Red Flags Employers Look For

While reviewing resumes recruiters and managers look at your background and experience, they also keep an eye out for red flags. It’s important to know what the red flags are and how to overcome them.

 How to avoid red flags on your resume:

Gaps – Employment gaps can be a big red flag as an employer reviews your resume. I knew one hiring manager who used a red marker and circle gaps and if there too many, the person was toast. Sometimes gaps can be explained; you took care of sick parent or went back to school, etc. Cover letters can be helpful to explain some gaps. For an interview; it’s important to be prepared and be honest when you explain the gaps. Have a short detailed answer (no rambling please).


Sloppy resume – Resumes with formatting errors, typos, spelling and grammar errors, different fonts show a lack of attention to detail and is a big red flag.  Not taking the time to prepare a good resume makes an employer wonder what else you might not prepare for.


Words with no substance – I recently spoke to a candidate who had great experience but you’d never know it from his resume. The words he used were vague and didn’t highlight what he could do. Hiring managers care about substance – How have you impacted the company/practice? Numbers, specifics are what they are looking for. Saw patients vs. Saw 15 patients daily. Performed surgery vs. performed  ‘x’ number of ‘type’ of surgery. Flowery words are a red flag that you might not have the experience they need. Be specific.


Vague – When your bullets or descriptions are not clear, employers wonder. There’s not enough information to see if you’re a fit. Try tailoring your resume for a specific job. It can make a difference. Providing enough information shows the employer you can do the job. Keywords highlighting your background can be helpful too.


No achievements – Detail your accomplishments. Potential employers like results, so show them.


To fix the issue, you should review your resume, look for the red flags then rewrite and revise. It’s worth the time to have a resume that stands out.








Memorial Day

Memorial Day

On this day, we honor and remember the men and women who should never be forgotten.


Memorial Day and Remembering Our Fallen Soldiers

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for the men and women who died in service of the U.S. military. It’s celebrated on the last Monday in May. It originated in the years following the Civil War. The day was officially made a federal holiday in 1971.


The National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress in 2000 and asks Americans to voluntarily and informally at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of unity for a  moment of silence or to listen to Taps.


Social distancing might change how we observe Memorial Day but it won’t stop us saying thank you to these heroes.



Simple Resume Tips to Get Noticed

One thing you learn reading hundreds of resumes every month is what makes some stand out. Too many resumes are hard to read, unorganized and long. If your resume doesn’t show off how you can help the employer, they will just go on to the next one.


Your resume is the first thing a potential employer judges you by and you need to take the time to make it shine.


So what things can you do to make your resume stand out?


  • Simple is always best – no fancy fonts, no weird formatting and no flowery words. Well written text and information telling a future employer who you are. Make it easy to find out what you can do for them.
  • Create sections with bullet points of information for easier reading. Long paragraphs are boring, hard to read and so people don’t and can miss what experience you have.


Resume Format – what your resume needs:

  1. Objective – Only good if they are well written. Stay away from a rambling statement that doesn’t say anything. If you’re going to use one make it short and say what job you are looking for. No more, no less.
  2. Summary of qualifications – a great way to highlight your best skills and what employers care about  – 2-4 well written bullets about your background.
  3. Education – if you’re a new graduate your education should be before your work experience, if you’re more experienced, it can go at the end or the beginning; it’s up to you.
  4. Work History – or you can call it Experience. See below for format sample. List your most recent position first. Don’t use “I” in your descriptions. So instead of I try – See 15 patients daily……
  5. License and Certifications – list national certifications and state licenses that are active or in process.
  6. Other – you might want to include associations or volunteer work that relates to the job you’re searching for.

Here’s an easy to read format for your work history:


Name of Company, city/state                     Dates of employment

Your Title (Bold)

Bullet points of what your job entails and your accomplishments. The key is show value and not write general descriptions. Write good explanations of your day including type and number of patients you see, note any procedures – chest tubes, suturing, etc.

Also consider:

  • Margins – the 1” inch margins are not always the best, feel free to change them and allow more on each page.
  • Number of pages of a good resumes – 1-3 pages works best – not too long but long enough to show them your experience. 5+ pages and you need to do some editing.


What to leave off your resume:

  1. Personal information like – Date of birth, Social Security #, etc.
  2. Photographs
  3. Jobs from 10+ years ago
  4. Information on your children and spouse
  5. References names & contact information – you will send them when requested by the employer


Final tips – read the job description of the position and review your resume for the skills required. If necessary tailor your resume for the position. Also, you might need more than one resume to focus on specialty or job title.




