Whether you've just finished taking the NCLEX or you have been in the nursing field for many years, it's always a good idea to have an up-to-date resume on hand. For recent graduates, your resume might only have school experience and extracurricular activities. Experienced professionals, on the other hand, may need an extra sheet of paper to fit all of their accomplishments.
At any stage of your nursing career, you need to have a resume that stands out from the crowd. These tips will help turn an average resume into an awesome one:
When possible, use numbers
As you write your resume, you should strive to demonstrate the value you bring to prospective employers. Bradley University explained that using numbers shows hiring managers that you understand the value you bring to the table as a nursing professional. Listing awards might show managers that others value your expertise, but they don't paint a picture of how you perform on the job. Mentioning how many patients you see in a day or the number of people you've supervised can make a big difference.
Write an engaging summary
The majority of resumes are submitted online and run through a computer program before a hiring manager looks at it. This happens because open nursing jobs may receive hundreds of applications. And when a hiring manager does look at your resume, it may only be for a few seconds. It can help to have a brief professional summary at the top of your resume to catch the hiring manager's attention. NurseTogether recommended writing the summary in the third person and using short, active sentences to keep the reader's attention. If you're fresh out of college and you're struggling to fill an entire page – a well-composed summary could help you address that empty space.
Display your extracurricular activities
If you're a recent college graduate, you should consider adding extracurricular activities to your resume. If you belonged to relevant student groups, adding them to your resume can show that you are an active contributor. If you've had articles or papers published, these will show that you're interested in continuing your education. Extracurricular activities aren't only for recent students, however. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs suggests boosting your nursing resume with care committees, work groups, extra training courses and similar activities.
Spelling and grammatical errors could be enough to make a hiring manager toss your resume aside. After you've written your resume, proofread every line. When you're sure you've caught all of the mistakes, have a friend proofread it for you as well. The same advice applies to your cover letter. Always give yourself some time between writing your documents and sending them to employers. You want to be sure you've said everything exactly right before a hiring manager sees you resume.
A good resume will act as an ambassador for your professional self. It will show employers what makes you great and will convince them to call you for an interview.