The world of healthcare moves at a competitively high speed, and it’s easy to get lost in the hiring process. Thus, for aspiring nurses, writing a resume is a crucial task. You should be able to present yourself in a few short pages in such a way that employers immediately see your edge and want to hire you, amongst what is often an aggressive pool of applicants.
Before actually writing your resume, compile a list of the places you are interested in applying to, and do some research on every one to get an idea of
- their work culture,
- the benefits they’re offering,
- the company’s reputation, and
- what kind of candidate they’re looking for (and if you fit the bill).
It’s good practice to browse the websites and social media accounts of the healthcare facility or firm you are considering, to see how well they align with your values and goals.
The rest of this guide breaks down the common fundamental sections in a resume and how you can optimize writing each part:
- Objective & summary
- Additional information
Personal information & contact details
Begin, of course, with your full name and mention your credentials (degree, license, other certifications). Include your current location as well as updated contact information.
PRO TIP Make sure the email address you put is one that you regularly check! Use a professional work email, not something like “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Objective or executive summary
Objectives are normally used when an applicant has little work history. It is meant to underline one’s goals and emphasizes what skills and qualities makes the applicant qualified for the job.
An executive summary, on the other hand, condenses years of employment experience into a few short statements, and ends with the candidate’s aim in applying for the job.
Objective Passionate fresh graduate and board exam top-notcher excited to start her nursing career and demonstrate competence in patient care and excellence in research at a prestigious government hospital Summary Highly-trained and capable hospice care nurse with over 12 years of experience, 10 of which in a supervisor position at a private facility. Implemented policies and practices that improved the facility’s efficiency by 80%. Committed to furthering her profession in a new and different environment.
When writing your educational background, include the following details:
- what you attended the schools for (high school, college),
- what years you attended the schools,
- where the schools are located, and
- the grades you averaged upon finishing (GPA/GWA/QPI).
If you attained any high academic distinctions, such as being on the Dean’s List or graduating Cum Laude, do not hesitate to state them on your resume.
Experience & skills
Write about your experiences in detail. This could be:
- student clinical experience, such as an OJT or internship,
- work or professional experience (employment),
- as well as volunteer experience.
Be specific about the duties and responsibilities you had and the tasks you performed. Describe how you were able to use your different skills, both clinical and interpersonal. Also include the duration & location of your past roles.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse Dec 2017 - Jan 2021 University of Santo Tomas Hospital Sampaloc, Manila Supervision of a busy 20-bed ward Close coordination and communication of care plan with attending physicians Communication of patient condition with families in an empathetic manner
Give your resume these extra elements that could really set you apart from other applicants:
References. Think of previous managers or supervisors who could be contacted for a reference or recommendation.
Languages & dialects. Being able to speak another language could be highly beneficial, especially when you’re applying for a position in a different country or a province where another dialect is spoken. If you have certifications for languages, such as the IELTS, include those too.
Additional training. List relevant conferences or training seminars that you have attended to exhibit your commitment to learning and continuing education.
Awards & achievements. Be prudent in what awards & achievements you’ll write about – winning a sports tournament in nursing school, for example, probably shouldn’t go on your resume. Select honors that are pertinent to your role.
Advocacies, interests, hobbies. Capture the attention of a potential employer by showing the diversity of what you are passionate about. You never know, you could have common interests with the hiring manager reading your resume, and that could make a difference in your application.
Research work & publications. You may indicate if you have contributed or conducted research that has been featured or published in journals or the like.
Keep in mind that these items are not required and are meant only to supplement the more essential sections presented earlier in this guide.
Finally, remember that reviewing what you wrote in your resume is equally important as writing the resume itself. Have several people take a look at your resume and give you constructive feedback about its contents. Do not be afraid to revise your resume – in fact, do revise and refine it to make sure you’re submitting a document that meets the following criteria:
- Font size and style are uniform, readable, and appropriate (use fonts similar to Times New Roman or Arial)
- No errors in spelling
- Grammar is correct
- All the information is true and accurate
Pay close attention to all the details, because, after all, your resume represents you.