resume help...without previous experience


I was hoping for some advice about what to put on a resume...

I am a nursing student that just completed the first semester. I want to apply for a hospital aide position because I am afraid that when I graduate it will be really hard to find a job, so I'd like to get my foot in the door.

Anyway, I am looking for suggestions about how to write up my resume. I don't have any other patient care experience other than nursing school. I just started working at an "old folks home" but that is more like housekeeping than really anything technical. I pretty much just feed and get them to bed. I like the job, but at the same time it is not very challenging and does not pay hardly anything.

So I do the traditional thing? Just list my past jobs, or should I try to do a skill-based resume, which I have never done?

Any suggestions would be very welcome. I have not written a resume in a very long time and my past positions show some leadership skills but otherwise don't relate at all.

Thanks in advance!!!!


253 Posts

some hosps will require you to be a CNA if you want an aide postition, some don't, some will train you thru their own program. you may want to call ahead to the hosp before you apply to see if they require a cert. Other than that when doing your resume. List your previuos jobs and what you did there. and list your schooling and the training you got during your semester, be sure and tell them that you are a nursing student. Some hosps will offer scholarships to nursing students with a contract that you will work for them for so long, typically 12-24 months I think it is.

Specializes in Emergency Medicine, Cardiac, Trauma.

I would go with the traditional resume. List your currnt and past jobs education and any certifications you may hold (CPR, CNA, ect). Another good idea would be to get letters of recomentaion from nurses you currently work with and if possible your instructor from last semester. If you are applying at the hospital where you did your clinicals and you got to know any of the nurses talk to them and see if you can use them as your reffered by person.. (some hospitals give bonuses fo refering new employees and for the new employees that were refered by a staff member).

Another tip if you get called for an interview research the facility, know its values and goals and keep that information in mind as you are answering questions this will show them you are interested in them not just a hospital position. good luck!!


847 Posts

I would do the traditional with a slight twist.........

The first "employment" I would put for them to see is your school. Give them all the info, just like a normal job and then on the "job description" put all the things you have done so far in nursing school. Then put your nursing home job second.

BTW, most if not all hospitals realize that a lot of nursing students don't have much if any at all experience in the "healthcare realm." It isn't mandatory and sometimes they like the idea of us not "knowing anything" because then we haven't learned too many bad habits.



517 Posts

My resume will be pretty sad too - worse than yours because at least you have the job you do, which includes patient care, however little. I had an office job for 8 years, then stayed home with my kids for 12 years. Luckily I have a scholarship with our local hospital, so they are obligated to hire me. Still, I don't look forward to handing them my resume when I go to interview (which I still have to do).

You'll be fine, I know here nurses are needed and new grads aren't having trouble finding jobs.



149 Posts

The hospital I am applying to doesn't require hospital aides to be CNAs, thankfully. I did fill out a pdf application and submitted it online yesterday, but I don't hold out much hope of getting a response from that so I plan to go in person and hoping get past the secretary! lol I did put down a friend that works there as a reference, so hopefully that will help too.

Do you think I should list all the skills I have done in skills lab and what not? Or should I just list the things that apply to the position?

I do like the idea of using nursing school as my first job and I think that is what I will do. If I have to I am sure that my clinical instructor would give me a good reference. :)

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Since I didn't have any health care experience I did an education section above my employment history and listed the total number of clinical hours as well as the speciality units I was on that pertained to the position I as applying for. I also joined the NFLPN and added that I was a member of their National Student Honor Society. Not the best option but I had nothing else to offer and I got my first choice. Good luck.


165 Posts

Don't think all hope is lost. A couple of months ago I applied to a local hospital for an OB Tech position. I am just a pre-nursing student and have no patient care experience. My stepfather owned a surgical instrument repair company and I was comfortable with the surgical instruments. That is the closest thing to experience that i had. I have been in and out of the restaurant industry and office administration for the last 10-15 years and a stay at home mom for the better part of the last 3 years. Needless to say I had no hope for the position, but I got a call back and an interview. I have a passion for labor and delivery and I guess it showed because I was offered the position. Needless to say I am excited to be starting Jan 5.

As far as my resume the first section I labeled Qualifications and put down my skills from the past that would be useful in a healthcare setting (high customer care standard, multi-tasking, work well in high stress situations, adaptability, etc.). Then I listed my jobs and bulletpointed descriptions of my duties. Next my schooling and finally my other unrelated certifications and skills (quickbooks certification, Microsoft Office proficiency, accounting, etc.). My idea was to show them the skills that I have that would make me good in healthcare eventhough I had no experience. If you would like more information about how I set up my resume just PM me and I will give you all the help I can. Good Luck.


149 Posts

Well I still haven't done up my resume yet (I know I am a procrastinator!) but I got a phone call today and they want me to come in for an interview!! Yay! I will be writing my resume tonight so I can take it in with me though. Any advice on what kinds of questions to expect? I already had to do an online survey for the interview also...


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