Formatting Tips For Your Nursing Resume
Resume formatting involves things like fonts, margins, sizing, etc. Resume formatting affects both the humans and the applicant tracking systems that read your resume.
As the study we cited above indicates, humans respond better to resumes with clean fonts and appealing white-space. Meanwhile, images and various uncommon formatting characteristics can confuse applicant tracking systems.
Follow these formatting tips to make sure your nursing resume is appealing to humans and software.
Don’t Wait For Your References To Be Called
Every time we suggest that you include written references with a resume or job application, someone cringes — and in their defense, it is not typical job seeker behavior.
But for military spouses constantly on the move, juggling the demands of military life, and in many cases starting their careers afresh at a new duty station, those references are absolutely critical. If you lack professional experience, you can play up extracurricular experience that your references can actually support. Instead of just saying yourself that you are a good leader, you prove that someone else thinks you are a good leader, too, by including letters of reference.
But without a strong job history, who can you turn to for those references? Look to former academic advisers, teachers or club supervisors. If you have strong volunteer experience, ask the people in charge to write letters on your behalf that support the skills you claim to have. Each reference should be able to speak to a different skill set you have mastered or volunteer experience that lends itself to job readiness.
While that seems easy enough in theory, these references can be difficult to ask for in real life. Be straightforward with people: The people you might ask to be references are people who also believe in you and your potential.
Select Keywords From The Job Listing
Use the job listing for inspiration as you’re writing your resume. If the listing emphasizes the need for a personable approach to customer service, make sure some of your job responsibilities detail your engaging presentation style, amiable nature and personable approach. Use this tactic carefully so the effect is subtle, and change the language enough to distinguish your resume from the job listing.
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Executive Resumes Should Include How Much Work History
Many job seekers find themselves struggling to adjust the content of their resume as their career grows. For executives, the challenge can be even greater. With detailed career experience and rich results, summarizing an executive work history can seem like an impossible feat. Yet it can and should be done.
Modern executive resumes have evolved into strategic marketing documents. They condense, refine, and precisely define value in relation to each readers needs. Gone are the days of complete career chronology.
To avoid smothering the reader verbosity must be abated. Although executive resume length can vary and the strategy adjusted to accommodate each individuals background and targeted position. a general rule of thumb is to showcase just the last 10 to 15 years of high-level leadership. Work history that is 15+ years old, especially non- leadership-focused roles, should not make the cut.
This recommendation may not apply to executives in the following situations:
Less can be more.
Human Review Of Nursing Resume Content
More importantly, several humans review nursing resumes during the hiring process. Like the ATS, they also screen for the employers desired content.
Additionally, the humans evaluate the resume to determine if the candidate can excel at the job.
For most employers, a recruiter is the first human to review resumes. Afterwards, recruiters may or may not contact desirable candidates to ask a few questions and determine if the candidates are still interested in the job.
Once this process is complete, recruiters typically forward the best candidates to the hiring manager. Here again, the hiring manager typically reviews resumes for the desired content and judges whether the candidate can excel at the position.
Its important to note that the best resumes are almost always the ones with all the critical details the employer desires. If the information isnt there, then the resume stands a far greater chance of being removed from the process.
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Mistake #: Having Your Employment History Start Below The First Half Of Page 1
Youll notice in the work history samples earlier, this section starts early on the resume. Making a hiring manager or recruiter go digging in your resume to find this section is a big mistake.
Put it front and center . You want your recent experience and achievements to be dead-easy to find for any company you send your resume to.
Thats one of the best tips I can share in general: Dont make employers go digging for your recent responsibilities and achievements on your resume. It should jump out of the page at them because it should contain a lot of content compared to other sections, and it should appear high up.
How To Write A Work Experience Section
Begin with your current or most recent job and continue with the previous ones. The description of each job position should include the following information: name of the company, their location, job title, dates, responsibilities and achievements, promotions, and awards.
Sounds simple enough, doesnt it? Despite that, the employment history section is probably the most difficult to write. Much of the difficulty comes from the sheer amount of information you have to include in this section.
