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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

    Nurse Beth Pops New Grad's Bubble

    Hi Nurse Beth! I am in the process of applying for new graduate RN position. I would appreciate some feedback and suggestions regarding the "Objective Statement" that I wrote. Professional Objective: "A dedicated, compassionate, team-oriented, and multi-lingual Registered Nurse with excellent time management and organizational skills seeking nursing employment within XYZ hospital. Self-motivated professional with a strong work ethic and commitment to supporting team objectives to provide exceptional customer service and highest-quality patient care." Thank you so much in advance! Dear New Grad, I so hate to break your bubble, but it needs to be said. An objective statement is not going to help you land your first nursing job. It's just not. There's very little reason for a new grad to write an objective statement. The objective of every new grad is to land a job, which is self-evident. Writing long, cliche-filled sentences shows that you are making this about you, not about the organization. You must think about everything you write from an employer's point of view. It's understandable you are naive to what I'm telling you. I do think nursing schools should be giving more guidance and better, practical advice to students composing cover letters and resumes. That's why I wrote my book below. It can be very competitive landing your first job, and you need to know from an insider's point of view what hiring managers are looking for. You don't stand out by using flowery phrases. In my book, I show how to stand out and be memorable every step of the way. You must individualize your resume to each and every organization, and show that you are a solution to their problem. What's their problem? Find out. What's their mission statement? Find out. Problem New grads are a flight risk?Show that you have ties to the community Problem Low HCAAPS scores in patient satisfaction?Highlight your AIDET training Problem 30-day re-admissions?Emphasize your training in teach-back patient educationIt's not about you, it's about how you are going to help solve a problem for the employer. Trust me, a recruiter is not going to read your objective statement and say "Thank goodness! Finally, a new grad who is "self-motivated" ! Nobody ever stood out from the pack by saying they are "dedicated". For recruiters who read hundreds of resumes, reading yet another one that says "strong work ethic" may be enough to make them set it aside. It lacks originality, substance, and meaning. You just can't waste your words like that when you're dealing with a limited attention span. It's estimated you have just a few seconds to grab their attention. Every word has to count. So what can you do?Here's one tip from my book. Instead of espousing "exceptional customer service" (what does that mean, exactly?) in your resume give an EXAMPLE of exceptional customer service. "My patient was alone, without family, and did not speak English. He shared that he felt isolated and frustrated. I speak his language, Afrikaans, and helped him download a translation app on his phone. It made me late to post-clinic debriefing, but it was worth it because he was so grateful" Stories are remembered. Cliches are not. You say you are multi-lingual. Elsewhere in your resume, identify exactly what language other than English that you speak (do not say multi-lingual), and make sure it is targeted to the demographic of the hospital you are applying to. Speaking Spanish in central California is helpful, but speaking Russian is not. I hope I'm making the point clear- make it about the employer. Saying you are multi-lingual makes it about you. Saying you speak Spanish in central California makes it about the employer. There's so much more I'd love to teach you, but I hope this has at least given you a new point of view. Start your job search today!
  3. Dear Nurse Beth, I am currently doing my preceptorship in MGH. My preceptor is very nice and asked me to give him my application materials so that he can refer me to his manager. I feel this is a very good chance to land my first job. What should I do to increase my chance of getting accepted besides preparing my cover letter and resume well? Dear Good Chance, It is a very good chance. CONGRATS on making such an impression! Preceptors and seasoned nurses can spot potential such as yours and a personal recommendation from a respected employee is golden. Managers much prefer a known hire over an unknown hire as it reduces their risk. Write a note to the manager and leave it in her office. It should be short, thanking her for the opportunity to precept on her floor with (preceptor name). Make it personal, and mention some aspect of your rotation that stood out to you, such as the teamwork or kind regard towards patients. Say that you are interested in a position and look forward to hearing from her. Include your contact information. Best wishes and good luck! Nurse Beth
  4. BarefootNurse3

