What's Wrong with My Resume? - page 2

by bstewart40

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BRITTANY _____ Address Here | City, IN zip| phone number ____@ivytech.edu OBJECTIVE A licensed practical nursing position that will totally utilize my skills and abilities SKILLS PROFILE Success oriented with high energy... Read More


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    1. Objectives are useless, in my opinion. It's a fancy way of saying, "I'm sending you this resume because I want a job." Really?

    On my resume, I don't have an objective. Instead, I have a Professional Profile. That's where I summarize what I bring to the table as an applicant. It's like an abstract for my resume. All the interviewer has to do is read the profile and they know exactly who I am and what I can do.

    My professional profile looks something like this:
    BSN educated Registered Nurse with hospital and clinical training. Highly organized with well-regarded administrative and supervisory strengths. Proven leadership and training abilities. Reliable, ethical healthcare provider with ability to stay calm and intervene during crises, to facilitate groups and educational seminars, and to collaborate on multidisciplinary teams. Critical care experience caring for pediatric and neonatal patients. BLS and PALS certified.

    See how much more informative and unique that is than saying, "Seeking full time LPN position on inpatient unit"? If you scrap your objective and add a well written and specific professional profile then you'll set your resume apart from the beginning. 2. Your experience section needs work. It's repetitive and generic. No where near specific enough to grab the attention of a recruiter. On my resume, I list exactly what skills I performed, what equipment I have used, and what my duties were. Here's an excerpt from my experience section related to my current job in PICU:


    Performed the duties of a staff nurse in a 25-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Worked closely with physicians and respiratory therapists to deliver care to critically ill infants, children and adolescents. Utilized medical technology including traditional and oscillating ventilators, continuous monitoring systems and Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). Performed complete and constant patient assessments, recognizing changes in conditions, adjusting care, initiating interventions and advocating for the patient when needed. Duties included floating to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the general pediatrics floor.


    You definitely need to get rid of the generic comments and add specifics for each job. Here's some ways you can rewrite them:
    Before: "Provided direct patient care, including administering medications and specialized treatments, to residents as ordered"

    After: "Provided high quality, individualized care to up to 35 residents per shift. Administered PO, NGT, GT, SQ, IM and IV medications per state and facility regulations. Utilized feeding pumps, IV pumps, nebulizer machines, and Continuous Passive Range of Motion devices. Utilized multiple wound care products in order to perform complicated wound care on various types of wounds including pressure ulcers, skin tears. surgical wounds. colostomies, urostomies and Jackson-Pratt drains.

    There's a lot more detail you can include in just that one section. When you talk about communication and collaboration- state specifically what you did with whom. Example: delegated and supervised CNAs. Obtained new orders from MD based on patient assessments. Coordinated care with ancillary therapy departments to ensure the resident's maximum participation and benefit. Worked closely with dietary staff to establish nutritional plans to meet the medical, cultural and social needs of the residents. Etc.

    Try not to say the same things about each job. DEFINITELY don't put the exact phrases down for two jobs. Rephrase or reword the information to make it sound unique. Remember, this is supposed to showcase your experience. You don't want to the recruiter to get the impression that there's only a few things you did- assess, give meds and treatments, and talk to other people. You want him to think, "Wow, this applicant has a lot of experience with so many things!"

    3. Be more specific in your education section. Not every LPN program is the same. How many hours of clinical did you have? What units did you do clinicals on? Did you become IV certified? Yes, the things you will list here are pretty much expected of LPN programs, but you can still use this opportunity to go the extra distance and make it clear that you didn't just pass the program- you actually learned something from it.

    4. Consider whether you should even include that you're in the ASN program. You're applying for LPN jobs. If you mention on your resume that you're in the ASN program, you know what that screams to the recruiter? "She's going to have a really busy school schedule that I need to work around and then she'll leave for an RN job!" You want the employer to think you are committed to working as an LPN for longer than a year. They don't want to hire you knowing you're likely to leave and they will have to train someone else. It would be one thing if you were an ASN enrolled in a BSN program- that show's that you're continuing your education in your career path. But an RN and LPN are separate careers. Would you apply for a job as an accountant and list on your resume that you'll be graduating from nursing program in a year?


    Basically what I'm saying is be specific and be descriptive. If you've learned that your resume should be in bullet points and shouldn't be more than one page- throw that thinking out the window. You're competing against hundred of resumes. The last thing you want if for your resume to look and sound like everyone else's. You need to make sure that when a recruiter picks up your resume, they don't think of you as just another LPN. You need to stick out. You need to sell yourself in your resume, because if you don't, you won't get the chance to sell yourself in an interview.


