Should I remove clinical experience and my first job from my resume? Advice please!

Updated:   Published

new-nurse-job-resume.jpg.047742e9b5a76f9d5a0a5c172c383a7b.jpg

I graduated with my BSN in June 2020. Since then I've had 3 jobs. I have a few questions about my resume. If anyone could give advice I would be really thankful. An answer to any of the questions below will help!

- Should I remove my clinical experience from my resume? June 2019 to March 2020

- My first job out of college was from July to October 2020 as a med-surg nurse and it only lasted for 3 months. Should I remove this from my resume? I've gotten questions at interviews in the past about this job and I don't like to talk about it because I was terminated at the end of my orientation. I did learn a lot of different skills at this job though.

- If I get rid of clinical experience and my first nursing job it will leave me with two contract jobs doing immunizations (1st was for 3 months and 2nd was for 5 months). Both were at the same company. The job descriptions were a bit different (one was only covid vaccines and the other was all immunizations). There's also a gap of time between the two jobs. One was March to May 2021 and the other was September 2021 to February 2022. Should I somehow combine them or keep them separated on my resume?

JBMmom, MSN, NP

4 Articles; 2,348 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

It's still recent enough that I would keep the clinical experiences.

You may get conflicting answers on this, but I would never leave a job off the resume. I think that there are ways that potential employers can see your employment history even if you don't put it on a resume. The good thing about nursing is that it's not at all uncommon for people to leave a job after an orientation period and "it wasn't a good fit" is an appropriate response if someone asks at an interview. 

And for the two separate jobs, don't try to combine them. If there's a simple reason for the gap- like one job was phased out due to the pandemic, you can easily explain it.

Good luck. 

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,186 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.

I second JBMmom's advice to not leave off any experience on a resume.

I will back that premise empirically: I have been terminated from jobs only to get better positions thereafter.

londonflo

2,342 Posts

Specializes in oncology. Has 46 years experience.
12 hours ago, nurse1045 said:

Should I remove my clinical experience from my resume? June 2019 to March 2020

I think clinical experiences would be under your education section. But I haven't written a resume for decades. During the early 1980s when there was a dearth of nursing jobs for new graduates, I was a point person to look at resumes developed by students. In a difficult employment market, it is best to highlight your student experience but be prepared to provide examples where you used critical thinking, independent of your preceptor. 

JMO. but I would also make sure your references show your abilities to the max.

With regard to your recent work history: I would think there is a tremendous amount of patient identification, patient assessment for the need of a vaccination, the skill and organization of materials needed, record keeping,  developmental considerations, patient teaching and evaluation. Think about what you did every step of the way.

 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

2,776 Posts

Specializes in school nurse. Has 31 years experience.

I've read a few times over the years that employers don't look at clinicals.

IMO- If you get an interview and have had some clinical experiences that are applicable to what you're interviewing for, that would be the time to share.

Specializes in IR. Has 3 years experience.

Definitely keep all the clinical experiences but list the student clinicals separately from your professional experiences (agree with in the education section of your resume, literally just list them). It's all about how you explain it when asked about previous work. But in my opinion not having the short med-surg job is worse than explaining why it didn't work out, you can always spin this to reflect positively on yourself if you just practice your response. Also, the vaccination work is relevant, again, it's all about how you explain it. You are selling yourself in interviews. You can speak about things in a way that is positive no matter what the experience is. With the vaccinations, you maybe were putting off working acute care because vaccinating as much of the public as possible was critical to the pandemic response. I would word this as a purposeful decision that you made because you wanted to help with the covid response efforts (something that I hope happens only once in our lifetime), do not speak about it as a circumstance that you just found yourself in. Making it purposeful exudes confidence and a desire to assist in a public health crisis which is admirable. As far as separating them or combining them, I'd leave them separate because they sound like different experiences. Just as a side note, I also left acute care to help with covid public health response and worked at vaccination sites (in an oversight role actually, not vaccinating). I just accepted a position at one of the NYP hospitals  🙂 so it is possible. Nursing has many different applications and they are all relevant. Just don't question your decisions during an interview, why would they have confidence in you if you don't?

John2018

102 Posts

Specializes in Occupational Health Nursing. Has 5 years experience.

Yes, don't remove it from your resume and do not combine those 2 jobs because of the gap. For your first employment, I suggest research for best way to answer those intimidating question and as for the gap, don't worry about that, it's harder to answer question if you kind of editted your resume. 

MelEpiRN

181 Posts

Keep it in.  In other fields it's completely normal to leave out stuff you did years and years ago to condense a resume and keep things relevant, or leave out short stays, however nursing likes to pay people based on years experience. (Learned that the hard way). 

klone, MSN, RN

14,406 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

Unless your clinical experience was different from anyone else's clinical experience, there is no need to put it on your resume. Everyone has pretty much the same clinical experience. As a hiring manager, I don't look at it whatsoever. Leave it off.

 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

2,776 Posts

Specializes in school nurse. Has 31 years experience.
2 hours ago, klone said:

Unless your clinical experience was different from anyone else's clinical experience, there is no need to put it on your resume. Everyone has pretty much the same clinical experience. As a hiring manager, I don't look at it whatsoever. Leave it off.

 

Yes! It's like listing "nursing school" as experience when it's already under education. Everybody does the same basic rotations. If something special or unusual came up during your clinicals, the interview is the time to bring that up...

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 11 years experience.

The only time I would leave clinical on is if it was at the location you are applying for and if the experience was positive.

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,729 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.
16 hours ago, CalicoKitty said:

The only time I would leave clinical on is if it was at the location you are applying for and if the experience was positive.

Yes, this - or if you did an externship in the specialty or similar to that which you are applying. Otherwise clinicals are clinicals, they were part of school and occurred before you had your license and really don't have a lot of weight. 

Don't leave off the med/surg job, it could come up on a background check (possibly also because you paid taxes while there, I am not sure where it pops up). I applied for a job that asked for the past 3 jobs within the previous 7 years as part of a background check, and I left off a part-time job that I was currently still doing and only listed full-time jobs. They came back with questions about why I left the part-time job off, but it wasn't a big deal and I still got the job. But they knew about it! Hiding something only makes it seem worse. You can discuss what you DID learn from that job, and what it helped you learn about yourself. In the end, you can say it wasn't a good fit for you. 

Good luck!!