Everything You Need to Know about Resume Writing

OUTCOME: The learner will identify one strategy learned to create an effective resume or CV.

0.5 contact hour will be awarded with successful completion.

The Ohio Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (OBN-001-91).

Expires 1/30/2021

1. Please read carefully the attached article entitled, “Resume Writing for Nurses”
2. Then complete the evaluation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Sandy Swearingen at 614-448-1030 (sswearingen@ohnurses.org).

This independent study was developed by: Jane Unsworth and Jessica Dzubak, BSN, RN The authors and planning committee members have declared no conflict of interest.

The number of registered nurses needed in the United States is set to rise by more than 28 percent to 3.6 million by 2030 according to analysts at RegisteredNursing.org. The same report, however, noted that Ohio will have more registered nurses than they need, which is an indicator of the need to be competitive and empower yourself in everything from your qualifications to your experience when you are applying for a job in this state. Getting the job of your dreams may involve stiff competition, especially if you wish to carry out a specialist role such as that of a nurse anesthetist, mental health nurse practitioner, or nurse research scientist. Research shows that recruiters spend just a few seconds looking at resumes (University of California Davis, 2018).
How can you condense and highlight your skills and experience to impress a recruiter in 30 seconds or less?

What is a CV and Why Do I Need One?
A CV, or curriculum vitae, is typically a longer document displaying your full academic credentials, publications, research projects, presentations and awards (University of California Davis, 2018). CVs are more commonly used in academia, such as those seeking positions in fellowships and academic settings. Using a CV is also helpful when applying for a grant. Developing a CV early in your career may be beneficial as you continue to add experiences and grow your skills. Typically, CVs are much lengthier than the one-page resume. Information is more detailed and gives a complete overview of your professional and educational achievements.

Matching Your Skills to those of the Job Description
Pay close attention to the competencies listed in the job description and make sure that a majority are listed down on your CV as well. For nursing, core competencies may include efficiency, keen observation and judgement, gentleness, and willing to serve.

Curating your CV to the job posting is key, especially recruiters are receiving hundreds of applications. Try to be as specific as possible. For instance, if you already have experienced as a certified nurse midwife, state how many deliveries you assisted with. If you are a nurse researcher, list all of the studies you have been involved in. Specialty skills and certifications should be included relevant to the job description. Include projects you have implemented, changes you have made in your organization, or new programs

You may have several versions of your resume if you are applying for multiple positions with varying details and requirements. You want to highlight the skills and experience you have tailored to the job description. Often times recruiters will search resumes and CVs by searching for keywords related to the job description.
Detail makes for interesting reading, but you need to be selective so as not to drown the recruiter in information. Keep your details simple, direct and to the point. Avoid using extra words that do not add value.
Paying Attention to Formatting
As a person who works in a scientific field, you may be surprised to learn that simple things in the format of your resume – including the type of font you choose – can have a significant impact on the personality you convey to recruiters. Most online formatted CVs use ‘serious’ fonts like Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, or Cambria, sized 10-12 point. These fonts have a formal yet simple air that lend professionalism to your CV. Use black font and avoid images.

You will also need to use bold type and shading selectively and intelligently, highlighting the most important parts of your CV – including your previous experience in posts that demanded similar capabilities to those the job you are applying for demands. Creativity should be implemented sparingly, while emphasis should be placed on more important information such as skills, previous duties performed, and how they exemplify what you can bring to the table.

Showing Flexibility and other Soft Skills
Studies have shown that for scientific and non-scientific jobs alike soft skills are playing an increasingly important role. Recruiters will be looking for more than experience at a hospital; they will also be paying attention to your ability to portray ‘soft skills’. In the nursing realm, these include integrity, teamwork, and responsibility. Make sure to include a couple of instances in which you displayed a select list of soft skills.
Applying for your dream job in nursing begins with an eye-catching resume. Use online templates to your advantage, remembering to attract the eye to the most important information in your resume. Be specific when indicating your skills, but don’t forget to show vital soft skills as well.

• Consider including bilingual status. Especially in the very culturally diverse field of healthcare, the ability to speak more than one language can be impressive (The Graduate College at the University of Illinois, 2018).

• Be specific. Show not Tell.
Instead of saying: Effective communicator and leader
Say: Lead a group of five nurses to start a Shared Governance committee.
• Avoid simply listing job duties.
Instead of saying: Provided nursing care
Say: Cared for pediatric trauma patients on a 30-bed monitored unit. Care included:
-Procedural Sedation
-Invasive Monitoring, etc.
• Use numbers to highlight your experience and skills whenever possible
• Use strong action verbs.
• Make sure a consistent verb tense is used.
• Keep resumes one page in length.
• Avoid personal information such as a photograph, age, marital status, and Social Security number.

Everything You Need to Know About Resume Writing

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