Okay ladies and gentlemen. Your resume is the meat and potatoes of your job search. This is what gets you an interview. There are books upon books, seminars, courses, and tutorials beyond belief on how to compose your resume. Although there's plenty of information out there it can be a bit overwhelming and there's so much contradiction. 1 page vs. 2 page resume. Objective vs. no objective. Arial vs. Times New Roman. It goes on and on and pretty much ridiculous. The biggest challenge is filtering through all the information to find what fits best for YOU! It pretty much comes down to the personal preference of whoever is looking at your resume and not what Doctor so and so says in his books about resumes. It's not fair but there is NO STANDARD for a resume format. There are a few agreements within the job hiring community. I'm going to share with you guys the format of my current resume, that landed me my current job. I am in no way saying this is the best and only way. This is just my current resume. You're more than welcome to use it, ignore it, modify it, etc. Remember that everything I post here is to help you guys out!
First off, I'm going to explain how I reached my current version of my resume. The most important thing is to have as many people look at it as possible. My mom, classmates, professors, career centers, neighbors, the clerks at my mom's job, and so on. I also posted it on Allnurses.com under their Nurse Resume Help section to get some great feedback from the members. However, you don't need to take every and all advice you receive. Like I mentioned earlier, even some of the comments from the members on allnurses.com contradicted each other and I had to decided which advice was best for me.
There are a few things I believe each resume should have. Again, this is coming from my personal opinion, research, and advice from others along my resume journey to perfection.
- Simple font. It doesn't have to be Times New Roman, but make sure it's a Monotype Font. Keeps your font size at 12 or 11 point.
- If printing it please spend a few bucks and get professional resume paper with a watermark. You can buy it anywhere from Walmart to OfficeMax. Stick to neutral colors. No bright pinks or greens. It's not the time to be super creative.
- Keep your formatting plain except for your name. No italics anywhere and only bold your name. Please include your degree and license after your name (Last Name, Degree, RN is the format) and remember to not include your degree or license until after you graduate or pass NCLEX. It will be considered fraud and in most states the RN title is protected under law and you could face serious consequences if you use RN without having your license.
- When writing your job description use action verbs at the beginning of each statement. Example, Sorted files, entered data, received and made calls, etc.
- If you have room on your resume, yes I'm suggesting to keep it to one page, put in your clinical experiences. While applying for jobs I noticed that Magnet hospitals were asking for this information to be incorporated in to your resume and I decided to make it a permanent space. It gives hospitals ideas of what type of hospitals and floors you've been trained in and how many hours. It's also a great for those that have no work experience. You can also add what type of patients you worked with and a summary of skills you performed at the facility. Try to be concise and don't be repetitive.
- If you have volunteer experience add it! Even if it was for an hour or for a non-nursing or medical reason. Any and all volunteer experience is a great way to show you care.