Tips For Generating A Travel Nurse Resume That Stands Out From The Rest
Finding an exceptional job starts with creating an exceptional resume. Anyone who has spent some time applying for nursing positions knows that the field is a competitive one. There is no shortage of qualified nurses to fill local and travel nursing positions across the country. Getting your foot in the door often comes down to ensuring that your resume ends up at the top of the pile of resumes on an employer’s desk.
After spending over a decade staffing hospitals all over the Tri-State area, White Glove Care has seen more than its share of nursing resumes. Our team of recruiters pulled together to offer some tips for applicants. Looking to transform your resume from ordinary to extraordinary? Take note of the following tips.
Perfecting A Stand Out Nursing Resume:
- Getting A Foot In The Door: Your resume is simply a means to an end. The resume won’t get you the job, the interview will. That said, without a stand out resume, an interview is unlikely. When setting out to write your resume, remember your sole purpose: getting an interview!
- Tell Them Who You Are Loud and Clear: Nothing is a bigger turn off to potential employers than having to search for contact information. Simply put, most employers won’t do it. If your contact information isn’t displayed clearly and prominently at the top of your resume, you are facing a missed opportunity.
- Design Minimally: Your resume is not a work of art. A nice border or a simple touch of color will help your resume stand out from the rest. Anything beyond that will distract from the content of your document. Resist the urge to go design crazy. Simplicity and elegance are best.
- Let Your Certifications Speak For Themselves: In the nursing field, licenses and certifications are the gatekeepers to jobs. A prospective employer looks for one thing and one thing only, before continuing on to learn more about you. Do you meet the required licensing and certification requirements? If not, your resume ends up in the trash bin. If so, you’ve moved to the next round. List all of your licenses and certifications, including identification numbers and expiration dates, as well as the certifying body. All certifications, even CPR or IV certification, should be included.
- What Makes You Special and Searchable: What do you have that the resume before you didn’t? Show employers the unique specialties you’ve worked with. Include any areas of specialty and your length of experience in those areas. The goal is to make your resume as “search friendly” as possible. Specialty keywords might include: pediatrics, phlebotomy, chemotherapy administration, managed care, etc.
A typical rule of thumb for resume length, in general, is that a resume should not exceed two pages and should, preferably, fit on one page. Potential employers simply do not have the time, or interest, in reading a five page document that lists position after position but doesn’t saying anything new or extraordinary.
Struggling to create a one-pager? List out every placement you’ve had. Then, read it over and think back on your work history and ask yourself the following questions.
Choosing Which Placements To List On Your Resume:
- Which of these placements best demonstrates my unique skill sets?
- In which of these placements have I performed the best?
- Where have I won awards, received recognition for my work or spearheaded an initiative?
- Will this position get my foot in the door for an interview?
References are key. Employers need to know where you have worked in the past. How do you fit this need into the task of creating a one page resume? Have a separate document of all facilities you have worked with available for prospective employers as an addendum to your resume available. Bring this list to the interview with you and note on your resume that you will provide it. This offers potential employers the ability to review the document if necessary but doesn’t overwhelm them with information up front.
Need a checklist? Note what should be included in the work history and education sections of your resume.
- Include all relevant information, including but not limited to dates of employment, title, supervisor, unit, etc.
- Give information about the facility and quantify whenever possible (total beds in facility and on unit, trauma level, caseload or patient ratio, etc.)
- Specific duties, patient population (age, characteristics, conditions)
- Specify any computer or charting systems used
- Use a skimmable, bulleted list for each job to describe duties and responsibilities
- Remember to use keywords throughout work history to keep your resume search-friendly
- Name of institution, address, and phone number
- Dates attended
- Degree earned
The education section should be very simple and straightforward. Your resume should include all educational institutions you have attended. Finally, include any fellowships, awards, or professional recognition, in addition to any professional affiliations at the bottom of your resume.
Creating the best possible resume is a delicate balance of providing relevant, convincing information that paints a clear picture of your professional capabilities and experience in as few words as possible. Use these tips to streamline your resume and make it stand out from the rest.