must also be able to physically move a patient or equipment when the need arises. You’ll burn plenty of calories and probably have an easier time staying in shape. This is a great job for those who don’t want to sit in front of a computer all day.


There are many different areas of nursing to work in. If you find that trauma care nursing is not for you, then it should be relatively easy to move into another field such as psychiatric care or labor and delivery nursing. You can work in several different areas throughout your career.

7. PAY

For nurses, the pay is actually pretty good. As a registered nurse with an associate’s degree, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the median annual salary at $65,000. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree in nursing can earn more than an associate’s level nurse because they have the training necessary to become administrators and leaders. Getting a bachelor degree of science in nursing is a great way to advance your career.


There always seems to be a nursing shortage, so hospitals and nursing facilities are always hiring. The BLS indicates that the need for nurses is expected to increase at rates higher than the national average over the next decade.


Nurses will interact with a large number of people on a daily basis, including patients and colleagues. Healthcare workers share the same goal of improving the lives of others and making a difference, making it a great way to be a part of a dedicated team. Many nurses really care about their patients and enjoy helping them reach their health goals.


Nurses have more direct contact with patients than most other medical specialists. In general, it is the quality of the nursing staff that will have the most effect on a patient’s experience in the healthcare setting. Nurses save lives and improve the quality of life for their patients.

To read the original post on Health eCareer’s website, visit the link:

Do Nurses Need a Professional Resume?

Do nurses need a professional resume? This question has probably crossed every nurses’ mind while searching for a new career and is still commonly asked in today’s medical industry.

While some may say it isn’t necessary, most HR professionals who work in the medical field would say otherwise. Even though the medical industry operates a bit differently when it comes to the hiring process, nurses should still take every measure to put their best foot forward to help themselves stand out in the interview process and a professional resume could make or break their chances.

Health eCareers tapped Dr. Tiffany Kelley PhD, MBA, RN for her thoughts on this subject, and we think her thoughts are worth reading. See what she had to say about the professional side of the nursing industry and the role that professional resumes play in the hiring process.

Every Nurse Should Have a Professional Resume

As nurses, we spend the majority of our time learning how to care for patients and their families. In school, we learn the science, the art and the skills involved in being a nurse. We also learn how to critically think and approach each patient using the nursing process.

But very little time is spent learning how to present your valuable experience, education and insights through a resume. Yet, resumes are a core requirement when thinking of applying for a new role in nursing. Whether you’re a new graduate of a nursing school program, a seasoned nurse looking to change positions or a nurse looking to re-enter the workforce after a number of years, you must ensure that your resume portrays you and your experience in a way that stands out to potential employers.

In general, for those newer nurses, one to two pages is recommended. More experienced nurses will have longer resumes that reflect the vast accomplishments over the course of their careers.

Who You Are

At the very top of the word document, be sure to clearly state who you are and how someone can reach you. This should include your full name, your credentials, mailing address, email address and a phone number. An email address and a phone number are the quickest way for a potential employer to contact you as the applicant.

Summary of Your Professional Experience

The next section of your resume should be a summary paragraph that highlights your professional experience. This paragraph should be a few sentences that offer characteristics about you as a nurse and as a professional. Additionally, you’ll want to summarize your experience that allows the potential employer to get a picture of you as a professional nurse. Lastly, highlight your strengths and what makes you stand out as an applicant. This is where you really want to portray yourself in the best possible light!

Your Professional Experience

Next, include your professional experience. In this section, you will list your current or most recent role first and all prior roles in reverse chronological order. The last listed position should be the first nursing and/or healthcare related role that you have had in your career. Include the place of employment and years of employment. Include your professional title in that role.

Beneath these descriptors, offer a few (3–5) bullet points of primary responsibilities and/or achievements within that role. Ensure that these bullet points speak to the responsibilities of the position that you are in search of next (to the extent possible). If you served on a committee or council, include those details as well.

Your Educational Experience

In this section of your resume, be sure to include your educational background. Where did you go to nursing school? What years did you attend? What was your GPA? For a new graduate nurse, the answers to these questions should be included within your resume.

If you’ve had additional educational experiences, be sure to include those as well. Perhaps you had a degree outside of nursing before nursing school. Include that information in your resume. Some of you may have already decided to further your education with another degree. Include those educational experiences within your resume. List the most recent degree and/or degree in progress first and the degree before that second and so forth. If you are currently enrolled in a degree program, include those details.

Publications, Grants and Speaking Events

Depending upon your nursing role and stage of your career, you may have publications, grants and/or speaking events that you’d want to include in your resume. If you have all three of these types of contributions, you may separate them out into different sections. Include the relevant details about each of these events that allows the potential employer to understand your accomplishments.

Some nursing positions, such as academic faculty members, require publications, grants and professional contributions at conferences to be considered for such a role. Thus, know your prospective employer audience.


This section should only be included if you have an award that relates to the nursing and/or health care profession. A past or current employer may have recognized you for some of your efforts. Take a moment to include it and show others how valuable you are to another department or organization.

Certifications and Licenses

As nurses, we are often required to have CPR and First Aid certification. Additionally, you’ll want to include information on the states where you are registered as a nurse. This may be one state or multiple states depending upon your career and prior roles. In this section, also include any additional certifications that you may have earned in your career.

