If you want to land your first nursing job fresh out of nursing school, then you have to start by making a very impressive resume. Healthcare recruiters take their manpower recruiting very seriously because they’re not only hiring nurses but also caretakers and possibly lifesavers of patients. The job of a nurse is crucial to the safety and health of the patients. So, if you’re looking for a good nursing vacancy to start your professional career, here are a few tips on how to craft a nursing resume that will get you that job.
Keep It Simple and Directly to the Point: When you write your nursing resume, make the sentences short and simple. Employers won’t have all day to read your resume, so they most likely won’t sit down and read everything. You want them to notice all your good points, so keep everything short and put emphasis on your credentials. Follow the basic rule of K.I.S.S. which is to Keep It Short and Simple. Also, get straight to the point and don’t beat around the bush too much. You can make use of tables, subheadings, or bullets to improve the readability of your resume. This way, the employers can directly scan and check your strong points. Don’t forget to designate a part where you list down all your achievements and civic involvements that are related to the position you're applying.
Be Consistent with the Font: Most employers nowadays expect their applicants to submit printed copy of resumes. Thus, being familiar with the standard or accepted typography of the company or hospital is a must. One of the things that most employers cannot stand would be inconsistency in fonts. It makes the resume harder to read. It’s okay to be a little bit creative, but since you’ll be applying for a job in the healthcare industry, you have to be professional. This starts with how you present your nursing resume. Nurse Resumesare meant to be very professional and proper; hence, avoid those flashy fonts and stick to the standard ones like Times New Roman and Arial.
Include All Your Qualifications at the Beginning of Your Resume: Since you want your nursing resume to highlight your skills and good points, then you need to place them all on the first page. Nurse Resumes are meant to be detailed yet straight to the point, so make sure that all of your qualifications can be noticed first.
Mention Your Work Experience in Order of Most to Least Recent: Your employer would most likely want to know your latest job experience in order to assess your potential. The other work experiences will be used to supplement your latest one so that your employer can see your growth. For this reason, it’s good to list down your work experiences, or volunteer works in chronological order, starting with the most recent one to the least.
Mention Your Nursing Experience as a Student: Aside from your work experience, you should also mention your nursing experience as a student. In your undergraduate studies, you had most likely gone through some special training under hospitals or other health care centers as part of your On the Job Training (OJT). Mention these experiences, especially if you had achieved some notable recognitions while undergoing your special training. The more OJT’s you list, the better because it shows that you are well-rounded in your experience and are not just book smart.
Mention Your Nursing Education Credentials: After that, you also have to mention your nursing education credentials. This would include your bachelor’s degree, your minor (if you have one), and your school. This is very important because coming from a good school will boost your chances of getting a job. Employers also put college grads from good schools on the priority list when they screen their applicants.
Mention the Details of Your Nursing License: Of course, you must also mention the details of your nursing license. It is important that you provide all the details so that your potential employer will know that you passed the nursing licensure exam and are a legitimate practitioner. After you mention your education credentials, you must also mention your work credentials which would be your license.
Mention all of Your Awards/Special Mentions/Nursing Organizations: Another thing that will boost your chances of getting that nursing job are recognitions, special mentions, or membership in the nursing organization. If you are a member of reputable healthcare organizations in your area, then the higher chances you have of getting hired. Moreover, if any government or private institutions had recognized your excellent services in the past, then don’t include this in your resume and explain its relevant contribution to the position you are applying.
Describe Your Skills, Traits, and Strengths with Strong Action Verbs: Next, your resume also has to describe your skills, traits, and strengths. When you do this, you have to use strong action verbs because these words make the most impact. Some examples would be: collaborated, prepared, entered, etc. These types of words make the most impact on the employer.
Always be Truthful: No matter what you do, never fake your resume because your potential employer will always find a way to see if you are lying or not. They can do background checks if they want to know your integrity. So, be truthful at all times.
Don’t Make Any Vague Statements: Avoid making any vague statements in your resume as this will judge your credibility. For example, don’t write a statement that says, “I have good communication skills.” Rather, expound why you have good communication skills with facts and basis, as well as how your good communication skills will help you do well in your job.
Don’t Go Beyond Two Pages: A resume is ideally supposed to be only one page, but there are some people whose credentials and experiences may merit them to make use of more than one. However, the rule of thumb with the number of pages should be to just keep the number of pages to two. Anymore and your potential employer might just ignore it all together. Employers want to scan your resume, so if you give a resume that is around 3 to 4 pages, then most likely the last two pages will be ignored.
Don’t Include Your Hobbies and Interests: Another mistake that a lot of beginners would make is to include their hobbies or interests because this is what is usually done when you apply for regular corporate jobs. It does apply in that sector, but for nursing, most healthcare recruiters just want to know what you can contribute to their company. With this, you don’t need to include all of your hobbies and interests.
Don’t Put “References Available Upon Request”: You don’t need to put this anymore because it is already implied that the employers will request for your references if they want you to go to the next step. Since you will already list down your contact details, then they can just give you a call if they want character references. Putting it in your resume will just make it longer than it was supposed to be. Even if you do happen to have character references that they can refer to when they do a background check, just avoid placing them there as all of those are unnecessary information. Employers can now take a glimpse of your background through social media accounts. Hence, being extra careful of what you post online is also a good consideration.
Don’t List Down Too Many Personal Details: The basic things that you need are your name, birth date, address, contact details, and age. Other things such as height, weight, ethnic group, citizenship, or even marital status are not really that important (unless it is specified by the employer), so you don’t need to include them. Just cover the basics that were mentioned above. The rest of the information will be required by the company if they do accept you.
Don’t Mention Non-Health Related Experience: Lastly, don’t mention any non-health related job experiences. If you are a beginner, you may be tempted to list all of your job experiences so that your resume may seem impressive. However, this is not needed, as your potential employer won’t even bother reading it anyway. So, just save up space and don’t include anything that doesn’t relate to the health industry.
If you want to make sure that you land a good nursing job, then the first thing you have to do is spruce up your resume. Your resume is the first tool that you have to use for you to snag that nursing job that you’ve always wanted. Of course, you have to do things properly. By knowing the do’s and don'ts of creating a nursing resume, you’ll be one step closer to landing yourself a job. Just follow some of the tips above, and you’ll be able to craft a really good resume. Once you get accepted, then prepare for your interview, but that’s another story.
- When you write your nursing resume, make the sentences short and simple. Employers won’t have all day to read your resume, so they most likely won’t sit down and read everything.
- Mention your work experience in order of most to least recent.
- Keep your format, font and writing consistent throughout your resume.