Need help tweaking resume and cover letter

  1. I graduated in December and am having trouble getting an interview. My BSN is a second degree so I'm not sure if I need to include all of my work experience or just relevant information. The more I look at them, the more I think there is too much fluff that needs to be taken out. I'm just not sure where to do that. Any help/advice I receive will help!

    Date


    Hiring or Nurse Manager

    Dear Hiring Manager:
    I am highly interested in the Clinical Nurse I opening in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) now available at the Hospital. I graduated December with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from
    . I was selected for their Advanced to BSN program, which is highly competitive.

    I have completed a certified nursing assistant program at the Hospital School of Nursing. I received my license as a certified nursing assistant from the state of Pennsylvania. I have been certified in CPR with AED for healthcare providers. Being a nurse requires critical thinking, communication skills and technical ability in order to provide exceptional patient care. My extensive employment and educational background have prepared me for excelling in these areas, working in a disciplined environment, and dealing with the challenges associated with unexpected events. I'm looking forward to using this knowledge to enhance the patient care experience at this facility.

    This position is a strong fit with my education, experience, and career interests and I am very enthusiastic about applying for consideration. I would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my experience will best meet your needs.

    Sincerely yours,




    RN BSN
    Enclosure



    Objective

    A highly energetic, detail-oriented nursing professional seeks employment opportunity that will allow me to utilize and expand my nursing knowledge. Known for building strong relationships with clinical and support teams to improve healthcare services. Has administrative healthcare support and direct patient care service experience.





    EDUCATION


    Second Degree BSN (December 2014)
    University, PA

    Certified Nursing Assistant
    School of Nursing, PA


    B.S. Degree in Biology and Psychology, Environmental Health Minor
    University, PA

    A.A.S Degree - Medical Lab Technology
    College , PA

    ASSOCIATIONS & CERTIFICATIONS


    American Nurses Association
    National Black Nurses Association
    Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers
    Certification as a Nursing Assistant
    Pennsylvania RN License
    NURSING CLINICAL EXPERIENCE


    Medical-Surgical, - Hospital, Fall 2013 72 hours
    Maternity, Post-Partum, NICU, and L & D, Hospital, Fall 2013 72 hours
    Geriatrics, Spring 2014 72 hours
    Pediatrics, Spring 2014 72 hours
    Medical-Surgical (Telemetry/PINU), Health Systems-Hospital, Summer 2014 60 hours
    Community Health, Summer 2014 60 hours
    Medical-Surgical (Telemetry/PINU), Hospital, Fall 2014 72 hours
    Psychiatry, - Hospital, Fall 2014 72 hours

    Summary of Skills:
    Aided patients to recovery
    Administered medications as ordered
    Performed focused head-to-toe assessments on adults, children, and infants
    Performed tracheostomy care, wound dressing changes, placement of nasogastric tubes,
    Nursing data collection, i.e. vital signs, input/output, laboratory values
    Communicated with and educated patients, their families and friends
    Facilitated safety precautions, particularly fall prevention techniques for post-stroke rehabilitated patients
    Documented and updated patient charts using Sorian, SmartChart, EPIC, and AOD (Answers On Demand) computer programs
    Collaborated with other hospital staff to ensure effective plan of care
    Effective communication among peers, accurate oral report of assessments , vital signs, and other findings through SBAR during and after shift
    Performed various functions to ensure efficient patient care including tracheostomy care, wound dressing changes, placement of nasogastric tube, bed changes, and assisted with ambulation
    Care plan management
    PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE


    7/2007 to Present


    Unit Secretary
    Responsible for providing quality customer services and handling administrative functions: answer telephones, schedule meetings, respond to patient and visitors inquiries, prepare inpatients/outpatient medical charts, verify PHI and maintain medical database. Order and verify receipt of office/medical supplies, inventory and equipment.
    Collaboration with cross-functional hospital administrators and therapeutic clinical teams including orthopedic, neurology, cardiology and rehabilitation. Act as a liaison between patients and therapeutic teams to ensure timely patient care services. Proficient in health system computer programs: Emtrac, Navicare, Sunrise, SMS, EPIC.


    Certified Nurse Assistant (P/T) 2009 to Present
    Perform direct patient care services: observe patient conditions, take EKGs, vital signs, and blood pressure; perform phlebotomy and urinalysis. Prepare and maintain confidential patient charts and medical records. Ensure that patients have timely follow-up testing or treatments. When performing one to one observations, using diversion techniques and therapeutic communication to redirect patient while maintaining safety precautions. Assist triage nurses and handle activities post-operatively.

    PA 4/2006-9/2006
    PA 9/2004-5/2005

    Clinical & Laboratory Assistant
    Assisted in lab experiments, used scientific techniques and protocols. Recorded observations and measurements; wrote reports. Prepared and ensured method validation protocols, reviewed specifications, performed analytical and validation of raw materials.
    Conducted biological, physical property and chemical tests to ensure quality control. Reviewed, interpreted and produced qualitative and quantitative data reports to determine and ensure conformity of EPA standards for water quality testing.
    Assisted scientists and students in the setup/breakdown laboratory experiments by evaluating test performances and ensured accurate collection, review, records, interpretation and control of biological and chemical materials used.