    Resume, Cover Letter, Interview Help

    I keep getting rejected from hospital jobs, even new grad jobs! I'm getting very discouraged. The only RN job I've held is at a SNF in the short term unit but I'm really eager to leave. Sadly, SNF experience isn't acute care experience so it doesn't count when I try to apply for a non-new grad hospital position. I live in California and the job markets competitive. I will have my BSN by August first, but I'm wondering if that will offer much benefit without acute care experience. I'm wondering if I should remove my previous jobs (teacher/medical assistant) and my second associates degree to make room for more information about my current RN job or add in clinical experience from nursing school? I did my senior preceptorship on a med-surg/telemetry unit. Lastly, I've tried to edit the summary as I feel it is weak but I've read conflicting information. I've read that some people don't even believe a summary/objective line is necessary since everyones objective is obtaining a job. I'm unsure what to put for the summary and how to change the bullet points of skills. Also, I've looked at various resources for practice interview questions to keep myself prepared. If anybody has any nurse pages with common interview questions I would really appreciate that! Any help would be greatly appreciated! 🙂 I'm going to start looking at hospital jobs in different states because I don't think I can stay in a SNF. If anyone knows of any states that hire new grads, I've been looking at Colorado because I heard Arizona is seeing a lot of COVID patients right now. Resume Blank.pdf CoverLetter Blank.pdf
  5. Eshaqayum20

    Resume Objective feedback please

    I am in the process of applying for new graduate RN position. I would appreciate some feedback and suggestions regarding the "Objective Statement" that I wrote. Professional Objective: "A dedicated, compassionate, team-oriented, and multi-lingual Registered Nurse with excellent time management and organizational skills seeking nursing employment within XYZ hospital. Self-motivated professional with a strong work ethic and commitment to supporting team objectives to provide exceptional customer service and highest-quality patient care." Thank you so much in advance!
  6. mively90

    Need help with resume & cover letter

    Hello all, I desperately need help with my resume and cover letter. I 'm from Korea and worked as an OR nurse for 3years before coming to the U.S. I'm trying to get a job in the states, but it's way harder than I thought. Would you guys check my resume and cover letter, then give me some critique, please? Any comments would be appreciated. Thank you. cover letter.docx resume.docx
  7. 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.
  8. Ash2016

    RPN, Need help with Resume!

