How to Build the Perfect Nursing Resume

Looking for a new job is stressful enough. But as you consider making a foray into the job market, it will be important to put a facelift on your current resume. Nursing is one of the fastest-growing job markets, and registered nurses are in high demand. However, while there may be enough jobs to go around, it’s likely you don’t want just any job but would prefer your pick of the best jobs. Toward that end, an uninspired, poorly formatted resume just will not cut it.

Employers have been looking at professionally formatted well-thought-out resumes from nurses from around the country. Your resume is much like a first impression. You have one opportunity in order to make that first impression, and a potential employer will not contact you for an interview if your first impression is poorly delivered.

Format For Your Audience

Your first step is to know your potential employer. Understand the company culture and review the hospital website. It’s important to know and understand what they’re looking for so your cover letter and resume use the same words. Most employers are using automated programs to read resumes and cover letters. When your resume touches on the same points as the job listing, it’s more likely you’ll be chosen for an interview. The employer has placed keywords into this automated software that indicate to them how closely you match their expectations. When your application and resume can sail through the applicant tracking system then you’ll land an interview.

Professional Summary

In the past, the top of the resume was where you stated your objective; today that objective should be within your cover letter and tailor-made to the job you’re applying for. Your professional summary should speak to your soft skills and your desire to provide excellent patient care. This is where you should put keywords found in the job description to trigger the automatic software to choose you.


Human reviewers and automated software will be looking for specific skillsets for the job you’re applying for. If you are interested in an ICU position as a staff nurse, then it’s important to list your clinical skills. However, if the job you’re applying for is management, your skillset should be different. As a unit nurse, your employer assumes you know direct patient care. They are interested in your additional skills, such as your ability to change a tracheostomy, run a code or your familiarity with a ventilator.

Work History

In the past, resumes may have been two to four pages long with an extensive work history including everything from high school to the present time. Today, employers are interested in your most current work history first and a brief description. Depending upon how long you’ve been practicing, you’ll want to list the last three or four jobs you’ve had, and it’s not necessary to include dates as that will be asked on the application. Remember to include volunteer positions and even volunteer positions outside of the medical field that contributed to your leadership abilities.

Your resume should be short and to the point. Even as a seasoned nurse, it should not be more than two pages. Descriptions of your job experience and volunteer experience should be no longer than two sentences and be concise. Remember to include any computer skills you might have and any charting systems you’ve used.

Looking For Your Next Nursing Job?

As you begin looking for a new job, contact our professional recruiters to guide you through the process of developing a creative and professional resume that communicates your skills. At Capital Healthcare Solutions it’s our job to make your job easier.





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