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Whether you’re a nurse who’s just graduated from college or an experienced RN looking for a new job, you know how important it is to make your resume stand out. Yet, it can be difficult to summarize your experiences on a single sheet of paper, or know how to best describe yourself in words. To help, we’ve gathered some of the most impressive nursing resumes we’ve received and combined them to create these examples, complete with tips on what to include and what to leave out.
What to Include in Your Graduate Nurse Resume
1. A Simple Header
Create a simple header with your name, phone number and email address. Don’t worry about including your street address, since that is gathered in a separate part of the application process. Leaving it off also creates more room to share your experiences and qualifications.
2. Education and Certifications
List your education and certifications at the top, since this is the first thing recruiters and hiring managers are looking for. Remember to include your cumulative GPA, especially if it’s high!
3. Clinical Experience
Your clinical experience should come next, with details about the number of hours you spent at each hospital and unit.
4. Healthcare-Related Work Experience
If you’ve served as a nurse tech or CNA, that work experience trumps your time as a waitress or movie theater attendant. List your healthcare-related roles with several bullet points underneath that highlight your major accomplishments and responsibilities. For a more confident-sounding resume, start each bullet with an action verb like planned, led, delivered, or cared.
If you have healthcare-related volunteer experience or foreign language skills, that is good to include on your resume as well.
What to Include in Your Experienced Nurse Resume
- A Simple Header
- Optional Summary
- Past Seven Years of Work Experience
- Relevant Leadership Roles and Computer Skills
- Education and Current Licensure & Certifications
What to Leave Off Your Nurse Resume
1. Objective Statement
Is your goal to get a job where you can use your talents to provide exceptional nursing care? That’s assumed by the fact that you’re applying, so there’s no need to say it on the top of your resume.
2. Unrelated Work Experience
Back to those waitressing and theater attendant jobs. If you held leadership positions or exercised skills that are important for a nurse to have (customer service, communication, time management, etc.) then it’s okay to include those jobs on your resume. Just make sure to highlight the translatable skills in the supporting bullet points. For example, you may put: Resolved customer complaints in a kind and courteous manner.
3. Memberships & Clubs
Again, the rule here is that unless you held a leadership role in the Student Nursing Association or other clubs, it’s unnecessary to include them on your resume.
4. Hobbies & Interests
Square-dancing and skiing are both great pursuits, but they don’t say much about what you’re like as a nurse. Save your interests for the interview, where a hiring manager may ask what kinds of activities you enjoy doing outside of work to get to know you better.
5. Scholarships & Achievements
References are collected on a separate part of job applications, so there is no need to take up space listing them on your resume.