Healthcare Resumes & Cover Letters

8 Steps to Creating a Great Nursing Resume

Written by Peter Jones

You’ve finished your course load and you’re ready to join the work force in your new career. Or, maybe  you’re looking to switch hospitals or positions. No matter what the reason for a job hunt in the nursing field, you need the best resume tips to help you write a quality resume that will net you an interview.

Here are 8 tips to ensure success.

Make it short, sweet, and to the point

Don’t make the hiring manager wade through tons of dense language. Just make it catchy and succinct. Think one page for entry-level nurses and 2-3 for veteran nurses, depending on your amount of experience.

Go for the big picture

Instead of including the “Job Objectives” section at the top, why not consider a “Career Profile” instead? Talk about your professional nursing career to date and where you’re looking to steer it to give hiring managers the best idea of why they should take you on.


Use keywords, just as you would when trying to increase traffic to a webpage. HR departments frequently search through resume databases hunting for keywords. “Registered Nurse” or “RN” and “staff nurse” are a good start.

Get Geeky

Simply writing “Computer savvy” just won’t cut it anymore. Describe your particular computer skills by name. And be sure to include any electronic medical records systems (EMR) that you’re familiar with, plus any medical-related software (and the usual office programs).

Squeeze from the bottom up

Present your work history in reverse chronological order, from the most recent down to the earliest job.

Glitz it up

If you have any professional achievements to boast of (speaking engagements, articles published, awards, positions in any organizations or societies), it’s great to include a section highlighting those achievements. You never know, it could make all the difference.

Label it

Make it easy for you to find your resume file, and for your employer to find it also. Save it clearly with your surname first, then your first name or initials, and the date of submission.

Proof it

This is a no-brainer. When you’re all finished, make sure to go over it with a fine-toothed comb looking for formatting, punctuation, spelling, and style errors. Then do this several times more. Errors on a resume are like a black mark. If possible, have a friend look it over, as well, with fresh eyes. And don’t use any crazy fonts. Standard fonts in a standard size (12 pt) will do.

About the author

Peter Jones