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Prepare This to Succeed On Your Future Job Interview!

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_Cecilia_ is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

2 Articles; 1,088 Profile Views; 68 Posts

What Can I Do to Perfect My Nursing Resume?

Congratulations on being accepted into Nursing School! Now what? I'd love to share an idea that I wish I knew prior to graduating/applying for jobs.

Prepare This to Succeed On Your Future Job Interview!

NURSING PORTFOLIO

What Is It?

Essentially, it is a portfolio of your resume, CV, recent accomplishments and engagements in a relevant job position, while you were a student leader, or as a nursing student, etc. It helps you appear more professional and sets you apart from other New Graduate Nurses.

What Is Included?

Typically, a Nursing Portfolio includes some or all of the following in this order:

  • Front page (if applicable)
  • *Table of Contents
  • *Resume (Tailored to the job you're applying to)
  • *Cover Letter (tailored to the job you're applying for)
  • *Two recent Recommendation Letters/List of References
  • *Degree
  • *License
  • *Certifications (CPR, BLS, or any others that are required/feature skills)
  • Research Papers (ones in Nursing school is fine)
  • Volunteer Service
  • Professional Organizations (Ex: your university's Student Nurses Association)
  • Awards
  • Performance Evaluations
  • Additional Documents (Please don't include something like you spending time with friends)

*I feel these are the most important to include

Okay, So Why Have It?

I feel that most employers expect New Graduates to only bring their resumes and a leather portfolio to write notes in, but by also providing a well-organized, uniquely presentable (but not over the top) portfolio, you are able to stand out from other new grads.

You can also supplement your interview examples by presenting a picture of your volunteering experience or your work in professional organizations. It's a great way to give your interviewers another aspect to remember you by.

You look prepared! Of course, this ties in with how well-organized your portfolio is, so please make sure to take the time to double-check the information you provide!

I Just Started! This Doesn't Seem Important ...

Because you've just begun or will begin Nursing School, you'll be able to keep track of the awards/accomplishments/certifications that you've completed more easily. 

I made the mistake of not researching this information prior to graduation/job interviewing and had to search through many files, notes, and stashed boxes to find some of my information.

Therefore, as you progress through Nursing School, try making a pile/online folder of the previously mentioned, so you won't be like me, cramming to find all this information two days before my in-person interview (and slightly freaking out).

What Was Your Experience Like Using The Portfolio?

Prior to walking inside my interview room, I believe another New Grad was leaving. Upon entering, I recognized that she had left a resume with the interviewers.

When I provided my portfolio, my interviewers began looking through my portfolio, commenting on my experience at my previous University's hospital and my photos of my volunteer work/organization work. We had a conversation about the purpose of the organizations (because they were unfamiliar with them) and Interviewer #1 commented on how she also participated in a Teddy Bear Trauma Clinic. Interviewer #2, who was unfamiliar with the event, said a joke, with which we all laughed about.

After warming up with conversation based around the portfolio, they began the interview. In the end, I left my portfolios with them.

Essentially, because I provided the portfolios firsthand, I was able to speak briefly about my experiences, warmed up with laughs, and engage my interviewers. This helped me become more confident and clear-minded in my answers and allowed the interviewers to see more of my personality.

I'm Convinced! How Do I Make One?

I've used these materials:

  • Southworth Resume Paper (although, printer paper may be fine)
  • Staples Clear Sheet Protectors (100 ct)
  • Staples Deluxe Clear-Front Report Covers, Red (5 ct)

Remember these tips:

  • You may be interviewing with up to 5 people, so make sure to make that many. You'll be able to leave one for each interviewer (Ex: Nurse Manager, Assistant Nurse Manager, Nurse Educator, HR, etc.)
  • You may include photos, but include photos of you volunteering and/or working at organizations. (Ex: Because I was a Resident Assistant, I could've included a photo of an event I designed and spearheaded).
  • Additional documents should be relevant. (Ex: I chose to include a story that resonates with why I love Nursing/How I strive to treat my patients.)
  • Use the same header and text you used for your resume, for the other pages in your portfolio. You do not need a header for your degree, license, certifications, awards or evaluations because your interviewers will be able to distinguish them.
  • Try your best to not make it into a textbook! Remember to include the most relevant items only.

Do You Have an Example Of What It Can Look Like?

Definitely! Please see the attachment at the end of this Article.

**I've printed everything front-and-back to avoid becoming a textbook**

  • Photo 1: Front Cover (using same resume format)
  • Photo 2: Table of Contents
  • Photo 3: Front of Resume 
  • Photo 4: Back of Resume and Cover Letter 
  • Photo 5: List of References (5; I didn't prepare Letters) and Degree
  • Photo 6: License and Table of Certifications
  • Photo 7: Mandated Certifications
  • Photo 8: BLS and List of Organizations (With brief description/status/length; I've also combined volunteer organizations with professional ones)
  • Photo 9: Photos of Me in Organizations and Nursing Award
  • Photo 10: Resident Assistant Awards
  • Photo 11: Capstone Preceptor Evaluation
  • Photo 12: Resident Assistant Supervisor Evaluation
  • Photo 13: Relevant Story 

If any of the information was confusing or you have any questions, concerns or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask me. I am eager to help! Congratulations again and good luck!

Example Portfolio.pdf

_Cecilia_ is a Registered Nurse (RN), BSN

2 Articles; 1,088 Profile Views; 68 Posts

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Rionoir is a ADN, RN and specializes in Neuro ICU.

591 Posts; 3,328 Profile Views

We were required to have a completed portfolio before graduation, with different parts of it being due every semester.  It made such a big impression when interviewing.  Even if they didn’t read it cover to cover, just having a well done portfolio makes a huge impact. 

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_Cecilia_ is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

2 Articles; 68 Posts; 1,088 Profile Views

1 hour ago, Rionoir said:

We were required to have a completed portfolio before graduation, with different parts of it being due every semester.  It made such a big impression when interviewing.  Even if they didn’t read it cover to cover, just having a well done portfolio makes a huge impact. 

That's great to hear 🙂 It's good that different parts of it were due every semester to keep it in mind along the way! 

Thank you for sharing your experience as well!

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KrysyRN has 28 years experience.

276 Posts; 4,449 Profile Views

Very nice, Cecilia!

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_Cecilia_ is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

2 Articles; 68 Posts; 1,088 Profile Views

On 1/8/2020 at 1:00 AM, KrysyRN said:

Very nice, Cecilia!

Thank you @KrysyRN😊

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