Specialty Insights

News and advice for job seekers and hiring managers.

Resume Tips

A resume can open doors or close them even faster. The goal is to peak a potential employer interested enough to win you an interview. Resumes play a key part in your ability to get an interview. Remember, this is the only thing that employers can go off to base their decision on interviewing you. If you are concerned that your work experience/resume isn’t traditional enough, perhaps it requires a little explanation?

Here are 7 authentic ways to get yourself noticed on paper!

  1. Choose The Best Type of Resume For You
    Chronological ResumeThe standard resume format. This document begins with an objective that demonstrates your goals are highly compatible with the position you’re applying for. Next comes a list of recent employers starting with the most recent or current. Also included are related accomplishments, educational information, certifications and special skills. Functional ResumesThis resume highlights demonstrated skills and aptitudes. It is useful for minimizing work history gaps or as an aid to making a career transition. This format allows the prospective employer to see how well you can serve their organization’s needs.
  1. State Your Accomplishments
    Relate your successes in a problem-action-result format to emphasize the most important qualities you bring to the table. List examples of how you managed challenges in your career, explaining the actions taken (emphasize whether they were independent or team decision). Provide the outcome of your efforts in quantifiable terms: percentages, cost savings, numbers or before-and-after comparisons.
  1. Do Not Load Your Resume with Industry-Specific Initials
    Your resume will probably pass through several hands, not all of whom may be familiar with nursing or your medical specialty. When referring to a hospital unit, a certificate or an association, spell out the term the first time it’s used, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses, such as Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) or Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), etc. After that initial definition, you’re free to simplify future references by using just the abbreviation.
  1. Show Diversity of Experience on Your Resume
    Many jobs embrace more than one particular specialty. You’ve probably exercised accounting, administrative or other skills in your current or past positions. Tell your prospective employer about it! Include experiences such as creating budgets or schedules, supervisory or charge responsibilities. Mention committee work or special projects that resulted in cost-cutting or downsizing. List quality management activities as well as interdisciplinary committees in which you participated. Include whether the hospital you worked at was a teaching or trauma center or whether you have experience teaching or training, including acting as a preceptor to new hires, working with students, and giving an in-service presentation. Such diversity will make you stand out as a flexible, well-rounded, capable asset to any organization. Employers feel that if it’s not on your resume, you probably don’t have the experience. Remember, the next candidate might have that experience, and they could be the person who got the interview or even the job.
  1. Agency Work and Travel Nursing
    Summarize in a sentence or two rather than listing every facility where you’ve worked. This will show consistency of work rather than making you appear unstable.
  1. Continuing Education Courses
    Remember, a resume is a summary of your work experience. In order to keep it brief, mention any continuing education programs completed by stating, “Continuing education specifics provided upon request” if you wish to reference them.
  1. Use Catch Words and Phrases That Grab Attention!
    Fill your resume with action words to emphasize your role as an achiever and contributor to your organization’s success. Include words like developed, revitalized, organized, initiated, negotiated, enhanced, completed, produced, expanded, succeeded, improved, implemented, accomplished, surpassed, utilized, global perspective, or effectiveness. Utilize resume building resources in print or online to capture keywords that make employers take notice. Update your resume with them regularly!