8 EASY STEPS TO A BETTER NURSING STUDENT RESUME
Article Written by Resume Specialist, Jessie Davis
As a nursing student, you’ve been focused on your studies, placements, and practicums, but now it’s really time to apply yourself – literally! Whether it’s for your first job or for continued education such as graduate school, you will need to create a professional resume to outline your skills, education, and experience.
Use our tips below to write a nursing resume that will help get you noticed by hiring managers, applicant tracking systems, and admissions offices alike.
1) Pay Attention to Detail.
Read the job posting or application guidelines very closely and take note of any keywords or terms that are used. Try to use these words in your resume whenever you can. Not only will this ensure that an automated applicant tracking system (ATS) will flag your application for review, but it will also help a human reader to see that you have the precise skills and experience the position requires.
2) Be Brief but Thorough.
In most industries and most resume samples, a resume should be 1-2 pages. However, when it comes to medical professions, it is more important to ensure you have included all the relevant information to help you land your dream job. When you outline your work experience, be sure to use specific terms from the job posting to list your relevant or transferable skills and experience.
3) Be Specific.
Don’t forget to elaborate on your education, certifications, awards, and work experience to present the big picture when it comes to your resume. If you worked at a hospital, was it a teaching hospital? How many beds were there, and what was the nurse-to-patient ratio? If you graduated with honours, don’t forget to include that as well!
4) Be Clear.
There are many acronyms used in medicine, and while most industry recruiters will know what they stand for, some ATS robots will not. If your resume includes only the acronym for a required skill, the ATS might miss this information if it is programmed only to search for the full term. For example, if you have experience using an electrocardiograph machine but your resume states only that you have ECG experience, the applicant tracking system may not catch this and will not include this as one of your skills. It is always a good idea to spell out the entire word or term, then include the acronym in parentheses afterward. After the first time the term is used, it is fine to simply use the acronym if it is mentioned again.
5) Lose the Objective.
Instead of including an objective, consider a professional summary or introduction to give the reader a better sense of what you bring to the table. This is also a good opportunity to include keywords early in the resume since studies have actually shown that many humans and ATS bots typically focus on the first 1/3 of a resume. Try experimenting with different resume formats or use an online resume builder to help improve the look and feel of your student resume, as well.
6) Consider Location.
Sometimes a role requirement includes the applicant’s proximity to the work location. This means that the reader or ATS bot will be looking at your address to see if it falls into the accepted radius. This might be an argument for omitting your exact address from your resume, however, no address at all could also mean that an ATS bot disregards the application altogether and removes it from consideration. Including your address is a personal decision, though you will notice that most modern, professional resume templates do include a section for this information.
7) Lose the Date.
Age discrimination runs both ways. According to former nursing recruiter Angelina Gibson at nurse.org, employers would sometimes say things like, “This person just graduated, so they must be young and inexperienced,” or, “This person graduated such a long time ago, they’re probably too old to keep up with the pace here.” Of course, it’s entirely up to you whether you include your graduation date. In the long run, you will likely need to provide it at some point in the interview or application process anyhow.
8) Get Social (Media, that is!)
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, it can be a great idea to set one up. Not only does it give you a chance to network with others in your field and easily apply to job openings posted there, but it also allows you to showcase all of your relevant information online so that recruiters can see you in their search results and come to you.
Whether you are a job seeker or looking to further your nursing education, these 8 tips are sure to help you stand out.