How to Write a Good Nursing Resume
Health professions are in high demand, so finding a great job will likely not be too challenging, but we want you to find the perfect job for you. Here are some ideas and resources to make that happen.
Chronological or Functional Resume?
First, in health care, you can do either a chronological resume or a functional resume. A chronological resume is where you list your positions, most recent at the top, and work backward. A functional resume is where you list your skillsets and the number of years’ experience you have in each function, followed by the organizations where you used those skills. If you have had to move around a lot (typical for military and/or college students) you may want to focus on functions. In either case, be sure you read each position description and use the exact same words in your resume that the company used in the description.
Particularly with larger organizations, many companies are using applicant tracking systems that weed out resumes if the software cannot find a high percentage match for the exact words used in the description. For example, if the job description asks for “ped nurse” experience and your resume lists “pediatric nursing,” change your resume to match what they are seeking.
Make your Resume Easy-to-Read
Second, an easy-to-read template is essential. Be sure you have one-inch margins all around and leave “white space” – space where there is no text, so it is visually appealing. Use the same bullets for each level of each breakdown. Also, use the same tense in the verbs describing your functions. Usually, you will use the present tense for a current position and past tense for prior jobs. Avoid having orphans, one word on the next line, so as not to waste space.
Lastly, if you are submitting your resume online, be sure to submit a Word document. Some applicant tracking software packages are not able to read pdf documents, so your resume may never make it to the hiring manager.
We are Here to Help!
We are happy to review your resume to be sure you are selling yourself in the best possible way. If possible, please submit it to us with a copy of the position description so we can give you the best possible version of your resume for each job. Please allow one week for review and return. You may also use the resources below for advice on how to write the perfect resume.