Also, most difficulties only appear once you stop writing it. Is your work experience section too short? Is it too long? Does it look somewhat chaotic? Dont worry. This is how you can include some of the most common mistakes:
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How Many Jobs To List On Resume
How many jobs should you list on a resume? It doesnt matter whether you are a beginner or a professional, try to limit your list to 5 jobs. In fact, it will be enough to indicate 2-3 places with key responsibilities. But how to format them correctly? Here is a detailed instruction for you.
So, how many jobs should be listed on a resume? Describe the 3-4, most suitable job positions from your career. However, it is worth keeping the chronological sequence. Long gaps in employment can cause further questions for the HR manager. But it is permissible if you can explain it with maternity leave, or another logical reason.
Screening Nursing Resumes For Content
First, lets take a look at how healthcare employers screen nursing resumes.
Hiring managers, recruiters and software evaluate nursing resumes based on two general factors. First, they evaluate resumes based on the degree to which the content of the resume matches the job description.
This evaluation process is technical and robotic. Either the resume includes variables the employer seeks or it does not.
Second, they evaluate a resume based on how well it conveys that the candidate can excel at the job. This evaluation process is more subjective.
With that in mind, lets take a look at the content evaluation process nursing resumes typically go through.
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How Far Back Should Your Employment History Go
My advice here is the same advice I give for how back to go with your story when they ask, tell me about yourself in an interview.
If youve been working for less than 8-10 years, Id go back to the beginning of your professional work history, and try to tailor everything to be relevant for the jobs youre pursuing now.
You might be thinking theres nothing in common between your prior professional experience and the jobs you want now, but theres usually an angle you can find!
Heres an example of how you may have relevant experience in your background even if youre an entry level job seeker or applying to a totally new type of position:
When I was in college, I worked in customer service at Whole Foods Market. Not too glamorous, right?
But I became a supervisor, and youd be amazed how many interviewers asked me about this job, even after 4-5 years had passed .
So dont assume something isnt relevant. If you showed advancement/growth, leadership, or other impressive traits, employers will love it. Its your job to make the bullet points impressive and show them how its relevant.
Now, on the other hand, if youve worked more than 10 years, and/or if you are a Manager/Director, etc., consider starting your resume work history at the point you became a manager.
Why Employers Dont Hire Older Applicants
Hiring an older job applicant can be an invaluable asset to a company. So not hiring someone just because of their age could leave a company missing out on someone who could take the company to new heights.
Below are common myths about hiring older workers that some recruiters believe about 50+ workers. Knowing this will help you deal with ageism by knowing how much work experience to .
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Choosing A Layout For Your Nursing Resume
The layout of your nursing resume refers to how you organize content on the page. In theory, there are an infinite number of possible layouts.
However, we can split layouts into two general categories. There are one-column layouts and multi-column layouts.
The traditional resume were all used to seeing uses the one-column layout. Its a classic F or E pattern. Each line spans the width of the page.
People commonly refer to multi-column resumes as Modern Resumes or Contemporary Resumes. The reader must review content by section as opposed to drawing their eyes down the page while scanning from left to right.
Addressing Gaps In Your Work History
Rather than leaving a gap, it is best to indicate what you were doing whether you were a full-time parent, on maternity leave, traveling, studying, or volunteering. If you are currently in a gap period, you may want to consider fitting in some volunteer work along with the job search which is an excellent element to include in your resume. You are likely to catch the eye of a potential employer if you can show you have participated in some type of volunteer work even on a very limited basis.
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Stick To The Most Relevant Information
Why 10 to 15 years, you ask? Well, thats the timeframe recruiters and employers perceive as most relevant. Recruiters arent interested in your accomplishments as an entry-level employee if youve been in the field for 20 years. And even if youre early in your career, they dont necessarily need to know about a paper route on a resume slated for a tech position.