    By the way, in case you're doubting me, my resume as a new graduate nurse was created using the advice I have given you. I had a professional profile. I was specific in my past job experiences. I spelled out each clinical rotation, how many hours, and what skills/types of patients I cared for. My resume (my manager specifically commented on how impressive it was) landed me an interview for pediatric intensive care at one of the largest hospitals in New Jersey. New Jersey is one of the toughest markets for nurses in the country, and I landed a specialized position as a new graduate because of my resume.

  2. 1
    I agree with everyone. The wording could use some editing. Instead of an objective, discard that and replace it with a "Professional Summary." And then personalize it to fit the job position you are applying for. I applied to many positions and each time I did, I would change it around to fit what the job position. For example, for peds position, personalize it to highlight anything pediatric. If you are applying to a clinic position, highlight your volunteer at a low income clinic. Also try asking your professors to take a look and offer suggestions on how to make it better. Thank you for sharing and best of luck!
    Gold_SJ likes this.
  3. 0
    I agree with GreenGlass that's it's best to personalise your resume depending on the position. Also wanting to ask if you're doing a cover letter for each position? As I truthfully believe that has quite an impact during the hiring process (Here in Australia anyway).

    There's some good threads on AN on 'resume dont's' (I think Esme's put up some helpful tips) and you can find some professional Nursing resume/cover letter structures online if you do a search.

    Having other's reread your resume and cover letter (like you're doing here) is a fantastic idea. Sometimes we can make the smallest mistakes and miss them as it sounds right in our heads. A family member was reading over a cover letter this year for me, on a application/job opening to be promoted to a Clinical Nurse. When reading, they pointed out some sentences that just didn't flow right and I'd missed it entirely. It allowed me to do some editing and I had others (non work related) read over my resume and cover letter too, in the end resulting in a success in being chosen for the position.

    Aim to come across as professional, and incorporating the facilities core values and strategic goal also helps for your cover letter. It shows you've researched their facility and what they stand for.

    Every job opening is different obviously, but wishing you all the best in your career future!
  4. 0
    Agree with most comments above. No one really uses "Objective" section anymore. Not sure if this would help you, but on my resume I did have a "Skills" section, but made sure it was packed with everything I could do at the time as a new grad (see below, my apologies if formatting doesn't transfer). You could include something like that, tailored to what you can do. I know it helped me to land a job....also, as a previous poster mentioned, you should include info on your clinical rotations, even as a list. I know it helped me because the person who hired me liked that I had already a bit of experience at particular hospitals. It turned out that the position for which I was applying involved some interaction with staff at those hospitals on a regular basis. Finally, make sure your verb tenses make sense in your position description. The description of your current position should include present tense indicating that you still perform these tasks and the previous positions should be past tense. Good luck.

    • Standard Precautions• Physical Assessment

    • Isolation Techniques • Oxygen Therapy

    • Range of Motion • Dry/Wet, Sterile Dressings

    • Body Mechanics • IV Preparation and Maintenance

    • Transfer Techniques, Positioning, • Enemas

    Stretcher Transfer • Hygiene Care

    • Intake and Output • Parenteral and Non-Parenteral Medication

    • Client Feeding Administration

    • Airway Suctioning • Nasogastric Tube Feeding and Irrigation

    • Tracheostomy Care • Stoma Care

    • Urinary Catheterization • Documentation
  5. 0
    Quote from Ashley, PICU RN
    1.
    On my resume, I don't have an objective. Instead, I have a Professional Profile. That's where I summarize what I bring to the table as an applicant. It's like an abstract for my resume. All the interviewer has to do is read the profile and they know exactly who I am and what I can do.

    My professional profile looks something like this:
    BSN educated Registered Nurse with hospital and clinical training. Highly organized with well-regarded administrative and supervisory strengths. Proven leadership and training abilities. Reliable, ethical healthcare provider with ability to stay calm and intervene during crises, to facilitate groups and educational seminars, and to collaborate on multidisciplinary teams. Critical care experience caring for pediatric and neonatal patients. BLS and PALS certified.

    My professional profile would be nowhere near that impressive- which is obvious because you have much more experience than I have.

    I don't have my ASN yet and I have minimal hospital training. I worked at an LTAC facility as an agency nurse for about a month before I found full time work at my LTC facility. The majority of my clinical rotations in school did occur at a few hospitals, one of them being the LTAC I mentioned earlier.

    Right now, I work the rehab to home unit- lots of wounds, g-tubes, IVs, foleys, with hospice care on occasion. In the LTAC, a lot of them were on contact isolation but my duties were essentially the same except the patients were much sicker.

