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The Nursing Resume: How to Create a Resume That Will Land You the Nursing Job You Want

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To create an effective nursing resume, it is important to highlight your relevant experience, expertise, certifications, and past accomplishments. This is the best way to show the hiring manager that you have the skills necessary to carry out the duties of the job and positively contribute to the organization in question.

The search for a nursing job does not end when you finish nursing school. Yes, you’ve put a lot of time and money into ensuring that you will have a successful nursing career, but the first step toward that career is landing a nursing job. And the most effective way — in terms of time and money — to land the job and put yourself on the way to that long, successful career is to create an effective resume that will get you hired in the shortest amount of time possible. A good resume will not only ensure that you land the nursing job that’s perfect for you, it will also help to ensure that you have an even better chance of getting the salary that you deserve and desire.

In Your Nursing Resume, Create a Summary of Qualifications

At the beginning of the resume, create a brief paragraph, no longer than five lines, that explains your most pertinent skills and experiences. This can be considered the 60-second pitch that you would use to sell yourself to the hiring manager if you happened to be stuck with him or her in an elevator for a floor or two. You may list some certifications, vital skills, your nursing goal, and the amount of experience that you have obtained. Remember, while it should be brief, it should also make the most effective use of space that it possibly can. This will determine whether or not the hiring manager will read on.

In Your Nursing Resume, Emphasize Relevant Nursing Experience

It is vital that healthcare professionals stress their past experience in the healthcare field. Hiring managers need to know that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully carry out the responsibilities of the job. This means being as specific as possible. Issues such as the type of facility where you worked and gained experience, area or areas of expertise, volunteer experience at a clinic, and your past caseloads should all be addressed.

In Your Nursing Resume, Create a List for Your Areas of Specialization

At the top of the resume, below the summary of qualifications, it is important to highlight the healthcare areas in which you are extremely experienced and have gained some type of expertise or vital skills which other candidates may not possess. This list will provide an instant overview of what you can provide and will motivate the hiring manager to call you in for an interview if he or she notices that you have experience in psychiatric nursing or patient assessment, for example, if that is exactly what he or she is looking for.

In Your Nursing Resume, Highlight Accomplishments

Showing an employer what you did above and beyond your normal job responsibilities is the best way to demonstrate the value you brought to your past place of employment and how you will bring value to your future employer. These accomplishments extend even beyond what you achieved at work and may include community awards that you received, for example, for the number of hours you volunteered at a free clinic. Here are some things to ask yourself when considering what accomplishments you can list:
  • Were any new policies implemented by company executives that resulted in your need to train company personnel?

  • Did you contribute to any community healthcare outreach programs?

  • Did you receive any awards related to your job performance?

  • Were you a member of a committee?
To ensure success in your nursing job search and to quickly jumpstart your career, you must create a resume that highlights your skills and experiences, emphasizes your unique abilities, and shows the employer what you will bring to their organization that no one else can. Ultimately, before you are able to help others, you must first help yourself by ensuring you land the job.
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