12 Best Practices for Resume Writing for New Nurses

As a fresh nursing graduate, you’ve acquired the essential understanding and abilities to tend to patients. You’ve successfully navigated through rigorous classes, laboratory tasks, and clinical placements. Now, you face a new hurdle: securing your initial nursing position. The primary step? Developing an outstanding nursing resume. Armed with the correct approach and advice, your resume can distinguish itself from the pool of applicants and attract potential employers. Let’s explore the optimal strategies for crafting resumes for novice nurses.

Why a Good Resume is Crucial for Your Nursing Career

Your resume acts as your individual promotional instrument. Its purpose is to succinctly and attractively display your credentials, abilities, and experiences in a manner that persuades recruiters that you’re the ideal candidate for the role. An expertly composed resume could be your ticket to securing an interview call.

Best Practices for Resume Writing for New Nurses

Starting your nursing career is a thrilling journey, and an essential step in that process is crafting a compelling resume. Let’s take a look at the best practices for resume writing, specifically designed to assist new nurses in showcasing their skills and experiences effectively.

1. Know What Employers Are Looking For

Before you start crafting your nursing resume, it’s crucial to understand what employers are looking for. Here are some key factors:
  • Relevant Skills: Highlight your nursing skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. These could include patient care, medical procedure competence, or even soft skills like communication or teamwork.
  • Education and Certifications: Your nursing degree, licenses, and any additional certifications should be clearly stated on your resume.
  • Experience: For new nurses, this might include clinical rotations, internships, or any volunteer work in the healthcare field.
  • Professionalism: This is reflected in the overall presentation of your resume. It should be well-organized, free of errors, and formatted consistently.

2. Start with a Strong Objective or Summary

The top of your resume is prime real estate. This is the first thing hiring managers will see, so make it count. Start with a strong objective or summary statement that highlights your career goals, skills, and what you can bring to the job. Remember, this isn’t a place to list your demands or desires. Instead, it’s an opportunity to showcase what you can offer to the employer.

3. Highlight Your Education and Certifications

As a new nurse, you might not have a lot of work experience yet. But you do have a solid educational background and possibly some certifications. Make sure these are prominently displayed on your resume. List your nursing degree, the school you attended, and the date of graduation. If you have additional certifications like BLS (Basic Life Support) or ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), include those as well.

4. List Relevant Clinical Experiences

Even as a fresh graduate, you’ve likely had some hands-on experience through your clinical rotations or internships. Don’t underestimate the value of these experiences. They show potential employers that you’re familiar with a healthcare setting and have applied your nursing skills in real-life situations.

In this section, mention where you completed your rotations, the type of unit (like pediatrics or emergency), and any specific responsibilities or accomplishments you had.

5. Showcase Your Skills

This is your chance to shine. Highlight the nursing skills that you’ve developed throughout your education and clinical experiences. This could include technical skills like administering medications, patient assessment, wound care, and more.

Don’t forget about soft skills as well. Nurses need excellent communication, empathy, teamwork, problem-solving, and time-management skills if you can provide examples of how you’ve used these skills in a healthcare setting, even better.

6. Formatting Matters

The structure of your resume greatly influences its legibility. Adhere to a neat, business-like layout. Employ bullet points for effortless perusal, and maintain uniformity in font size and style. Steer clear of industry-specific vernacular or complicated language. Bear in mind, simplicity and brevity are crucial.

Keep in mind, your resume constitutes your initial impression on a prospective employer. By adhering to these nursing resume suggestions, you can forge an enticing resume that highlights your skills and paves the way for success in your nursing profession.

7. Tailor Your Resume to Each Job Application

It might appear to be a lengthy process, but tailoring your resume for every job you apply for can greatly enhance your prospects of securing an interview. Pay close attention to the job details and pinpoint the essential skills and qualifications that the employer desires. Subsequently, ensure these are prominently displayed in your resume. This demonstrates to the employer that you’ve made a concerted effort to comprehend their needs, indicating that you’re a committed applicant.

8. Use Action Verbs and Quantifiable Achievements

Use action verbs when describing your responsibilities and achievements to make your resume more impactful. Words like ‘administered’, ‘coordinated’, ‘implemented’, or ‘assessed’ are more dynamic and engaging than passive phrases.

Additionally, whenever possible, use numbers or quantifiable achievements. For instance, instead of saying “provided patient care”, you could say “provided care for up to 10 patients per shift, receiving positive feedback on bedside manner”.

9. Include Relevant Keywords

Many organizations use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes before they reach hiring managers. These systems scan for keywords related to the job description. Therefore, incorporating relevant keywords into your resume can help get it past the ATS and in front of a real person. But remember, don’t just randomly stuff keywords into your resume; they should naturally fit into the context of your experiences and skills.

10. Proofread, Proofread, and Proofread Again

Typos, grammatical errors, or inconsistent formatting can leave a negative impression on employers. It suggests a lack of attention to detail, which is a crucial trait for nurses. So, once you’ve finished writing your resume, proofread it thoroughly. Then, proofread it again. Having someone else review it for a fresh perspective can also be helpful.

11. Keep It Concise

While it’s important to include all relevant information, try to keep your resume to one or two pages. Hiring managers often have to sift through dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes, so they appreciate conciseness. Include your most important and relevant experiences, skills, and achievements, but keep the descriptions brief and to the point.

12. Consider a Professional Review or Resume Writing Service

If you’re struggling with writing your resume, consider seeking help from a professional resume review or writing service. They can provide valuable feedback and help you present your qualifications in the best possible light. Remember, investing in a great resume can pay off by helping you land that first nursing job more quickly.

A well-crafted resume is your passport to a promising nursing career, especially for new nurses. By following these best practices for resume writing, you can effectively highlight your skills and experiences, making you stand out in the competitive healthcare industry.

Looking for Your Perfect Nursing Job?

If you’re a nurse seeking the ideal permanent job, Total Nurses Network is here to help. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities in the nursing field. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to connecting nurses with the best job opportunities. Visit our website at Total Nurses Network or contact us today. We’re committed to helping you find a rewarding and fulfilling nursing job that aligns with your career goals.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

Crafting an effective nursing resume is both an art and a science. It requires a strategic blend of relevant content, strong action verbs, precise language, and clean formatting. By following these nurse resume tips, you can create a resume that not only lands you interviews but also helps launch your nursing career.

Now that you know how to create a compelling nursing resume, it’s time to put these tips into action. Don’t rush the process; take the time to craft a resume carefully that accurately represents your skills, experiences, and career goals. With a bit of effort and strategy, you’ll have a resume that opens doors to exciting nursing opportunities.