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Job Outlook for Nursing
Quite a bit of splendid news: Overall employment for people in the nursing field is expected to increase by a whopping 45% by 2028 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That means this is a growing field and a lot of opportunity abounds in the nursing profession. But in order to prove that you’re the right nurse for the job you’re still going to need a resume that sets you apart from the competition.
So, check out our resume-writing tips below to make sure that you’re saying the right things in your resume to stand out and get noticed.
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3 Tips for Writing Nursing Resumes
1. Choose the right format for your nursing resume
As anyone in nursing knows, it takes a little planning and preparation before you perform a procedure to make sure that you get it right.
The same goes for your resume. Before you write it, it’s necessary that you prepare for success by choosing the right format.
The format of a resume refers to the way that the information is arranged on the page. Which format you should choose depends on the amount of nursing experience you have.
There are three main resume format types: chronological, functional and hybrid.
If you’re a nursing applicant with more than five years’ experience, you should use a chronological format.
If you’re fresh out of nursing school or have less than two years’ experience, use a functional format.
And, if you are somewhere in the middle with between two and five years working as a nurse, you should use a hybrid format.
The main difference between the three formats is where the main focus is put on your resume.
Chronological formats work well for people with a lot of experience because they put the emphasis on all the work experience that they have.
Meanwhile, functional formats put the emphasis on your skills instead of your work experience as a clever way to distract from your inexperience.
As it indicates, a hybrid format is a halfway point between a functional and a chronological resume, and it gives balanced weight to your work experience and your skills.
Based on that information, you can make sure that you’re choosing the format that presents you in the best light.
2. Promote your nursing skills
Every nursing role is going to require its own unique skills. However, there are generalized skills that are useful across the board for most nursing positions.
It’s going to help to include some of these sought-after skills in your resume as they apply to you.
Common sought-after skills for nurses include:
Doctor up your resume with some of these crucial keywords where they’re applicable to your experience and describe who you are as a nurse.
Bonus pro tip: Study the exact language used in the ad or job posting and try to incorporate the keywords and phrases that the employer mentions if they’re relevant to job duties you perform.
3. Use a template to make sure your resume looks clean
Just in the same way that you want to make sure that a room is sanitized and clean before you perform a medical procedure, you want to be sure that your resume has a clean and easy-to-read design for hiring managers.
The reason is: Studies have shown that recruiters only look at a resume for an average of six seconds before moving onto the next one. If a resume is hard to read, it’s probably getting skipped.
Using a template is an easy way to avoid this. A resume template is a preformatted document that was created by a professional designer. They took care of all of the design elements to make sure everything is well-presented and easy to read.
All you have to do is pick a template that you like and fill in your information. It saves you all the time of tinkering with columns, borders, shading and fonts.
JobHero has loads of resume templates that you can use to create your own resume.
But even more useful, JobHero features a handy resume builder that lets you choose from a selection of templates and gives suggestions and guidance for what to include in each resume section.
Furthermore, it auto-suggests phrases about your work history that are tailored to the exact job title you are applying for. That way, you can rest assured that you’re saying the right things in your resume.
A resume builder is truly the easiest and fastest way to create a resume. It’s like having an expert look over your shoulder to guide you step-by-step as you write your resume.
Nursing Resume FAQ
What should I put on my resume for nursing?
For most jobs in nursing, the focus of your resume should be on your work experience and skills.
Advanced education is required for most nursing roles, so it’s also a necessity on your resume.
You’ll also need to include the resume basics like your contact information and a professional summary or objective.
But again, the focus of your resume should be on your work experience and skills because that’s going to be the most useful information a hiring manager will get about what your strengths are as a nurse and whether or not you’re a good fit for what they’re looking for.
How do I list education on a nursing resume?
For nursing, your education is very important. After all, nurses handle life and death situations, it’s expected that serious training is required.
However, your education still isn’t going to be the most prominent aspect of your resume. It should be included under your work experience and skills.
For your education section the following information is expected: The name of the school that you attended, its city and state, the years you attended, and, if applicable, the degree(s) you obtained. Typically, if you’ve graduated from college, you don’t need to list your high school education.
Here’s an example:
Loyola University New Orleans, LA
Graduated 2007, BSN Nursing
If you are fresh out of school and don’t have a lot of experience in medical settings yet, it is acceptable to include a high GPA or list any specific coursework you took that may be related to the specific job that you’re applying for.
What kind of work experience should I put on a nursing resume?
If you can, you should try to keep all the work experience you include in a resume focused on nursing jobs you’ve held.
Since nursing requires such a specialized skill set and it’s such an important role, it would be unwise to include work experience in outside industries such as retail or food service. So, keep your resume focused on nursing experience that you have.
If you lack paid nursing experience, but you performed a residency or internship as part of your education, be sure to include this unpaid experience on your resume. It will pay off for you in the end by demonstrating that you’re capable of working in a professional nursing environment.
If on the other hand, you have lots of nursing experience, the ideal expectation is to feature descriptions of your last three jobs or last ten years of experience. It’s unnecessary to detail every single nursing job you’ve had if the work requirements were similar.
How do I write a professional summary for a nursing resume?
A professional summary is an engaging two-to-three sentence sales pitch about yourself that lives at the top of your resume.
It’s the first thing that a hiring manager will see after your name and contact information, so it’s your first chance to make a great impression.
Use active language incorporating keywords that gives a brief account of what you’ve accomplished and what makes you a great nurse.
Here’s an example of an engaging and strong professional summary:
“Dedicated nurse with 4+ years of experience brings genuine comfort and compassion to hospital patients. My skills in organization, observation and patient safety have been the guideposts of my successful record in achieving recovery.”
If you’d like to dive into greater specifics, or learn how to write a knock-out professional summary or objective statement, JobHero has an in-depth guide on professional summaries and objective statements that will give you all the tools you need to make sure that your resume starts off strong.
Should I include a cover letter with my nursing resume?
Yes, even if not requested in the job posting or ad, it’s generally expected that you include a cover letter when submitting your resume.
More than the expectation, it’s important to include a cover letter because it adds additional space for you to make the case for why you’re an exceptional nursing candidate.
Also, a cover letter brings the opportunity to bring the bullet points of your resume alive into a more cohesive story about who you are as a job candidate. Engage your reader by creating a narrative about your career progression.
To help you do that, JobHero features a vast library of nursing cover letter examples that will help you inspire you to create your own great letter.
Furthermore, JobHero also has a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of how to create a cover letter so that yours stands out from your job competition.