Some positions require PALS or ACLS. If you have those certifications, include them in your resume. If you are board certified in a specialty practice of nursing, include that board certification. Include any other nursing related certifications and/or licenses that you may have in your resume.

Include a Cover Letter

In many cases the potential positions that you will find yourself applying for will be through an online application portal. This will require that you submit your resume for consideration. However, sometimes you will see an option to include a cover letter. This is often presented as an option and not a requirement. But I would highly encourage you to think carefully about the position and why you are applying for it. There must be something that captured your interest. Additionally, the description must have led you to believe you were qualified for the role.

The person receiving your resume will not likely know you. Thus, this is a great opportunity to provide an individualized description as to why you are interested in the role and how you are the person to consider for it.

A cover letter will help you stand out from other applicants. The cover letter will also give the recruiter, human resource professional or nursing manager some additional insight as to who you are as a professional nurse that cannot be captured from the resume alone.

Keep Your Resume Current

A resume is something that every nurse should have in their files. Your resume should be updated on a regular basis as you continue to build your experience, skills and professional roles. This should done at least once a year but perhaps even more frequently if you find yourself changing roles before the year is up and/or having more achievements to add.

Lastly, be sure you are presenting yourself in a confident manner and not minimizing your experiences and/or achievements. Take credit for the hard work you have done and will continue to do in your career. Finally, best of luck in your career search and continued development!

To see the original story on Health eCareer’s website, follow the link:

ARH Scholars 2018

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Releases Names of 2018 ARH Scholars Award Winners

Appalachian Regional Healthcare is standing behind its commitment to provide
financial assistance to standout college students with the ARH Scholars Award.
The ARH Scholars Award is a scholarship program designed to help fund the
cost of education for those interested in seeking a career in healthcare.
The award is open to all those living in any of our ARH communities. ARH will
pay $5,000 directly to the recipient’s school of choice to go toward tuition.
Moreover, ARH will provide mentors who will be directly engaged with each
student to ensure successful completion of their education.

This round’s eight recipients were selected from a very diverse, competitive
group of people who are all extremely passionate about their healthcare career
choice. All share a common ground: wanting to have a lifelong role in building
and maintaining healthy communities.

The 2018 Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholars are:

• Sarah Akers, Wheelwright, KY –Attends University of Pikeville
• Ashley Bergman, Lexington, KY –Attends University of Kentucky
• Jordan Blevins, Baxter, KY –Attends Union College
• Melissa Booth, Pine Ridge, KY –Attends Western Governors University;
employed at ARH
• Carissa Dotson, McAndrews, KY –Attends University of Charleston School of Pharmacy
• Andrew Maxwell, Teaberry, KY –Attends Hazard Community & Technical College; employed at ARH
• Jennifer Turner, Buckhorn, KY –Attends Hazard Community & Technical College; employed at ARH
• Kelsey Whitt, Beckley, WV –Attends Marshall University; employed at ARH

Doris Shuck - West Liberty Tornado 2002

ARH Stories: Doris Shuck pt. 2

Doris Shuck, Pharmacy Technician, Morgan County ARH, recalls the powerful and moving display of support from her ARH family after a 2002 tornado destroyed her home and devastated her community in West Liberty. #OneFamily

Sue Bowling

ARH Stories: Sue Bowling

Sue Bowling, Director of Laboratory Services, Hazard ARH, describes what it means to be “family” at ARH. #OneFamily

Joshua Shepherd

Winning ARH Scholars Award Just a First Step

Breathitt Co. native Shepherd hails from Lost Creek

Joshua Shepherd of Lost Creek has been named a 2017 Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholar and will be receiving a financial award of $2,500 each year for the next two years to be used for tuition and living expenses while attending college. To be selected as an ARH Scholar, the applicant must either be an employee of ARH or be sponsored by a relative who is an employee. Shepherd was sponsored by his sister, Tammie Shepherd-Smith, who works for Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

Shepherd currently works for the Veterans Health Administration (VA) in Hazard as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and says he is proud of helping those individuals who have served in the military. “This one guy I was treating had been a mechanic on Air Force One. He knew personally that Marilyn Monroe had been a passenger aboard that plane and he was very interesting,” said Shepherd, who will be studying to obtain his registered nursing (RN) degree in the fall at Galen School of Nursing, Hazard. “I believe the veterans deserve the best possible care so I take my role very seriously.”

“My ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist,” he said explaining that obtaining his RN licensure is just the next step. “I want to be the best at what I am doing, so that will mean more study. I’m up for it. I want to help my patients get back to being the best they can possibly be physically.”

Shepherd said he was grateful for his sister’s recommendation since he is not currently an ARH employee. “I’ll end up working for ARH,” said Shepherd, “but it was good she got me in. This award means the world for me because it takes a lot of the financial burden off of me and my family.”

Shepherd is also looking ahead to maybe his wife winning an ARH Scholars award one day soon. “My wife is an LPN so she needs to step up next,” he said while adding, “and we have three children! We’d love it if we were all part of the ARH family.”

Credit: Special to the Jackson-Breahitt County Times-Voice