While there has always been a high demand for nurses, with the COVID-19 pandemic the need for nurses is higher than ever before. You may think that this means that you can slack off on your resume preparation. However, you are wrong. Although the demand for nurses is high, so is the competition. Many hiring managers are now looking for specific skills and qualifications, as patient care is more crucial than ever. This means that whether you are a new nurse entering the industry or a nurse entering back into the industry, it is essential to have a compelling resume.
With the numerous skills and career details needed as a nursing professional, it can be daunting to have to put together a top notch resume. Thus, we have outlined some tips for you to include while creating your next resume.
First, it is important to create a customized resume, rather than a functional resume, so that it is tailored to each job. This means that each resume should include keywords or action words that are associated with the job description/requirements. It is also important to remember that your resume should follow proper chronological formatting, displaying work and education history.
Employers typically spend no more than 1 minute reviewing a resume which means that you need to find unique ways to stand out and “sell” yourself. That being said, the two most important aspects of a resume are the content that you put in your resume along with the way you format it.
When it comes to the content of a resume, it is essential to include a series of sections that highlight all of your performance.
- Outline all completed or on-going education
- Include: dates, GPA, school details
- Specific nursing education
- Degree earned
- License Type (LPA, RN, NP, CRNA etc…)
- Licensing state/body
- Name on license
- License number
- License expiration date (if applicable)
- Certifications (BLA, ACLS, PALS etc…)
- Certifying body (AHA etc..)
- Name on certificate
- Date of expiration (if applicable)
- Employment History
- Relevant employment history
- Include: Facility types (Long Term Care, Senior Nursing Facility etc…)
- Unit Details (MS, ICU, CVICU, ER etc…)
- Number of patients per day
- Nurse to patient ratio
- Bed counts
- All applicable duties
- All hard and soft skills performed
*Although listing skills is sometimes necessary, short write ups with precise descriptions are generally better than generic lists*
For example: “Proficient with starting IVs, Intra-aortic balloon pumps, 12-Lead Placements, 12-Lead Interpretation, AICD Insertion, Beta Blockers, Argotroban, Atropine and other cardiovascular medications.”
- Accomplishments – Academic & Professional
- Types of patients worked with (ex: serious or life-threatening illness/injuries, challenging patients, treatment-resistant chronic conditions)
- Nursing awards (ex: Nurse of the month/year, DAISY award or hospital/facility specific awards)
- Briefly describe what the award is and how you earned it
- Patient satisfaction scores
- Team based accomplishments
- Informal examples (optional)
- Explain ways you went above and beyond in the workplace
- Extras – Volunteer/Community Engagement
- Highlight any volunteer or community service opportunities you participated in as this is a great way to stand out and boost your resume/skills/character traits
Having the proper format can make or break your resume. It is the first impression you have on a potential employer. If they open up your resume and it is not concise, organized and detailed, you significantly lower your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.
- Spelling and Grammar
- Be sure to have consistent font, size, spelling and spacing
- Ex: times new roman, size 12 font, single-line spacing
- Customize duties and descriptions to job requirements
- Use applicable keywords and action words to make your resume stand out for each specific role
- Outline all dates
- Work history, education, licenses and certifications
- For new grads: specify exact graduation date (month and year)
- Bullets/Short paragraphs
- Work with bullet points and spacing to make your resume look aesthetically pleasing
- Reduce clutter and length
- When appropriate (job description/duties) use small precise paragraphs to explain
- Make sure that if you are using abbreviations you also spell them out in full as some ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) do not pick up abbreviations which could do you a disservice while these automated systems sort through resumes.
- Ex: “ICU (Intensive Care Unit)”
Although you can add any sections you believe enhance your resume, we suggest that you most definitely include the following: Work History, Education, Nursing Credentials, Summary Statement, Licenses and Certifications.
- Source out networking opportunities with fellow colleagues, industry leaders, and facility leaders
- Join nurse associations (ex: Canadian Nurses Association)
- Look for community nurse groups/programs
- Join relevant Linkedin groups
Tips for New Nurses:
- Highlight accomplishments at internships
- Get involved in relevant societies/activities at place of education and/or community
- Highlight upcoming graduation dates + GPA (include month and year)
- Add clinical rotations instead of work history
To create a top performing resume is it important to make sure that all sections are marked and titled properly. Make sure your layout is very simple and easily readable, all job titles are bolded and that you provide a detailed summary at the top of your resume. Additionally, make sure all completed resumes are no longer than 2 pages in length, are in PDF format and are saved as “Firstname_Lastname_Credentials_Resume.pdf.”
A strong resume usually means a strong performer. Thus, it is crucial to present yourself to the best of your ability, through your resume. Follow the steps provided to ensure a top quality resume to land your next position!
Want to learn more about how you can utilize VITAY to find and retain high quality nurses? Chat with one of our Account Managers today!