Your resume should be a high-level summary of your relevant professional accomplishments, not a dissertation of all your jobs and responsibilities since middle school. Recruiters and hiring managers want to quickly see why youre the right person for this job, and your experience in the past decade or so is most likely the reason. So think twice before you let non-essential information take up real estate on your resume. Instead use that space to shine a light on applicable achievements, experiences, and positions that more closely align with the jobs youre targeting.
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Mistake #: Thinking Its All About You And Not About The Employer
The average job seeker thinks their resume work history is all about them. They decide what THEY want to write, what THEY care about, etc.
Thats a backward approach, believe it or not. .
The best way to approach writing your resume employment history is to think of the employer. Look at their job description. What are their needs? What skills do they care about?
Thats why I mentioned tailoring your resume in the previous section. Its incredibly important. Dont write your previous work experience without a few job descriptions in front of you for the jobs you want to get!
Thats how to make sure what youre writing will get you interviews.
Most of the mistakes above should be review if you read the entire article above. If not, go back and make sure youve read everything.
You only get one shot to impress employers with your resume, and theyre looking at your previous work experience within 10 seconds of opening your resume.
List Your Employment History First Unless You’re New In The Workplace
A chronological resume style lists your work history at the top, which is where most hiring managers want it. You should almost always take this approach. The exception is when you don’t have a long work history. Recent graduates or those entering the workforce for the first time may choose a functional resume instead, which places skills above your work history.
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Colors And Design Of Your Work History On A Resume
The first rule to follow when you write your employment history is to keep it simple in terms of style and formatting.
If youre not a professional designer, your resume format should not have fancy graphics and colors.
Thats true of every section of your resume.
Pick one accent color at most , one or two fonts total, and one or two heading sizes.
Youll notice all three resume employment history samples above keep colors to a minimum and focus on the content itself. Thats what you should do as well.
You want the employers focus to be on your past work experience, not on the styling and colors of your resume, so dont distract them too much.
Use Older Experience Only If Its Relevant
Job ads list most skills hiring managers are seeking in candidates. Refer to the job posting to see which particular skills are called for. If you notice a skill listed on the ad that you havent used since the 1990s, you can and should still fit that skill onto your resume.
For example, if the job ad calls for experience writing in the COBOL programming language, its fine to include a role from two decades ago:
PROGRAMMER, SFJ Software Inc., 19992003
As you can see from this example, such mentions can include just one bullet point that showcases the skill from the job ad. Theres no need to list other responsibilities linked to the old position unless they also directly relate to the job posting.
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Honors And Awards Section Optional
Of course, Honors and Awards are what resumes are all about! If you have many to highlight, or even a couple of prestigious ones, then you may choose to include a title-heading for them. Below is an example:
DAISY Award Received over a dozen nominations. Award winner for November, 2018.
Dianne Lanham Award Winner, 2018 Recognizes the importance of leadership competencies as a component of nursing practice at the point of direct care.
List Your Most Important Accomplishments And Responsibilities
Your accomplishments and responsibilities are the most important part of your resume employment history. If you have just two or three jobs to list, you can break out your responsibilities into sections such as team leadership, account management and sales. You might also feature a list of responsibilities followed by a separate section for accomplishments and awards. If you have a long job history, brevity is critical. In this case, you should list only the most important information.
When you are listing your responsibilities, ensure that you are writing them in the past tense. The only exception to this rule is for your most recent job if you are still currently working there. In this case, you would instead put your responsibilities in the present tense.
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How Many Years Of Experience Should You Include
How should you decide what to include? If you are uncertain how many years of experience to include on your resume, let the job posting be your guide. If a job requires 20 years of experience, for example, you’ll want to include more than 10 – 15 years of work history.
Include positions from earlier in your career that are relevant to the role you are applying for.
It’s acceptable to include 10 – 15 years of experience on your resume. In many industries, sharing experience that dates back more than 15 years just isn’t very helpful for hiring managers. It doesn’t support your candidacy to share an experience with tools and technology that are no longer in use.
Plus, when you have many years of experience, listing it all can flag you as an older job seeker to employers.