Nursing Resume Writing Tips

Posted By:   Posted On: February 18th, 2015

Nurse in an interviewWithout a doubt, having a strong resume is a key component to getting selected for your next interview. Your resume has to speak to your experience, education, and areas of specialization. A nursing resume also has to be friendly to scanning systems, so it must have the proper industry-specific keywords for the position you most desire. And lastly, it has to be easy to scan for humans that will quickly check your resume for key highlights in order to weed out non-qualifying applicants while having enough depth to hold interest for the interviewing committee later in the hiring process.

The Role Your Resume Plays in the First Steps of Getting Hired

When your resume is received, it is normally entered into an applicant tracking system. This system will then be queried for specific keywords related to the open position or your resume will be ranked by the applicant tracking system. If your resume ranks high enough it will go to a hiring manager for further review.

Resume Length

Once upon a time resumes were limited to 1 page and this was mostly due to the fact that the entire process was conducted by humans. Now things are different due to electronic resume parsers and scoring systems. However, if you are new to nursing, a 1-page resume will be sufficient. For those with many years of experience and specialized environments, a 2-page resume is acceptable.

Verbiage to Use

Many applicant ranking systems will scan for the specific phrases and keywords used in the job posting. These terms should be included in your resume, but they should be part of sentences rather than simply listing the terms out of context. If the job you are applying for uses a term different from your current job but they mean the same thing use the term the potential employer uses when describing your current position and duties.

Sections Your Nursing Resume Should Include

  • Contact Information

    For the sake of helping the resume parsing systems, don’t add extra spaces between numbers or use symbols other than dashes in your phone number. Do include your physical address; omitting it can result in the ranking system giving you a lower score.

  • Summary

    Your resume will be scanned by an electronic system and then, if it makes it through the initial ranking process, it will be further scanned by a human. So be sure to make your summary concise and use bullet points that incorporate relevant phrases to the position. Avoid using lengthy paragraphs because they are harder to digest quickly, which may cause key points within your summary to be overlooked by your human audience.

  • Specialties

    Most important to include is in-depth information in a specialty area(s) related to the desired position.

  • Licenses & Certifications

    Include your license type, licensing state, name on license, license expiration date, license number, and if the license is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact.

    Certifications should include the name, certifying body, date acquired and expiration date (if applicable).

  • Professional Experience

    When describing your working experience be sure to include the number of beds in the hospital and in the unit along with the case-load where you worked or performed clinicals because this helps unit managers determine how you might acclimate to their unit’s setting.

  • Volunteer Experience

    Volunteer experience is especially valuable if you are a new graduate, because it provides insight as to your reliability, ability to work with others, and your initiative.

  • Computer Skills

    List any industry-specific software that you have used and list any experience with software that is commonly requested in job postings for which you are applying.

  • Education

    Listing your GPA is important, especially if it is over 3.5.

    Include the degree you’ve earned, name of school, beginning and completion date, city and state of school.

    If you speak multiple languages, list them.

Are You Looking for a Nursing Job in Arizona?

Desert Medical Careers has a high demand for registered nurses and nurse practitioners. We are typically able to easily place full-time and part-time nursing positions throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. With over 20 years’ experience placing healthcare employees throughout the Valley, DMC is an expert at matching healthcare workers with their ideal work environment. Contact DMC today at (602) 468-6300.

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