    Hi everyone, I graduated this past Summer, and got licensed with the CNO mid august. I'm having a hard time finding my first job as an RPN. I haven't even gotten a call for an interview. Can someone please help me objectively, look at my resume and make edits. I've had others look at it but they aren't nurses so they just say it's fine. I've looked on "how to" sites as well. Still no calls. Are there any keywords I should add to make my resume more scannable? Thank you for your time! I've edited some things for privacy. It didn't past with the correct format with the dates, should be on one line but spaced to the right side of page. Spacing including with the bars are more even in actual doc. First & Last Name, RPN Contact Info HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS Registered and in good standing with the College of Nurses of Ontario Clinical experience in Toronto area hospitals and in long term care working with geriatric, adult, and pediatric clients Successful completion of full-time consolidation at Sunnybrook Hospital in the postpartum unit, one of the select students chosen for this specialty placement through a competitive application process Computer proficient in MS Word, Adobe, Excel, Power Point, Internet, and Email Excellent interpersonal communication skills, and fluent in English Student Nurse, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, ON Jan., 2016-Apr., 2016 Successfully cared for a limit of four pairs in the maternal/newborn unit, able to work autonomously and as a member of the interdisciplinary team Able to assess and assist mother with pain, signs of hemorrhage, fundal check, IV maintenance and removal, urinary output after birth, catheter removal, assessment of incision, side effects of analgesics, and if RhoGAM and/or MMR vaccine is needed Experienced in assessment of neonatal vital signs, daily weights, neonatal bath and physical assessment, neonatal abstinence scoring, jaundice in the infant, initiation of phototherapy; assisted the assessment of neonatal blood sugar for SGA, LGA infants and infants with mothers who have GDM Initiated health teaching for parents, assisted mother in breastfeeding, and provided alternatives such as lactation aid, spoon feeding, and finger feeding as needed Experienced in a fast turn-over of patients, while ensuring all admission and discharge teaching is thorough and complete. Provided end of shift report and accurate documentation Student Nurse, North York General Hospital (5N), Toronto, ON Sept., 2015-Dec., 2015 Successfully cared for patients at the short stay surgical unit, provided post-operative care, and health teaching to patients who would be ready for discharge in a short amount of time Taught patients deep breathing exercises, incentive spirometer use, and the importance of ambulation postoperatively. Monitored return of bowel sounds for post abdominal surgery Provided safe medication administration, thorough head to toe assessments, assessed patient labs, developed a plan of care, and documented patient care Exhibited time management skills regarding fast turn-over of patients and prepping patients with appointments and tests scheduled throughout the day Student Nurse, North York General Hospital (5W), Toronto, ON May, 2015-Aug., 2015 Cared for patients at the long term medicine/rehabilitation unit, worked with predominantly geriatric patients, met and exceeded their specific patient needs Provided and documented safe and timely medication administration including administration of narcotics, and monitored any adverse effects Provided and documented vital signs, pain, head to toe assessments, assistance with ADLs, intake and output, wound care, catheter care, colostomy/ileostomy care, G-tube feedings and medications Cared for patients with dementia and mental health issues; provided patients with distraction techniques and therapeutic communication depending on patient needs Student Nurse, Toronto Rehab - E.W. Bickle Centre, Toronto, ON Jan., 2015-Apr., 2015 Worked with patients in the complex continuing care unit and provided essential care to patients who are dealing with complex, long term issues Monitored vital signs, assisted patients with ADLs, provided colostomy and wound care with assistance, and documented patient's status in progress notes and flow charts Provided assistance in repositioning, transferring, and ambulating ADDITIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE Receptionist/Administrative Staff, Company name, Location (2012-2014) Sales Associate/Key Holder, Company name, Location (2010-2012) EDUCATION & TRAINING Diploma: Practical Nursing, Graduated with Honours 2014-2016 Seneca College, King City, Ontario Course: IV Therapy and Phlebotomy Sept., 2016-Present Humber College, Toronto, Ontario BCLS, CPR, and Standard First Aid for HCP Certificates 2015 Canadian Red Cross, Toronto, Ontario Mask Fit Training 2014 Seneca College, King City, Ontario
  9. LyssM

