The Nursing Resume: Make a Statement When Applying for a Job

As your nursing career evolves — through different specialties, roles, skills, and achievements — so should your resume.

A strong resume tells the story of your path through the profession and showcases what you’ve learned and accomplished along the way.

Each nursing job you apply for is unique. Make sure your resume matches the particulars of each job.

Target your clinical experiences and achievements to that specific opportunity and highlight how you fit in that organisation. Do your homework on a facility by examining its website for information about its mission and vision. This will show your interest in not just a job, but also in becoming part of a facility’s culture and goals.

Below are the best particles for writing a resume:

  • Limit your resume to one or two pages, depending on your experience level.
  • Avoid packing in too much text, which will make it appear cluttered.
  • Focus on your accomplishments in previous jobs and clinicals, rather than just listing the duties of each position.
  • Use plenty of active words to describe how you analysed, communicated, improved, collaborated, managed, assisted, created, etc., in your previous roles.
  • Share other skills and accomplishments that enhance your clinical knowledge such as different languages you speak, public speaking experiences, affiliations with professional or student organisations, knowledge of various software systems, etc.
  • As a last step, don’t forget to edit your resume, as well as asking a friend, colleague, mentor, or family member to look it over.


How to Structure Your Nursing Resume?

When building a resume, start with who you are. List your contact information so a hiring manager can reach out directly for an interview. This also lets nurse recruiters know if you’re a local candidate.

The next sections include:

  • Introduction: This short section can include a career objective statement, no longer than three sentences, and a professional profile statement that describes what you offer.
  • Work experience: List all relevant jobs, even outside health care, that showcase skills such as communication, conflict resolution, educating the public and more. Do this in reverse chronological order.
  • Education: Explain your educational path and any unique career-focused experiences such as clinical rotations.
  • Certifications and associations: These will exhibit your interest in continuing education, along with a dedication to being part of professional nursing groups.
  • Volunteer work: Adding current and past volunteer experiences at a church or school or within your community shows your well-rounded interests in health care in and outside the workplace.

The Value of Keywords

Because nurse hiring managers are trying to fill numerous positions at once, many rely on software known as an applicant tracking system.

This software scans resumes for keywords that fit each job. The best advice for nurse job seekers is to start with a healthcare facility’s description of the role it is seeking to fill. Look for important keywords and phrases — like patient care, patient education, leadership, and clinical research — and strategically add those if they’re not already there.

Social Media 

Social media can be a great place to share your interests, professional achievements, and family fun. But there are also plenty of pitfalls for nurses.

Hiring managers often peruse the social media accounts of potential candidates. What are they looking for?

According to a 2020 Penn State University study, how you portray yourself on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok could change how potential employers view you.

Keep it Fresh

As your career changes, your resume will.

When trying to attain entry-level patient care positions, focus on the skills and experiences you gained throughout nursing school relative to the jobs you’re seeking. That can include pre-nursing examples, such as working with the public in retail settings that exhibited conflict resolution skills or public speaking opportunities that helped grow your communication skills.

If you’re in the middle years of your nursing career, make sure you keep your resume fresh. The more skills, experiences, and continuing education courses you encounter, the more you want those highlighted on your resume. This shows hiring managers that you are staying current.

Whether you’re seeking an entry-level med/surg job just out of college, our team at Nurse Jobs Ireland can always assist you in your next step. Register with Nurse Jobs Ireland today or email us at


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