Happy Mother’s Day



On May 9, 1914, President Wilson issued a proclamation for the first national Mother’s Day holiday to celebrate America’s mothers. And not even a pandemic can stop the love we have for our mothers.





AVA Search Group wishes you a very Happy Mother’s Day!


Nurses – Thank You – It’s National Nurses Week – May 6 – 12

National Nurses Week begins on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

It’s a time for all us to give thanks to our unsung heroes. Nurses are amazing everyday! And this pandemic has brought out the best in their skills and compassion. They do so much and don’t get enough recognition. So celebrate the nurses in your life.



Just saying thank you reminds them how much they mean to us. Nurses make our lives better. Can you imagine being in the hospital without nurses?



For 18 years in a row, the Gallup poll reports that 85% of Americans rate nurses as having the highest levels in honesty and ethics!  That is something to celebrate.


nurse practitioner week

The last day of Nurse Week, May 12th is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. She is the founder of modern day nursing. A favorite quote of hers is: “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.”


Now even more than ever, Nurses are very important to our lives, so this week take the time to thank a nurse for what they do. They deserve it!


“Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it.” – Florence Nightingale




Importance of Staying Healthy During COVID-19

Living healthy is easier said than done when you’re stuck in your house. There’s sugar, television and your couch. It can be hard to be motivated to do anything that is healthy.

As Advanced Practice Providers you are working hard during this pandemic whether it’s telemedicine or in the office or hospital, staying healthy is vital for you to be at your best.

Try these 6 Tips to help you stay healthy during this COVID-19 outbreak:



Embrace an Attitude of Gratitude – Having a positive, grateful attitude does wonders.  Gratitude reminds you of all the good and positive things you have going on in your life and turns your focus away from negative thoughts. Gratitude can make you happier.


Go outside – Change of scenery is a good idea. You can still practice social distancing and enjoy the fresh air. Going out to appreciate nature is great way to care for yourself.




Get Moving – Exercise is vital to living a healthy life. It increases blood flow to your brain and releases feel-good endorphins, which improves your mood and makes you more alert. It’s also a stress reliever and can be an effective way to improve your mental state. There are plenty of online options for workouts of every type.


Stop and Meditate – Spending as little as five minutes meditating can help calm and make you feel better. A few deep breaths; quiet yourself and you will be refreshed and ready to go. There are several great apps to help you meditate even some with timers.


Get Enough Sleep – We are all on edge, which can affect our sleep patterns. But our bodies need eight hours of sleep. Not getting enough affects your well-being and adds to your stress. Getting the right amount of sleep has loads of benefits including letting your body and mind heal, improving your memory and can help you live longer. Turn off the television, shut down your phone and get some much needed sleep.




Better Food Choices – Use the 80 / 20 rule – eat fruits, veggies, lean protein and healthy fats 80% of the time and you’ll be doing better than most people and your body will thank you.


These tips can help you feel good and be able to handle the challenges we’re facing and make you better able to care for yourself and your patients.




Video Interview Tips for the COVID-19 Era

Since the pandemic started, many hospitals have shut down and are not allowing visitors including people coming in for in person videos. Video interviews have become very important in the interview process and being used by almost all employers. It’s now a key decision making step, and in some cases the way employers are hiring staff. You need to be prepared to ensure your interview is a success.

It’s a bit different looking into a computer camera or phone screen instead of sitting across from someone. But with these tips you will be ready to shine.


Ace your video interviews with these six tips:


Test your technology – even if you’re tech savvy, it’s important to check everything; because if it can go wrong – it will.

  • Test a few days before, don’t wait until the last minute
  • Be sure your phone or laptop are charged
  • Download the app you’re using days prior to the interview, make sure that you have the most up to date version
  • Ensure your internet connection is good and not spotty
  • Test your microphone
  • Clean the camera lens
  • Get ready 10-15 minutes before the interview
  • Do a test video interview with a friend the day before and a final check the day of


Dress for the video interview – Just because it’s on camera doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress for success. Wear what you would for an in-person interview. When you do your test with a friend put on the clothes you’re planning to see how it looks.


No distractions please – Choose a room/location that’s neat. Check what’s behind you and keep the area free of inappropriate items and clutter. You want to keep distractions to a minimum, consider a room with a door so your kids or pets don’t’ suddenly become part of the interview. You want the focus on you, not your cat. Good lighting is important so that the interviewer can see you clearly. Again, check this all during your test.


