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  1. Hello,

    I am an RN student who will be graduating in May 07 (hopefully). I am looking for information from you all as to what really makes you want to call someone for an interview after reading their resume and cover letter.

    What are the key points about writing a resume and cover letter that are likely to get the writer an interview?

    I am also curious as to whether I should include my clinical experience from nursing school on my resume? I have 3 years experience as a paramedic and 6 as an E.M.T.

    Thanks for any information :smilecoffeecup:


    Swtooth
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   kate1114
    Quote from swtooth
    Hello,

    I am an RN student who will be graduating in May 07 (hopefully). I am looking for information from you all as to what really makes you want to call someone for an interview after reading their resume and cover letter.

    What are the key points about writing a resume and cover letter that are likely to get the writer an interview?

    I am also curious as to whether I should include my clinical experience from nursing school on my resume? I have 3 years experience as a paramedic and 6 as an E.M.T.

    Thanks for any information :smilecoffeecup:

    Swtooth
    I don't have any hiring pull, just wanted to suggest that you put ANYTHING clinical on your resume. It really helps to show that you have at least had an introduction to various areas and a basic area of familiarity. Definitely put the paramedic/EMT experience, as that's an area that can be beneficial to many units. I would highlight the clinical experience if it has a direct relationship to the unit to which you are applying. Otherwise, a simple listing of units and hospitals should suffice.

    Good luck!
  4. by   santhony44
    One of the things I've looked at is whether or not there are any errors on the resume or cover letter. No spelling errors or grammatical errors.

    I've also been very unimpressed by resumes with things lined out and written in ink. Back in the day before PC's when resumes had to be taken to a printer and you paid for 50 copies or so that might have been acceptable, but not today when it takes very little time to change an address or phone number before printing the resume.

    Know enough about the place you're applying to and the job you're applying for to show in your cover letter why you'd be a good fit.

    One thing that can be difficult is to promote yourself without sounding arrogant. Have a couple of people who will be honest with you to read the letter.

    Clinical experience: I wouldn't put too much of that in. You don't want to "pad" your resume. Of course, if you voluntarily did extra clinical time or an internship or whatever in a particular area, that would be worth including, especially if it's applicable to where you work now. The usual nursing school clinical experiences can be assumed by the person reading the resume.

    I'd go ahead and include the EMT and paramedic experience. Just be prepared, in an interview, to explain how you think that helps you in the area you're interviewing for. That would be pretty obvious in ER, but not so much in an area like surgery or med-surg, so think that through and be ready to explain (I've learned to react calmly in a crisis, I have started many IV's and am adept at that, etc. etc.)

    Hope this helps!
  5. by   bopps
    I'm in the same boat you are in right now. Except I graduate in April! I am putting my two years of experience as an EMT on my resume, because I am trying to get into the ER. I would think your 3 years as a Paramedic would look great on a resume(I'm jealous!), especially if you are trying to get into a critical care area. Good luck! I'm sure you won't have any problems-but do start applying now. Bopps
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    My post: Wondering why you can't get hired or promoted: Resume + Interview hints! has lots of ideas!


    As manager, do not list your clinical rotations---we all know students have them. However, do list any extra coursework/clinical outside those required for degree. Student preceptorship may be listed to highlight area chosen.

    List your EMT and Paramedic qualifications, certifications along with employers. Any awards won: employee of month, commendations etc.

    List volunteer activities.

    What I look for in hiring is someone reviewing application:

    1. length on the job (looking for 2yrs +) unless clearly can explain job hops: moving out of area military/spouse career, schooling etc.
    indicated may stay with me more than a year

    2. required education/ transferable skills
    nurse used to pediatrics may not work out sitting behind desk in my intake dept whereas nurse worked in work care clinic used to phone contact with pt's employers, doctors, triage, filling out forms comparable to activities in my department

    3. well rounded individual has outside interests, volunteers

    During interview:
    4. doesn't vent/complain 5 minutes about previous employer
    got burned 2x when hiring persons "escaping toxic environments" that droned on during interview. Both left me high and dry within 3 months due to burnout and life issues beyond work environment. Short statement re leaving will suffice.

    5. Polished professional image: neat clean clothes, nothing flashy/short, clean hair and nails. NO GUM chewing. No more than 10 minutes late for interview without phone call.

    6. Engage in interview: smile, act interested in position, know something about company your applying to and bring that into interview. Be able to answer strength/weakness question. Salary should not be first question asked, but later after discussion position details. DO ask about benefit package and when it starts.


    Good luck!
  7. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Sorry, I have another question for you all as well.

    Is it ok to have a couple of my nursing instructors write generic letters of recomendation that I can give to any facilty or should it be personalized with the facilities name??

    Swtooth
  8. by   Bammy
    Those tips are really helpful , cheers!
  9. by   battpos
    OP quite likely can put together an outstanding resume in light of previous relevant experience. But I have a question to all perusers here.... I am in the same boat as OP (anticipate graduating in May 07) but I don't have the relevant work experience; in fact, my previous work experience consists of 15 years of working as an electronics technician with several interesting highlights that I can hardly bring myself from removing from my resume (such as gaining and securing unescorted access to various nuclear power plants and travelling to Colombia to deliver a technical lecture -- wholly in Spanish -- as part of a successful sales effort). What approach could I take to show that while I am a new grad with no clinical experience; I am a mature worker with a set of skills that may be transferable to this new career? I would be willing to share my resume to anyone who would care to have a look see.
  10. by   santhony44
    Quote from battpos
    travelling to Colombia to deliver a technical lecture -- wholly in Spanish -- as part of a successful sales effort).
    How's your medical Spanish? If you can be considered fluent, do without a translator, or even serve as a translator, then include that on your resume. That's very useful most anywhere these days!!

    As for your other past experience, include things that can be applied to the job you're aiming for and be able to articulate why you included those things on your resume.
  11. by   mediatix8
    I would listen to NRSKARENRN and would NOT list your clinical experience on your resume but I would mention something about your clinical experience in your cover letter- but make it apply to the particular job you're applying for. Don't talk about your pediatric clinical if you're applying to work in a nursing home, for example. Make sure your cover letter is individually taylored to each job you apply for- do not make one general cover letter you can take anywhere. Print everything out on "cover letter paper" and bring a few copies of each your resume and cover letter. You likely will be meeting with someone else that may want a copy. It's happened to me many times. Go on the complany's website and see any new projects they are doing or any special things it says about the hospital on there. My hospital was planning on expanding and I brought that up as a conversational piece and they seemed to like that I knew something about them. Lastly, you WILL get a job, so don't worry about it. Especially with your awesome experience as EMT and paramedic. Anyone would be crazy not to hire you. You would bring so much knowledge and experience with you. I would emphasize this experience in your cover letter over clinicals.
  12. by   truern
    We were told specifically to not include clinical experience...as suggested above its assumed you indeed had clinical experience during nursing school. However, if there was a specific incidence, for example something you experienced during your rotation thru the ED that made you long to work in that area, then DO include that in your cover letter in applying for an ED position. That "personalizes" you..and makes a point of your genuine interest.

    Most important: excellent quality paper, NO spelling or grammatical errors, make sure your cover letter is specific to the job being sought.
    Last edit by truern on Feb 6, '07
  13. by   nursesaideBen
    One thing that I've always done is send a thank you card to the person(s) that interviewed you, it really helps to make you stand out.
  14. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Please keep the info comming. Thank you to all who have replied!

    Swtooth

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