Travel assignment portfolio: Do you need one?
If you've worked as a travel nurse for at least one or two assignments and want to differentiate yourself from other traveling candidates, consider putting together an assignment portfolio.
In fact, if you've traveled for a while and are now thinking you'd like to “settle down” for a bit (or for your entire career) at one hospital or healthcare facility, a portfolio will go a long way to showcasing the many areas of expertise you've picked up in your years as a traveler.
The skills you gain as a travel nurse are invaluable to any healthcare travel staffing service and medical facility. Your experience as a travel nurse can give you an advantage over your competition and can help you secure your dream job. While your travel agency will usually be able to place you in a specific area, having a travel portfolio will help them decide where you would be the best fit.
To put together a portfolio, follow the tips below:
- Keep in mind that the sole purpose of your travel portfolio is to make it easier for a recruiter or department manager to see how you will solve his or her problems. It should be a clear compendium of your goals, professional growth, skills, achievements, etc. It's not a travel diary of your assignments.
- Your portfolio should include an updated resume. This means you'll need to update your resume after each and every travel assignment.
- Your portfolio should include professional recommendations from your on-site supervisors and/or colleagues. (Tip: ask for recommendations at least a week before your assignment is scheduled to end. In fact, as you approach the people you are asking to provide you with recommendations, you could tell them you'd be happy to write the recommendation yourself and then give it to them for their edits/approval.)
- In your portfolio, you can include an assessment of your actual experiences and what you learned at a particular assignment.
- As mentioned above, you should update your resume/CV after each assignment. You also may want to update your full portfolio at least once a year. You can edit/select different experiences. You can keep track of certification and training needs, decide what assignments were best for you (this can help you decide which assignments to accept in the future), etc.
- In addition, your portfolio could include the following:
- The size of the hospitals you've worked in, plus your department.
- Immunizations list (including your childhood immunizations).
- Copies (front and back) of the following:
- Other nursing certifications
- All active nursing licenses
- Your driver's license
- A checklist of your skills
Have you ever put together a traveling nurse portfolio? What do you include within it that we didn't mention here?
If you're a nurse with one or two years of professional experience and you'd like to learn more about a career as a travel nurse, contact a recruiter at Health Providers Choice. We look forward to hearing from you (nurses with travel experience especially welcome)!