What Work Experience Do I Put in my Resume?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I've been working as an ICU RN for a little over 1.5 years (first job out of school) and want to start working on my resume. As a fairly new nurse, do you ever include work as a patient care tech (worked as one in another ICU for 2.5 years) or do you leave it out because it's not professional work? I'm just wondering how I should format my resume and what I should include. Thanks a bunch!

    Dear How to Format Resume,

    On your resume, you want to go back a few years, so yes, include it. The purpose is to show work history, and reliability.

    Here is a good article titled ReVamp Your Resume

    In my book (link below) I give sample resumes and formatting direction. Here's an excerpt:
    Format

    So now you know you have only six seconds to capture the recruiter's attention. . Want to buy an additional six seconds? Your resume must have visual appeal. Visual appeal causes the recruiter's eyes to linger on your resume because it it holds visual interest and provides visual rest.

    Steve turned in a resume with long, dense blocks of text and very little white space. No bullet points to break up and highlight the information. He wasn't getting any responses. He then reformatted it using the following suggestions. Within two weeks, he had two calls for interviews, and he had not changed the conte
    nt.

    White space and chunking is important for visual appeal. Lack of whitespace and long, dense paragraphs negate good content. Five to seven lines per paragraph, then a line break (white space), and repeat.

    This provides a needed respite for the eye and brain.

    Your resume should be consistent in choice of font sizes and weights. The safest is to use one font type for the headers, and the same font type for the body text. For example, use Times New Roman 12 for the text and Times New Roman size 14 bold for the header.

    Headers should be congruent in importance. Bullet points aid in readability and guide the reader, but do not overuse bullets.

    It must be mistake free. When resumes contain careless errors, it can be viewed as a predictor of carelessness on the job. When uploading a resume into an ATS, make sure the date is updated.

    Common mistakes include having the wrong name of a hospital or facility. I recently saw a resume with a date of "2027". Watch out for spelling errors not caught by spell check, such as there/their and your/you're.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by Nurse Beth on Oct 20
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