Lots of the posts here are from folks looking for help with their resume or cover letters or both. I've been around the block in other industries and have had success over the years (over 20) with my ever-evolving resume so it seemed a good idea to put some of those thoughts into one spot rather than trying to answer all the posts asking for help or to review what they have written so far.
Resumes should be short, sweet and to the point. Over two pages or so chock full of text and they probably won't get read. You can save text by typing BSN instead of Baccalaureate ... You can save text by typing in 2 or 3 instead of two or three. You get the drift. You will have about 30 seconds of read time to make the first cut, so the first page has to nail it. Who you are and why they should hire you has to be the first thing on the sheet. Call it an objective or marketing or branding statement, but a short paragraph that states why you should be hired has to be at the top. Here is one gleaned off the web:
Objective or Profile:
Dedicated registered nurse (RN) with specialty experience in psychiatric/mental health nursing. Developed strong psychiatric-evaluation and treatment-planning skills through recent internship at Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Knowledge of psychotropic medication administration, management and training.
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. Proven ability to build positive relationships with patients, family members, physicians and other medical professionals.
After this comes the experience section. Should be reverse chronological order so go from your current job back at least 10 years if you can or to when you entered the job market. If you are young and have mostly student experience, then focus on skills that you may have learned by extracurricular or volunteer activities. I wouldn't put all the clinical rotations in there since if you have a nursing degree or diploma, its assumed you have had that experience. I would also highlight all the skills in your previous jobs such as people or customer service skills, problem solving, teaching, computer etc that have a tie in to nursing. Military backgrounds should have an abundance of leadership skills, don't sell that one short either.
List each job as the name of the hospital or organization, years there 2010 - Present
as an example. Next list your job title and if it isn't apparent, a quick one sentence blurb of what you did there. You can add one or two bullets in a format that details a problem, what you did about it and the result. We're all employed, we all provide and assist, but that is not a good use of the limited text you have available. It may take a bit of thought but you can come up with ways that you helped to improve the work even if they are small or were only limited to what you did there. And for sure while you are being creative, don't make stuff up.
Finally, you can put your education, computer skills, certifications/licenses and professional associations at the bottom.
List your contact info at the top. Centered in the middle are your name and address. Put one or two phone numbers on the left, and your email on the right. If you have a linked in profile URL that can go on as well. And as for email addresses, make sure you have one that is professional as well such as [email protected]
or [email protected]
. With all the free email accounts available, there is no excuse for using one that does not convey a professional image such as [email protected]
or [email protected]
. You get the idea. And now would be a good time to clean up your facebook or myspace profiles as well. If you even think there is info about you that is questionable, then it probably should get deleted. If it's on the web, its fair game. My only social media account is linkedin, and that is all professional.
Finally, look around the web for examples. I searched on nursing sample resume
on Google and then clicked on images and got tons of examples. You may not be able to cut and paste, but you can read them and get an idea of what resumes are looking like these days. Resume templates are available for word that can be downloaded as well, they can help with the formatting. And by all means, go over your finished product with a fine tooth comb for grammatical errors or typos and make sure the format is absolutely consistent. Farm it out to your family and friends for proof reading as well, since new eyes will generally pick up things where yours won't.
Good luck and take your time with the resume, it is you main ticket to work. Don't be afraid to make changes as you go and ask for feedback from whoever will take the time to read it.