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Trusted Introduction to Nursing Resumes

Ashley Elsbernd BSN, RN, RNC-NIC, CCRN
May 6, 2019
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The thought of making and maintaining a resume gives most of us nurses just a little bit of anxiety. First of all, it's not something anyone really bothered to spend much time on during nursing school. And the unique nature of our professional makes it difficult to really mirror our experience after a standard resume. Our experience can be clinical, non-clinical, both within the same work experience, or we often supplement and complement our professional career with non-nursing related roles.

How do you effectively capture (and keep up to date!) the depth of your experience concisely and neatly without unnecessary anxiety?

Nursing Resumes Aren't Simple, But They Can Be

Ashley, one of our fave NICU nurses, has been a staff nurse, travel nurse, and has volunteered not only at multiple facilities throughout her nursing career, but has done so in different cities, states, and countries. She's mastered her resume and was awesome enough to dish the tips and tricks! (For some interview tips, check out this guide one of our Trusted Nurses wrote!)

Don't Be Concerned about the Length

When you're only working someplace for three months, it's bound to get lengthy in a hasty fashion. It's expected! It may be wise to have a short and sweet version for in-person networking, but agencies won't reject it due to length.

Keep It Neat

It's true that a pretty resume is less of a concern in our world, but why not make the information easy on the eyes? Have some sort of method to organize it. I recently redid mine and organized it based off of a combination of agency and chronology. I use the agency as a header, and the assignment as a sub-header, going with the traditional most to least recent timeline.

For the agency positions, I list the agencies in order of when I completed my first assignment with them, then add in staff positions. This method can feel a little choppy, but it only requires listing the agency information once.

Include Only the Essential Information

You know all that info recruiters ask about prior assignments? That's what they and hiring managers want to know about you. Make sure to put down licenses and certifications, including expiration dates and certifying bodies. When it comes to hospitals you've worked at, the information they typically want to know includes the type of facility, hospital and unit bed counts, whether it's a teaching hospital, unit(s) worked on, and caseload.

In my experience, I've usually been asked about charting systems/technology used and floating experience, so I've added that in to be a step ahead. Make sure to include unit-specific qualities, such as trauma level or NICU level. With staff positions, I get a little more detailed with job descriptions and unit involvement.

Remember: the Hiring Manager Often Doesn't Even See Your Resume

That's right. You send it to recruiters, they dissect it, and the hiring manager typically gets only the pertinent info. That said, don't feel the need to research the position and hospital just to customize your resume for each job (for help finding your first travel nurse job, check out these quick tips). Do your research, but save it for the interview. Keep your resume generic so you don't have to overhaul it every three months.

Don't Overthink It

If you've got a Trusted profile, we make this part easy! We've worked hard to make inputting work experience as painless as possible, with auto-fill and completion, suggestions, drop-downs, and specialty tags. Your Trusted profile can be exported from anywhere, anytime. So as long as you keep your Trusted profile up to date, you'll always have a perfectly formatted PDF'd resume ready to go. One and done!

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