    As a floor nurse, I have supervisory duties over the CNAs and I am a member of the Admissions Committee. I am able to function appropriately in a crisis, most recently demonstrated on Thursday. I am BLS certified but not IV certified because I'm not an RN. (My facility chose to only certify the RNs.) I've thought about going outside my facility to get this done.

    The other information you supplied is really good, too. It's certainly different from what I've been taught, too.

    I know one typically needs acute care experience to get into hospitals, but how can I get the experience without someone taking that risk? Ultimately, I want to be a nurse practitioner in an ICU-type setting. I've been told Med-Surg is the first step. I just need to get there.
  6. 1
    Quote from bstewart40
    My professional profile would be nowhere near that impressive- which is obvious because you have much more experience than I have.
    You work with what you have. I have less than one year of experience at one job as an RN. But by reading my profile, you'd think I have a lot more, right? That's because I've sold myself well and highlighted things that are important to employers.

    Have you oriented a new employee? You've got experience training new employees. Have you acted as charge nurse? Then you have leadership experience. Did you do clinicals in a hospital? Then that's hospital training. Outpatient clinics? Community health experience. Did you lead any committees or groups? Then you have administrative experience.

    Here's the professional profile from my graduate nurse resume which was tailored toward pediatric positions. :

    Motivated and compassionate nursing candidate with hospital and clinical training. Highly organized with well-regarded administrative and supervisory strengths. Will graduate in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and Minor in General Psychology. Exceptional academic record and clinical skills. Over 240 hours of pediatric clinical rotations and one year of pediatric home care experience. Over 400 hours of Medical/Surgical clinical experience.


    Quote from bstewart40
    now, I work the rehab to home unit- lots of wounds, g-tubes, IVs, foleys, with hospice care on occasion. In the LTAC, a lot of them were on contact isolation but my duties were essentially the same except the patients were much sicker.

    As a floor nurse, I have supervisory duties over the CNAs and I am a member of the Admissions Committee. I am able to function appropriately in a crisis, most recently demonstrated on Thursday. I am BLS certified but not IV certified because I'm not an RN. (My facility chose to only certify the RNs.) I've thought about going outside my facility to get this done.
    You can make this experience look great on a resume. There are wounds, G-tubes, IV's and foleys in acute care. Anything else (drains? Wound- VACs? Tracheostomies? External Fixators?) There are also CNA's that you'll supervise in the hospital. You'll have to time manage and care for sick patients. What are some of the diagnoses of the sickest patients you care for? Be sure to mention those diagnoses when you talk about your work experience.


    Quote from bstewart40
    I know one typically needs acute care experience to get into hospitals, but how can I get the experience without someone taking that risk? Ultimately, I want to be a nurse practitioner in an ICU-type setting. I've been told Med-Surg is the first step. I just need to get there.
    You get hospitals to take a chance on you by making it as clear as possible on your resume that, while you may not have worked in a hospital, you have the equivalent of acute care experience. That's why you spell out specifically what skills you perform (these are performed in acute care), what types of patients you've cared for (you'll care for the same ones in acute care), what skills you have- leadership, training, crisis management, advocacy- (you'll need those in a hospital).

    You don't need to list situations. Meaning don't describe the emergency that happened on Thursday in your resume. Say that you have the ability to "calmly and quickly intervene during a medical emergency" and save the story for the interview.
    Last edit by Ashley, PICU RN on Apr 29, '12 : Reason: Fixed quotes
    chanteurdelamour likes this.
  7. 0
    I agree, "assessment" isn't in the LPN scope of practice in MN (where I live) either. I think you could use 'evaluation' (I can't recall for sure what the preferred term is). As for the GPA, since most schools use a 4.0 range, you only need your actual GPA; some places will have a certain GPA or higher as "graduated with honors" and if that's the case, it can be listed.

    Dian
  8. 2
    Ashley, you are VERY helpful! i just had to say that.
    SVT05 and Ashley, PICU RN like this.
  9. 0
    Hi, I have been a public health nurse for close to 3 yrs now. I have my BSN and RN and went straight into public health as a new grad. I am ready to go into the hospital setting and I am putting my resume together. Was it difficult to get into the hospital? I am trying to gather my thoughts into paper as to the skills that I performed(wound care, wound VAC therapy, caring for IV lines, G tube, trach etc). I guess my concern is that would they look at my resume and application as i have no hospital experience as a RN but I did work in the hospital for 4 yrs as a companion/nurse extern before graduating. Help!!
  10. 0
    Ashley, I was reading your comments and they are very helpful. As I stated in my previous comment, I am trying to develop my professional profile but I am having difficulty in articulating what i want to say. Any idea?


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