Nursing is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, but just because more career opportunities exist for nurses doesn't mean that you get to skip all the fun of job hunting. You still need to locate the perfect position, fill out the application, and of course have a sparkling resume. There's nothing sadder than a stellar employee being passed over for a job because of a sub-par resume, so here's a few things to keep in mind when making that initial introduction.
Put The Important Info At The Top – If there's a vital piece of information you need a recruiter to see, put it at the top of your resume. If it's buried at the bottom, there's a chance the reader may not make it that far. So any certifications, credentials, or other job-specific qualifications should be given the choice resume real estate at the top of the page.
If You Choose To Include An Objective Statement, Make It Count – Self-proclaimed resume experts go back and forth on the "objective statement" portion of the resume. Some say it's out of fashion, others say it can still serve a purpose in certain situations. But what they can agree on is that if you choose to include an objective statement, use it to put your best foot forward. Include specific information that sets you apart as a candidate-don't just drop in a paragraph of vague buzzwords.
Get Specific With Professional Experience – If you have any professional experience in the nursing field, make sure to include it... and the specifics. Get into exact numbers, such as how many patients you covered per shift, the exact responsibilities you carried, and any improvements you left behind. And if you're a newer nurse, share related experience such as volunteer work or clinical rotations to give the recruiter an idea of what you're capable of.
"I am attracted to new nurse resumes that have service industry experience," says Keith Kaiser, nurse manager at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who frequently hires new nurses. "This means the applicant has patience, can deal with people and is used to shift work."
Affiliations, Qualifications, and Education – You've shared who you are, now let them know exactly what you can (legally) do. Share all the details of any nursing licenses-including type, licensing state, expiration, and license number. And if you're bilingual, be sure and mention that as well.
Proofread – This seems like a common sense point to include, but you would be surprised how many resumes and cover letters arrive on recruiters' desks with glaring errors in spelling and grammar. Think about if from their perspective-if you aren't detail-oriented enough to spell check your resume, are you detail-oriented enough to keep a patient alive? Give your resume and cover letter a second (or a third) look, then ask a friend or family member to take a look as well. This may seem like a lot of redundant work, but if it ends with you landing that new job, it will have been well worth it.
And of course, as a Unitek College student, you have access to our Career Development Coordinators, a group of people trained to help you find and apply for that next big step in your nursing career. Be sure and take full advantage of them-they're here to help!
If you'd like more information on beginning a career in nursing, Unitek College can help! Contact us here for more information on our nursing and medical assistant programs.