    Resume Review

    I have been applying to many jobs every week and barely getting any call backs from hospitals. I don't know whats wrong with my resume. I am currently a dialysis nurse in a clinic but I want to go back to the hospital. XXXnameXXX, BSN, RN XXX addressXXXXXXX◦ XXXXnumber ◦ XXXXemail SUMMARY: Professional Registered Nurse with a compassionate and positive attitude. Successful in managing time, prioritizing tasks, utilizing critical thinking and providing quality patient care. Proven ability to build positive relationships with patients, family members and colleagues. EDUCATION: XXXcollegeXXX, locationXXX- Bachelors of Science in Nursing Graduated: May 2018 (Magna cum Laude) XXXXCollege, locationXXXX - Associates of Arts Graduated: May 2014 LICENSE / CERTIFICATIONS · New York State Licensed Registered Nurse · Basic Life Support (BLS) – American Heart Association · Advanced Cardiac Life Support– American Heart Association RELEVANT SKILLS: • Excellent Time Management • Team player with positive attitude • Medication Administration • Interacts with patients& families with compassion • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving • Culturally Sensitive • Leadership •Attention to detail •Great Interpersonal and communication skills •Computerized Charting WORK EXPERIENCE: XXXCompanyXXX, XXLOCATIONXX November 2018-Present Registered Nurse · Monitor and evaluate patients condition throughout dialysis treatment; if necessary execute appropriate action and inform physician for further consultation · Assess patients health status, review dialysis orders and laboratory results, develop patients individualized plan of care · Educate patients on access care, dietary and fluid management, compliance, treatment regimens · Provide direction and supervision to PCT’s and LPNs, delegate duties effectively · Act as a patient advocate; collaborate with physicians and other health team members in coordinating patient care · Follow infection control procedures to ensure client safety XXXcompanyXXX, locationXXX June 2017- July 2018 Patient Care Associate • Provided blood glucose testing, phlebotomy, specimen collection, oxygen and suction setup, 12 lead EKGs, bathing, turning and positioning, ambulating and toileting & ensured client safety STUDENT NURSE PRECEPTORSHIP Capstone: LOCATIONXXX (Telemetry) · Assessed and interpreted clinical data such as abnormal lab values, blood pressures, physical distress, heart rate and rhythms · Evaluated patient responses to treatment and progress toward goals · Readied patients for stress testing, echocardiograms, cardiac catheterization procedures · Preformed variety of skills such as incerting a Foley catheter, tube feedings, wound dressings, medication administration AFFILIATIONS: · Sigma Theta Tau - International Honor Society of Nursing · Sigma Alpha Pi - National Society of Leadership and Success · Alpha Eta Honor Society- National Honor Society of the Allied Health Professions · National Student Nurses Association, Inc. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT • FEMA Emergency Planning • Interventional Rescue for Stroke • FEMA Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams • NYIT Inter-professional Education Collaboration Simulation •Cardiac Invasive Procedures: Pre and Post Care redit.docx
  10. Nurse Beth