    PA 2/1998 to 1/2004

    Provider Service Representative/Claims Examiner
    Managed high-volume claims adjudication to ensure appropriate financial responsibility, coverage and payments. Reviewed, analyzed and processed medical claims. Examined records for accuracy and determined policy coverage; researched and investigated fraudulent claims transactions; handled account reconciliations and resolved complaints.
    Accepted responsibility for providing administrative and customer service support. Used working knowledge of managed care plans including health, welfare and wellness (i.e., PPO, HMO, Traditional, dental, vision, and prescriptive accounts) to efficiently complete assignments.

    ACCOMPLISHMENTS



    • Recognized for excellence in providing quality customer services for administrative and clinical teams.
    • Leadership qualities recognized during clinical rotation
    • Prepared highly detailed scientific reports and recognized for being a great team player
    •  
  2. Visit biopsychmajor profile page

    About biopsychmajor, BSN, CNA, RN

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 64; Likes: 17

    7 Comments

  3. by   biopsychmajor
    Sorry if I worded my need for assistance incorrectly. I don't want anyone to write my cover letter and resume, I just need someone to help me determine if they need any tweaking at all.
  4. by   RunBabyRN
    First, yes, you need to pare it down. Just a quick scan over made my eyes glaze over, something you DO NOT want to happen in HR! You also don't want to have to read nursing notes from someone who is overly wordy, and this is something I would consider as a hiring manager (which I have been in other fields).

    Cover letter: ditch the bits about getting CNA and CPR certification. Wasted space. Same goes for the sentence about being a nurse. Look at the hospital's mission statement, their website, at what's important to them. Your cover letter is a great place to explain how you will help them reach THEIR goals. Much of your wording is more focused on generalized statements about yourself, whereas you need to make it relevant to THEM. Your cover letter has very broad, sweeping statements without getting very specific, which means that your statements have no teeth.

    Resume: Get rid of the objective. Take your CNA cert off. At this point in your career, it's not needed. You list your experience, so it's covered there.

    All certs and licenses need expiration dates as applicable. I would put these above your education as well.

    Your "summary" needs to be brief. Don't include things EVERY new nurse has. Every new nurse has done care plans, obtained vitals and given meds. How are YOU different? Keep the list of EMRs you've used, because that IS relevant. Also the things like trach care and placing NG tubes, keep that in. Leave out anything you were able to do as a CNA. Most of this section can be omitted. As a lab assistant, did you do phlebotomy? If so, put that in your summary.

    For your job descriptions, don't list every single detail of what you did. Keep it brief and relevant. For example: Responsible for providing quality customer services and handling administrative functions: answer telephones, schedule meetings, respond to patient and visitors inquiries, prepare inpatients/outpatient medical charts, verify PHI and maintain medical database. Order and verify receipt of office/medical supplies, inventory and equipment.
    Collaboration with cross-functional hospital administrators and therapeutic clinical teams including orthopedic, neurology, cardiology and rehabilitation. Act as a liaison between patients and therapeutic teams to ensure timely patient care services. Proficient in health system computer programs: Emtrac, Navicare, Sunrise, SMS, EPIC.
    All of the italicized stuff can go. One thing to think about with your descriptions (and I have heard this from many hiring managers)- they can teach you skills. They CANNOT teach you to think as a nurse, to be nice to patients, to be empathetic, to be curious, to have the desire to learn, to be detail-oriented, etc. Think more in terms of those elements of your past roles, rather than the task-oriented train of thought. That will help to tighten up this section. I had to make that change to my own resume, but it was MUCH better received once I made that change. Also, think of your old jobs in terms of how they relate to your new role as a RN, and try to word your descriptions accordingly.

    Accomplishments would include things like awards or recognition. I would take out this section unless you have something like that.
  5. by   foureyes
    I'll just tell you personally what I would do - that doesn't necessarily mean it's what's best for you. I'd bring the summary of skills way down to 1-2 sentences of general overviews, like: "Excellent assessment and RN level skills, and clinical experience utilizing Sorian, SmartChart, Epic, and AOD computer programs". Also, I would not include job descriptions at all. They know what these jobs entail that you've done, so just let your experience and qualifications listed on your resume speak for themselves. My general rule was to keep my resume at 2 pages, including references, so the HR person could get all the pertinent info as quickly as possible without having to sort through or commit to paragraphs of reading- because they probably won't, honestly. For accomplishments, just list any awards you received or achievements (like class president). Think of it kind of like giving shift report on yourself - they want the nitty gritty, not every little detail.
  6. by   biopsychmajor
    Thanks for your input. I knew it was too much. Changes will be made ASAP.
  7. by   biopsychmajor
    Are these any better? Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Name
    Address
    phone number, professional email

    Highlights


    § Recognized for excellence in providing quality customer services for administrative and clinical teams.
    § Leadership qualities recognized during clinical rotation
    § Recognized for being a great team player
    § Works well under pressure
    § Strong problem solver
    § Flexible
    § Multi-tasker