Good eye contact – Think of this as an in-person interview and maintain eye contact like you would during an interview. Tip: Look at the camera and not the screen. It will seem weird at first but it works. Place your camera at eye level (if it’s not, you will look as if you’re looking down to the interviewer).



Be prepared – This is an interview, so it’s important to be ready. Review the company’s website, news articles, reviews, etc. so that you’re up on the company’s culture. Look up the person you’re interviewing with.  Have a glass of water nearby in case your mouth gets dry. In addition, you should have a copy of your resume and any notes on projects and accomplishments you might want to highlight. And paper and pen for notes.


Be ready for common questions  – like ‘Tell me about yourself’ (Read our Blog for tips) and other basics questions. Practice your responses.


Body language still matters – Positive body language during the interview is vital.  Smile and maintain an agreeable facial expression. Nodding your head, leaning forward are all good signs of positive body language.





Preparation will help you make a good impression and is the key to nailing your video interview.

Good luck.




Celebrating Easter and Passover in 2020

AVA Search Group wants to wish you a Happy Easter and Happy Passover.


Today as we all social distance and stay at home, Easter and Passover might look a bit different this year. However, we can still celebrate the meaning of these holidays with our family and friends.

Ideas including setting up a family video party; cooking together online, watching religious services online, and you can even eat together using a video conference. Be creative and think of how you can make the holiday special for you and your family.






Being Grateful During a Pandemic

It’s not easy feeling grateful during a pandemic. The news gets more depressing by the hour, taking our emotions on a roller coaster ride. And now many of us are sheltering in place at our homes with most of the things we love to do cancelled. It’s hard not to feel afraid. It’s natural. We’re all on edge and unsure.


So how can an Attitude of Gratitude help get you through the COVID-19 pandemic?



John Quincy Adams said: Gratitude, warm, sincere, intense, when it takes possession of the bosom, fills the soul to overflowing and scarce leaves room for any other sentiment or thought.


How being grateful can help:

Reminds you – Being grateful for something good in your day can make a difference. Gratitude reminds you of all the good and positive things you have going on in your life, even with all the negative things happen. Simple things like your child’s laughter, FaceTime with a friend or even your dog’s paw. It’s easy to forget but by taking a minute to focus on feeling good can do so much for you.


Focus  – Gratitude turns your focus from the negative things and thoughts to the good stuff, even if it’s only for a few minutes. It still helps.


It can make you happier – By focusing on the positive, it changes your thinking and your outlook. Doing something nice for someone is another way to show gratitude.



Keep track – take a minute everyday to note something you’re thankful and grateful for – no matter how small.






“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” —Alice Walker



Gratitude goes a long way and can make a difference during this tumultuous times.


How the Coronavirus Outbreak Could Affect Your Job Search

How the Coronavirus Outbreak Could Affect Your Job Search

It has been quite a week and with a famous movie star being diagnosed and sports leagues halting games, the coronavirus got very real for most Americans. As healthcare professionals, you have such an important job to do and most of you are on the front lines seeing and treating patients.


If you are in the hunt for a new job, you might be wondering – how will your job search be affected? It will depend. Traveling for interviews could be slower and might involve driving rather than flying. The process could slow down as hospitals and corporations tweak their processes to protect their employees.


However, the most important thing that will not change – is you. You cannot stop looking and sending out your resumes. You cannot find a job if you are not trying. Don’t stop searching. 


A few tips to consider while your job hunt during the coronavirus:

LinkedIn Profile – optimize your profile and be sure it is updated as company are using online resources even more to find and contact potential candidates.


Resume – as always, be sure your resume focuses on what you can offer. Highlight your experience and skills and how they can help and impact the practice or department.


Be prepared for a longer job interview process – yes it might take longer. Changes are happening fast and companies are adapting. Be patient.


Virtual Interviews – with the need to limit personal interactions companies might use video interviewing even more now. Be sure you are comfortable with various formats. Review this blog post for tips on video interviews.


Follow up – this is still very important. You can call or email to get an update on how the process is going. However, you should prepare for slower response time due to changes within the company as they grapple with the virus and its effect on their company and their employees.


The need for qualified Advanced Practice Providers and other healthcare professionals will be vital as hospitals, practices, and clinics are pushed to the limit during this coronavirus crisis.