New Grad Needs Resume and Cover Letter Critique - page 2

by kenderella89

36,731 Views | 34 Comments

Hello all! I'm a New Grad and I have yet to fufill my nursing dreams. I graduated April of this year and I've had one interview out of over 100 positions that I've applied for. I don't have a great GPA, but I have glowing... Read More


  1. 0
    Thank you trueblue2000. It's interesting how I get so many different opinions! My clinical table on my resume (I made it more of a list to post it here) is similar to yours. I added that because I applied for UC Davis and they specifically asked for that on the resume as well as a few other hospitals I applied to. I will keep my longer cover letter format then!
  2. 0
    I'd like to say thank you too to the OP for starting this thread and everyone else for their heavy contributions!

    DM, AAS, RN. New grad :-(
  3. 0
    It has always been my advice to new grads in any profession, but nursing included, to format a skills based resume.

    Objective: One concise sentence of what you want.

    Licenses: State, ACLS, BLS, Certs relevant to the job

    Education: With the GPA unless it's <2.5 - 2.8 or so, because if you don't list it, they will think it's horrible.

    Skills:

    Clinical Experience (if you're including it):

    Job History:

    References: Conventional wisdom is available upon request, because if they ask you know they're looking at you. In this job market, I've taken to including my references - because they can check me out in the time that they try to track my competition down for their references. YMMV. And always, always, ALWAYS get someone's permission before you use them as a reference, provide them with a copy of your resume.

    And write a thank you note (handwritten, with a stamp) for every single interview you get.
    Last edit by SCSTxRN on Dec 30, '12 : Reason: eta thank you notes
  4. 0
    I am also a new grad and I was hired at my very first interview. I would cut the resume down to 1 page. I would not even list your previous work experience, I was never asked about mine. I was never a nurse aide either, so I felt that my previous work experience was irrelevant...but I did write in my cover letter how my previous experience would help me to be a great nurse-time management, prioritization, able to handle a face-paced environment, etc. I would list all of your clinical skills per site as if it were a job, and say "Clinical Experience" as a title and put the hospital name,unit, city, state, and Student Nurse in italics, and the semester you did it, Jan-May 2012 etc. Skills-"performed independent nursing assessments" if you were on a certain unit what specific assessments to the unit did you perform? CIWA, NIHSS? "Proficient at inserting foleys, administered IMs, SubQ injections, etc. Every skill you can think of that you did, put it down. I would put down how many patients you were assigned to per site as well. Do not be repetitive though. Also, I would add in your cover letter that you can provide letters of recommendation if desired. I think that putting all your skills down will help them know what they are working with as far as a new grad is concerned. I would say in the interview that your weaknesses are clinical skills that you did not perform much of or never got the chance to do, ie Communicating with doctors, IV insertion, delegation, etc. Also, I would say if your GPA was above 3.0, put it on your resume. If not, leave it out. If they ask about it in interview, say that since passing your NCLEX you have been reviewing your nursing notes, expanding your nursing knowledge by reading journals, to show them you have a desire to improve. Goodluck.
  5. 1
    ***Interesting. Female Ken, you chose "Kepner's" advice over the Yangs', especially with 1 interview out of "over 100 positions"?

    Well, my first impression was you did not consult appropriate resume writing how-to's for your level: entry.
    From the three that I checked out from the library, the page rule of thumb is 1 page for you (and likely new PA's and NP's) and 1+ pages for upper-management/CEO's/engineers/gov jobs. To help you keep it under a page, think of your resume as an invite card--a bit in reverse.

    For my CNA position, my resume was 1/3 of a page.
    Interview 1, hired: DSD was impressed with the way I dressed and presented myself, so much so that I have yet to answer a single "general interview" questions.
    Interview 2, hired: created positive 1st impression and offered the job. No "general interview" questions asked, i.e. strengths/weaknesses, etc.
    Currently: "balancing" one against the other to create my own work schedule.

    RN Class of 2014.
    nurseladybug12 likes this.
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    Forgot to add: with only 1/3 of a page resume, I mostly focus on formatting, positioning/spacing to make it visually appealing--industry talk is "making a good use of the white space." Yep, that theme appears again: making a good 1st impression (your resume).
  7. 0
    From what I have edited so far, I removed my clinical experiences because otherwise I would still be at 2 pages and although I've talked to nursing recruiters that stated they rather have a 2 page resume then a completly condensed 1 page and that the 1 pager is mostly a myth, the majority here says one page. I added my computer skills because I would like to showcase that I'm proficient in Epic.

    To SCSTxRN and nurseladybug12: I'm not sure about putting skills since I'm assuming my nursing skills as the same as other new grads. I also have a skills checklist from my school that documents when I practiced the skill and how often I used it during my clinical times. It would also take my resume over to 2 pages again.

    To nurseladybug12: I'm not sure about leaving out my work experience especially since I don't have a strong GPA. It is a resume and I would like to let them know that I have other things to bring to the table besides my nursing knowledge.

    To 2mint: I'm not sure who Kepner and Yang are but yes I have consulted "appropriate resume writing how-to's" for my entry level. I've been to workshops, I'm met with recruiters, we worked on it in class. It seems that there is no general agreement about how a resume should be (see above about 1 vs. 2 page resumes) in terms on excatly what I should I showcase.
  8. 2
    This is my updated *1 page* Resume

    Name, BSN, RN,
    Address
    Email@email.com
    123-456-7890

    OBJECTIVE:
    Obtain a RN I position with Hospital to fully utilize my nursing education, skills and knowledge to give the highest level of comfort and care to my patients.

    EDUCATION:
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing, April 2012
    University 2, City, CA

    Pre-Nursing Certificate, May 2009
    University 1, City, CA

    EXPERIENCE:
    Student Volunteer, July 2011 to April 2012, 340 hours
    Hospital, City, CA
    -Family Resource duties included assisting physicians in contacting family members, escorting patients to CPU, restocking hospitality items, and setting up heart video for Pre-Op patients
    -Gift Shop duties included ringing up sales, arranging store displays, stocking store items, housekeeping duties, inventory and handling store returns

    Professional Student Worker, November 2009 to April 2012
    California Department of Public Health, Vaccines for Children Program, City, CA
    -Arranged and filed VFC Program forms and maintained current files to assigned counties
    -Entered and updated provider information, vaccine orders and losses in the program’s online Vaccine Management System and VACMAN computer system
    -Received and made calls to VFC enrolled providers and answered calls within the H1N1 call center
    -Contributed to special projects and assignments as needed, such as research for the TDAP Expansion Program

    LICENSURE/CERTIFICATIONS:
    -California RN License #
    -American Heart Association: BLS, ACLS, PALS, and NRP
    -Certified EKG

    VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE:
    -FACES: Bridging the Gap: Student Panel and Simulation Instructor (March 2012)
    -Samuel Merritt University: Patho-flow sheet Instructor (Fall 2011 and Spring 2012)
    -Samuel Merritt University Student Flu Clinic: Injections (Fall 2011)
    RNfaster and pnkgirl25 like this.
  9. 1
    Instead of having an objective, maybe you should have a profile. The profile is a summary of your nursing skills and personality. Here is an example:
    Motivated and compassionate nursing candidate with hospital and clinical training.Successful in managing time, prioritizing tasks and exercising the sound judgment required to improve the quality of patient care. Moreover; I have outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, able to relate with patients in a therapeutic manner and work well with other members of the health care team.
    ekwan77 likes this.
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    I also think that license and education and certs should be listed first. That is one of the first things recruiters look for is if the person is educated and licensed.
    GrnTea likes this.


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