    Education

    BSN (Date)
    University

    Certified Nursing Assistant (Date)
    School of nursing

    BS
    University

    AAS
    Community College

    Associations and Certifications

    § Pennsylvania RN License # RN Active until date
    § Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Active until date
    § 2 Professional Nursing associations

    Nursing Clinical Experience Summary of Skills:


    Excellent assessment and RN level skills using empathy and attention to detail

    Performed various functions to ensure efficient patient care including tracheostomy care, wound dressing changes, placement of nasogastric tube, bed changes, and assisted with ambulation

    Clinical experience in medical charting utilizing Sorian, SmartChart, EPIC, and AOD computer programs



    Experience

    Hospital Place date to Present


    Unit Secretary

    Welcomes and greets visitors, in person or via telephone
    Responsible for providing quality customer service and handling administrative functions while protecting patient confidentiality.
    Relays critical laboratory values to appropriate physician and completes corresponding paperwork.
    Collaboration with cross-functional hospital administrators and therapeutic clinical teams. Acts as a liaison between patients and therapeutic teams to ensure timely patient care services.
    Arranges ambulance for patients requiring transport home or to another facility.
    Maintains safe and clean working environment by complying with procedures, rules, and regulations; adhering to infection-control policies and protocols in conjunction with environmental personnel
    Proficient in health system computer programs: Emtrac, Navicare, Sunrise, SMS, and EPIC.


    Certified Nurse Assistant (P/T) date to Present

    Performs direct patient care services: observes patient condition, obtains EKGs and vital signs; performs phlebotomy and urinalysis.
    Prepares and maintains confidential patient charts and medical records. Ensures that patients have timely follow-up testing or treatments.
    When doing one to one observations, uses diversion techniques and therapeutic communication to redirect patient while maintaining safety precautions.
    Assists with CPR in patient code situations
    Transports patients to radiology studies and inpatient room if admitted

    Job date-date
    Job date-date

    Clinical & Laboratory Assistant


    • Assisted in lab experiments, used scientific techniques and protocols. Recorded observations and measurements; wrote reports. Prepared and ensured method validation protocols, reviewed specifications, performed analytical and validation of raw materials.
    • Conducted biological, physical property and chemical tests to ensure quality control. Reviewed, interpreted and produced qualitative and quantitative data reports to determine and ensure conformity of EPA standards for water quality testing.
    • Assisted scientists and students in the setup/breakdown laboratory experiments by evaluating test performances and ensured accurate collection, review, records, interpretation and control of biological and chemical materials used.


    Job date-date

    Provider Service Representative
    Claims Examiner

    • Managed high-volume claims adjudication to ensure appropriate financial responsibility, coverage and payments. Reviewed, analyzed and processed medical claims. Examined records for accuracy and determined policy coverage; researched and investigated fraudulent claims transactions; handled account reconciliations and resolved complaints.
    • Accepted responsibility for providing administrative and customer service support. Used working knowledge of managed care plans including health, welfare and wellness (i.e., PPO, HMO, Traditional, dental, vision, and prescriptive accounts) to efficiently complete assignments.



    Date


    Human Resources Manager
    Hospital

    Dear Manager:

    I am applying for the Clinical Nurse I position that was posted on your jobsite. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from University. I was selected for their 2nd degree program, which is highly competitive.

    I have completed clinical rotations that included telemetry/PINU, maternity, post-partum, labor and delivery, NICU, pediatrics, geriatrics, community health, and psychiatry. I found that my time in the intensive care units were the most exhilarating as the assortment of disease processes that occur here is vast. Being a nurse requires critical thinking, communication skills, and technical ability in order to provide exceptional patient care. My extensive employment and educational background have prepared me for excelling in these areas, working in a disciplined environment, and dealing with the challenges associated with unexpected events. I'm looking forward to using this knowledge to enhance the patient care experience at this facility.

    I am very interested in beginning my nursing career here. I would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my experience will best meet your needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at my phone number or email for any further questions you may have. I look forward to meeting you.


    Sincerely yours,



    Me
  8. by   RunBabyRN
    I would delete the highlights section. That's all stuff that goes into your cover letter. Take out the first point in your summary of skills as well. Think objective data. Subjective stuff goes in your cover letter, objective on your resume.

    How long is this when it's in resume form? Definitely two pages or less is necessary, even with medical experience. I would even try to thin down the descriptions a little more if possible.

    Take out of your cover letter where you did your clinical rotations. Pretty much every nursing student had the same rotations, but you can say something like, "Of all of my clinical rotations, intensive care was the most exhilarating..." Also, when saying that nurses need Qualities X, Y and Z, be more specific about how you fulfill those- your current description is just words. You need to really apply what you've done to how that's going to make you the best nurse they've ever seen. You don't even mention in your cover letter that you've been working in healthcare! PUT THAT IN THERE!! Relate it to nursing and how you'll include your experience in your practice moving forward, and how you now have a strong foundation upon which to build. You still have very broad, sweeping statements, and really, you have very applicable experience that can put some meat into your cover letter if you word it well.
  9. by   biopsychmajor
    Thanks for your response. My resume is under 2 pages. I actually had to trim things down to make it be less bulky. I will definitely add your recommendations to my cover letter. Thanks again.

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