Resume writing can be hard for some nurses because we are trained to care, not write.
However, you can usually construct a pretty good resume on your own by using resources such as the internet.
In truth, most human resources managers put a great deal of emphasis on the interview phase rather than the resume.
It is important to project a friendly, positive attitude during the interview.
The question is, though, how to get from the application stage to the interview stage.
Lots of people are divided on the best ways to write resumes, but following a few simple steps can get you that coveted interview spot.
What to Focus On
The most important thing to focus on in your resume is experience. Everyone has graduated from nursing school, so that will not set you apart.
What will set you apart is the experience of working in health care in some capacity.
This is why it is so important to get your CNA certification as soon as you can and begin working.
Even if you don’t have that advantage, you can use volunteer positions or even helping a relative who was sick for your experience.
It isn’t as impressive as a CNA position, but it will make you stand out from the crowd.
If you have no experience, focus on what you did in nursing school. If you were part of any organizations, helped to volunteer for the school, or were active in the class, mention that as something that will make you different.
You can pay tons of money to have your resume done by a professional, but does that really matter?
Will a slick looking resume get the attention of a human resources professional over something you did on a word processor?
It may get you an initial look, but human resources managers are looking for people who are a good fit with their organization.
This means people who have excelled in nursing school, who have a good job history, and who have some experience.
You may also want to get attention by calling to follow up on your resume. You don’t want to make a nuisance of yourself, but you can get attention by being someone who isn’t afraid to call.
Call and make sure your resume was received, that they have all the information that they need, and if they have any questions.
Making that personal contact, no matter how brief, is the key to getting the attention to focus on you.
Resume vs. Interview
In the end, the interview is what matters, so you shouldn’t need a professional to slick up your resume.
Cute graphics, funny paper, and well-written bullet points may be nice, but they don’t ensure you will get the job.
You may end up spending a great deal of money on the resume and not get much return.
The best course of action is to do it yourself and focus strongly on your interviewing skills.
We will discuss interviewing in a future article, but it really is the hinge that everything rests on. Whole books have been written about the interview process, and you may be better off reading those than focusing on the resume.
Remember that the resume gets you in the door with the content, and you seal the deal with your personality.
Both are very important in the pursuit of a nursing career, but resumes don’t need to be the bear that you make them out to be.