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What Makes Your Nursing Resume Stand Out From the Pack?

If you’re just getting your start in nursing or are a seasoned professional looking to switch jobs for the first time in years, the idea of facing competition in your job search can be quite intimidating.  Fortunately, you can use your resume as a leveraging tool to give you the advantage you need.

Nurses are undoubtedly highly sought after and valued for their expertise within the health care industry, but this doesn’t mean the field isn’t competitive.  What will you need to do to ensure your resume stands out from the pack?

Create a Qualifications/Career Summary to Present Your Value

Many job seekers are accustomed to placing a career objective at the top of their resume to explain why they are applying for a position.  As a nurse competing against other highly qualified nurses with varying levels of experience and education, it’s a good idea to reach past the norm by replacing this section with a qualifications/career summary.

Whether you are an entry-level nurse or a veteran in the field, you have acquired a certain level of experience thanks to the standard training that nurses receive.  So create a short bullet-point list of some standout highlights in your career to date while featuring top qualifications that deem you an impressive candidate.

Detail Your Nursing Experience

Chronologically detailing your career experience is important when writing your nursing resume.  Like most people working in the health profession, where you’ve worked, how long you worked there, and what you accomplished during your employment can help a medical facility determine how you will be of assistance to them.

A great way to approach the details of your job history is to pick out specific projects or daily tasks that you initiated to showcase your leadership.  Just keep in mind that it’s important to line up the details you share with the qualifications the prospective employer is looking for to ensure you catch the hiring manager’s eye.

Keyword Placement is Crucial

As a resume-writing job seeker, it is important that you become very familiar with keywords and their placement in your resume.  Keywords are terms and phrases utilized to help showcase your close connection with your field and the position you want.

As a nurse, these keywords could differ some depending on your title, but could include critical care setting, health care facility, transplant procedures, mental illnesses, occupational health, etc.  To get an idea of keywords to incorporate in your resume, review the job posting, then conduct a keyword search via the Internet for general nursing keywords.

Nursing is an amazing profession, and it is critical to the well-being of patients throughout the world.  To ensure that you have the opportunity to make your mark in the field, take time to create a resume that undoubtedly places you ahead of the pack.

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume or visit our blog.


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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. Leveraging more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, Jessica's innovative and brand-driven resume development strategies have secured a 99.6% interview-winning success rate for her clients. As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted numerous times throughout, The Chicago Tribune,, Local Job Network Radio, International Business Times, and more.
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