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  1. Dear Nurse Beth, I have been working on my resume using the tips that you provided online and in your book, and I am very pleased with the results. I have a question about use of keywords from the job description to bypass ATS System. How would I use them in my resume without sounding overly cliché. I listed many examples in work history section of how I used my interpersonal and communication skills, ability to manage multiple tasks and be a team player, but those examples will only be noticed by someone who is actually reading the resume. To compensate for the lack of keywords I added a very short summary section that lists the following: Proficient in EHR documentation in Epic and Meditech. Able to handle multiple responsibilities and adapt to challenging situation calmly and efficiently. Fluent in English and Russian. Able to apply critical judgement in various aspects of patient care. Here is a part of job post: Proficiency with Information Technology; such as electronic health records, communications systems, computers and equipment necessary to perform essential functions of the position. Skilled to work with a wide range of staff as part of an interdisciplinary team including physicians, nurses, and ancillary staff. Ability to use independent, critical judgment in all aspects of patient care delivery. Demonstrated interpersonal skills that convey a positive and supportive attitude. Ability to effectively manage multiple responsibilities, urgent responses, and challenging situations. I am a new grad and don't have much to say in the summary section, so I would like to make it concise and relevant to what the job description is asking but without sounding overly cliché and still bypassing ATS system. What is the best way to do this? Thank you very much for all the valuable advice. Dear New Grad, CONGRATS on graduating! I'm really glad my book helped you with your resume such as the tip "stories are remembered" while facts are forgotten :). You Want To Be Memorable. I always tell applicants that it is better to give an example of being a team player on your cover letter and resume than to write "team player" and it seems you've done so. In my book, I emphasize avoiding cliche phrases in interviews as well, such as "I'm a perfectionist" when asked "What's your greatest weakness?" and instead give examples of what answers hiring managers are looking for for the behavioral and situational interview questions. As far as wanting to avoid cliche terms that you include for the sole purpose of making it past the applicant tracking system (ATS), also known as "robot reader", that's a slightly different story. You can be creative to a certain extent, but mirrored terms and words are what the talent acquisition recruiter searches for. ATS scoring does not award points for creativity and does not penalize for cliches. Echo the identified keywords as written. Applicant Tracking Systems (aka Robot Readers) ATS software is here to stay. ATS software is used by many large healthcare organizations and designed to source the most qualified applicants. One way it does this is by tracking keywords. Resumes are essentially processed and screened by a computer before ever getting to a human being. So it's essential to understand how they work in relation to keywords. How do you know which keywords to use? Some ATS systems compare your resume to the job description (JD). Candidates who predict the most correct keywords in their resume stand a better chance of making the cut. A search by a recruiter can include hard skills and soft skills. The search is much the same as we all use to search Google on any given topic. To identify keywords from the JD, print it out and use a highlighter. In your example, I bolded some searchable terms the recruiter might search for. In your Summary section, you could write "Proficiency with Information Technology and electronic health records. Experience with Epic and Meditech". The first sentence gets ATS recognition. The second sentence reads well once your resume lands in human hands and if the organization uses Epic or Meditech. Find out ahead of time which platform they use or are migrating to, and just include that one. Tips To Stand Out With ATS Systems Use the same tense and exact wording found in the job description. If the JD says "demonstrated" then use "demonstrated" and not "demonstrates" to be safe. Some systems recognize variations and synonyms, some do not. ATS systems cannot recognize certain formatting, such as unusual font. Use a standard sans serif font such as Arial or Calibri. If the system cannot recognize a field, it will turn up as blank. Keyword density: Use the important keywords as many times as it's used in the job description (JD). If the word "critical judgement" is used twice in the JD, use it twice in your resume, but don't try to "stuff" (overuse) your resume with keywords, it can backfire. You can use the same keyword in different sections, such as in Professional Profile, Summary, Skills, Employment History. Spell out acronyms at least once. Instead of IT, write Information Technology (IT). Mirror the language used in the JD. See how well your resume performs using Jobscan website, where you can compare your resume against the JD, and get a score. You want to score at least 80%. Individualize your resume, cover letter and interview to each organization. Read each organization's website, mission statement, publicly reported HCAHPS scores, mission statement. Consider including an organization's keywords on your LinkedIn profile if you are targeting one specific employer. I hope this helps and best of luck! Additional Reading Please....Resume Help Needed!
  2. Nurse Beth

    Please....Resume Help Needed!

    Dear Nurse Beth, Hi I have some questions about resume help. I haven't worked as a nurse for three years and would love to find someone that can help me who in specifically experienced in nursing resumes, any ideas or resources that you can share? Thanks so much! Dear Needs Help, It's definitely important to craft the best resume you can as your resume is what lands you job interviews, and you are wise to seek help in your situation. The best resource I know of for nurses is my book " Your Last Nursing Class-how to land your first nursing job...and your next!" It's the best guide for nurses because it's written from a hiring nurse manager's point of view. I wrote it because I see so many unnecessary mistakes in resumes that cost great nurses their chance of landing a job. I also see tons of misinformation, even from nursing faculty in nursing schools. Here are a few tips from my book. Make it easy to read You must catch the reader's attention in a few short seconds. It's estimated that you have 6 seconds to capture the reader's interest. Dense blocks of text make it difficut for the reader process. Include plenty of white space and bullet points for readability. Be memorable Recruiters see hundreds of resumes, so it's important to be memorable. Do this by illustrating with examples. Instead of saying "reliable", say "perfect attendance x 2 yrs". A recruiter will not tell a nurse manager "I found a candidate who's reliable" but she will say "Hey, take a look at this. Perfect attendance." Avoid cliches It's a common mistake to think that words such as "committed" and "high-performing" polish or amp up your resume, but to the reader they are boring, lack meaning and show a lack of effort. If you want to convey that you are "committed", say "served on unit-based committee". Go through your resume and remove all of these terms: team-player strong work ethic highly motivated Soon your own eye will see these examples of what I call word fluff. Speaking of word fluff, leave off the objective when you are applying to a bedside position. The objective is, of course, to land a job. There is no need to write "professional, compassionate nurse seeking job as bedside clinician"....do you see my point? It's self-evident and lacks originality. Active not passive Use an active and not a passive tense. An example of passive tense is "A Daisy Award was given to me" Active tense is "Received Daisy Award". Go through your resume and change to active tense. Grammar There is no room for error. It is entirely possible that the nurse manager will read a resume with spelling errors and conclude that since the writer is careless in her job application, she is also careless in her nursing practice. How sad would it be to lose a job because you did not spell check or you submitted a resume with punctuation errors? Have 2-3 people with editing abilities proof your resume. Syntax A common grammatical error is syntax. Here's an example: Voted Best Employee Volunteered for Mobile Immunization Was selected to precept new grads Do you see that the third bullet point should read "Precepted new grads" for agreement with the preceding bullet points? Customize your resume to each employer Gone are the days of composing one resume and blasting it to 100 employers. Carefully craft each resume to the specific employer, keeping in mind the mission statement and service lines. When applying to an employer in a Spanish-speaking market, highlighting your ability to speak Spanish is smart. NIH stroke certification is beneficial in a stroke- certified organization. In knowing the employer and their needs, you pose yourself as a solution to their problem. How to Get Past ATS Software in a Resume No matter how stellar your resume is, it must make the first cut-past application tracking software (ATS). How to get past ATS software in a resume In your resume, indicate briefly the reason you were unemployed. It can be for personal or family reasons, such as caring for a relative, but make it clear the problem is now resolved and you are ready to commit to your career full-time.