First impressions count: Your resume as a health care professional or nurse gives potential employers their first impression of you. A well-crafted nurse resume empowers you to make a positive impact and to achieve your ideal nursing job.
Let’s be realistic: You may be qualified for nurse jobs that you are eyeing, but so are other applicants. When HR staff are wading through a pile of resumes, you need to make sure that yours will stand out among the rest. You can only land a job interview if they notice your resume.
A good way to grab the attention of your future employers is to make a quality resume that highlights your credentials. While the content of your resume is crucial, you shouldn’t overlook the significance of presenting this information in a clear, appealing way.
Although the pandemic has emphasized the urgent need for health care workers, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), you still want a well-crafted resume that highlights your experience. Make the extra effort to get, not just any nursing position, but a position that’s perfect for you.
Here are useful tips on how to create the best nurse resume that will bring you a step closer to your dream job. Use those tips, plus this free nurse resume template, to make resume writing a breeze.
1. The Right Content for a Nurse Resume
The basic foundation for any nurse resume is solid information. While your resume’s appearance may get you noticed, it is the substance that will determine if you are the ideal match for a specific job. Don’t forget to include all your credentials that are relevant to the position that you are applying for, including the following:
What type of nurse are you? Are you licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Licensed Professional Nurse (LPN), or Nurse Practitioner (NP)? Do you have a nursing specialty?
For health care professionals other than nurses, are you licensed as a physician, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Physical Therapist (PT), Dietary Aide, etc.?
Make sure that your nurse licensing information – such as license type, number, licensing state or body, etc. – is prominent in your resume. This will allow HR personnel to quickly assess if you are qualified to be short-listed for a certain job.
Share your basic personal information, such as your email address, contact number, address, and LinkedIn page. This will allow employers to easily get in touch with you.
The summary statement is a brief section that features the one-of-a-kind value that you can add to a health care facility. It is a condensed description of your skills, experience, and achievements as a nurse or health care professional.
The objective is a short but crucial part of your nurse resume. It explains your motivation for applying to the job. Although it might be tempting to include the same generic objective each time you submit your resume, it’s worth making effort to customize it for each job you are interested in.
What specific positions or roles as a nurse or health care professional have you already filled? Which health care facilities have you worked at? How long did you work with each employer? What were your main responsibilities and tasks in each job? Did you make any significant contributions to your community and to your patients?
Which educational institutions have you enrolled at? For nurses, what type of nursing degrees have you achieved: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN), etc.? For other health care professionals, what kind of educational degrees or diplomas have you attained?
Certifications & Other Licenses
Aside from your main license, do you have any other certifications or licenses in the nursing or health care field? While your primary license should be on top of your resume, you can also include a section to list other licenses you’ve earned.
Which organizations have you volunteered with? This part is optional, but you may include it to give employers an idea which causes you are passionate about.
What nursing skills do you currently have or are in the process of developing? List your hard and soft skills as a nurse or health care professional. Mention specific skills under different categories, such as clinical, leadership, communication, critical thinking, communication, social skills, and specialties. Indicate your level of proficiency in each skill.
Awards & Scholarships
Have you won any awards or recognitions from health care facilities, nursing organizations, or educational institutions? Did you receive any scholarships or grants when you were studying? Don’t be shy to let your employer know about your achievements.
Organizational Memberships, Conferences, Workshops, Etc.
Which nursing associations or organizations are you a member of? Have you attended any health care conferences or workshops? While this portion is optional, mentioning your productive activities outside of work can show that you are proactive in boosting your professional development as a nurse.
2. The Right Layout & Formatting
The content of your nurse resume is important, but you shouldn’t dismiss the significance of the right layout and formatting. These elements play a crucial role in emphasizing your key credentials. It can also help the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that large employers use to sort qualified candidates from the unqualified.
Make sure that your resume is formatted in an optimal way which leads the eyes of the reader to your important qualifications. The proper layout can help showcase the details you wish to highlight.
Your nursing license information and other essential credentials should be at the top of your resume. Using the reverse-chronological resume format lets you feature your professional experience and educational degrees.
Do your best to keep the information in your resume well-organized. Create separate sections with clear boundaries for each category of credentials. Use headers and subheaders to let readers quickly get an overview of the various sections of your resume.
Make an effort to choose a layout that is pleasing to the eye. Employers will be more motivated to read your resume if it looks professional and attractive. Create a resume with a clean, streamlined, and interesting design. Just be careful not to go overboard with your creativity to avoid giving off an amateurish vibe.
3. The Right Font
Choosing the right font might seem like a simple thing, but it is essential since it affects the overall style and legibility of your resume.
Select a font style that looks professional yet reflects your personality at the same time. There are various classic fonts and modern fonts that you can choose from. You can even download free fonts online if you cannot find a suitable one among the default fonts on your computer.
Use a font that is simple and easy to read. Pay attention to the size of the font as well. It might be tempting to choose a fancy font to make an impact or to use a small font size to squeeze in more information in your resume. However, no matter how good the content of your resume is, your potential employers might have trouble understanding the text of your resume if the font is not clear or large enough.
Are You Ready to Create Your Own Nurse Resume?
Since the demand for nurses is rising, you probably won’t have a hard time finding a job as a nurse or as a health care professional. After all, the employment of RNs is expected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, while it’s one thing to get accepted at any nursing job, it’s another thing for you to secure a nursing position that fits your expectations in terms of compensation, benefits, and opportunities for growth. Writing a stellar resume will help you stay on top of your game, especially when the competition is tough.