    How to Land a Job

    Consider Relocating Geographic location can be a barrier to getting hired. The "nursing shortage" is regional. Some areas of the country and some hospitals are not hiring new grad RNs. It is very difficult to find a job in the San Francisco Bay area, for example. At the same time, some areas of the country are hiring and even recruiting new grads. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is one example. Strategy: Cast a wide net. Start by looking at neighboring states. Are you willing and able to re-locate? Do you have a friend or relative in one of these locations? Generally, urban centers are not hiring new grads as much as rural locations. Job Boards like the one here on site can help you search for jobs all over the country. note: If you are interviewed and you currently live "away" keep in mind that hiring managers want to hire nurses who they believe will stay beyond their initial contract. Customize Your Resume The purpose of a resume is to land an interview. If you are sending out multiple resumes and not landing any interviews, the culprit is most likely your resume. Your resume should be customized to each individual employer. Find out as much as you can about the hospital you want to work at. Are they faith-based? For-profit? What are their top service lines? Then tailor your resume to fit. For example, if they are Stroke Certified, you would emphasize that you have your NIHSS Stroke Certification. Your resume is about what you can do for them and identifying the value you bring to an organization. Strategic Use of Keywords Resume keywords should mirror job description keywords. This helps with keyword scanning software. If the job posting says they are looking for someone with leadership qualities, then use the keyword "leader" in your resume. For example, if you were a class officer or led any activities in school, you could say "I'm a natural leader. I was selected as our Class Event Leader and helped organized a community vaccination drive." Use active verbs such as: achieved, created, managed, volunteered, resolved, implemented. Avoid Cliches Avoid cliches and over-used terms. Instead of "I'm a dedicated, detail-oriented, driven, dynamic, problem-solving, team-building, self-motivated person with a strong work-ethic" give examples of the strengths you want to highlight. For example, instead of "I'm a people person", say "My energy comes from connecting with others." Volunteer Highlight any volunteer/community activity. This is seen as very positive, and shows desirable qualities to an employer. I have seen jobs come down to "she/he who had more points for volunteering". Make no Mistakes Your resume must be mistake-free. Errors may be viewed as an indicator of carelessness on the job. Your resume should be one page long and the layout should include plenty of lots of white space to avoid dense blocks of text. It should be visually pleasing with congruent use of headers and traditional fonts. Bullet points add emphasis and interest. Follow the Application Process Follow the prospective employer's application instructions to the letter. Sometimes candidates lose out because they don't follow instructions. If they specify that your resume should be submitted today, and your essay at a different time, follow their guidelines. Likewise, if they want your cover letter attached as a pdf, don't send as a .docx file. Pay special attention to application deadlines as they can be a narrow window. In many cases, you can apply before you get your license, contingent on passing the NCLEX. Compose a Cover Letter The purpose of a cover letter is to interest them enough to read your resume. It's a great way to catch their attention and stand out. Objectives of your cover letter are to: Introduce yourself and clearly define who you are Highlight your most notable qualifications, experiences, credentials, skills, and achievements Capture your reader's interest Motivate them to call and offer you an interview Networking Nets Jobs The number one way to get jobs is still through networking. You know more people than you realize, and the more people that know you are job seeking, the better. Contact your previous clinical instructors. Ask for their help. They have strong connections to acute care hospitals, and they have friends who are nurse managers Likewise, ask your preceptors to put in a word for you. Stay in touch with them. Contact classmates of yours who already have a job. Ask them to put in a word to the nursing manager. Ask them for their hiring tips Participate in online and social media nursing communities, groups, and forums. They provide support and information on job postings, and tips. Create a Linked.in profile if you don't already have one. to meet other nurses and recruiters Attend job fairs and conferences. You never know who you'll meet or what contacts you'll make. Have your resume in hand Go to community places like the gym regularly. Many nurses go right before or after their shift, go at that time and talk with them. Same applies for church, if you attend. Leads come from unexpected sources Join a local nursing organization Creative strategies Looking for a job is your job. Get up early Monday through Friday. Shower and dress in business casual. Set a goal for the number of resumes you will send out and how many contacts you will make each day. Think of a new contact strategy every day. When reading ads, look for "experience preferred" and not "experience required." Apply for everything that says "experience preferred." Even if it's not your ideal job, interviewing is an invaluable experience. Avoid travel agencies unless you have one to two years of experience. If you find a job you are really interested in, find out the name of the nurse manager and e-mail her/him or walk-in. A cold-call can be risky, but can also be rewarding. Have your resume with you, shake hands and say "I would like to drop this off for your review." The nurse manager now has a visual image of you, which puts you ahead of other applicants. Certifications Count Many new grad RNs are amassing certifications to enhance their resumes. Be sure and keep your BLS up to date. As for ACLS, PALS, NRP, etc- when hired, your hospital will provide them anyway, but it shows initiative to obtain them. In the Meantime Hone your interviewing skills so you'll be prepared and confident when you land an interview. Volunteer in anything community or health-related. And volunteering is also networking. You'd be surprised who knows who, or that John's daughter went to school with the nurse recruiter's favorite niece. Be patient. HR departments in hospitals are slow-moving compared to other industries. Keep your eye on the goal. You WILL get hired if you keep applying, networking, volunteering. All you need is one chance to get your foot in the door. Remember, new grad RNs are getting hired every day- you could be next! Don't underestimate the power of positivity and good energy. Keep your eye on the goal and be persistent. Look back at how far you've come since you started school. Good luck! Related articles Revamp Your Resume How to Answer "What's Your Greatest Weakness?"
  11. Looking for some professional oppinion from people that actually look at these things. If you are a staff nurse or other I welcome your input as well. I only ask that you state your position when you critique(so I can understand where you are coming from)...thank you in advance (I also had to edit the structure a little because when I pasted it from MS word it started to look a little weird) PROFESSIONAL OBJECTIVE To obtain an entry level position as a staff nurse in an acute health care facility or institution. EDUCATION Sept, 2003- June, 2005 Associate in Applied Science Degree, Nursing PhillipsBethIsraelSchool of Nursing, New York, New York Sept, 2000- May 2003 Bachelors Degree (BA) in Biology BrooklynCollege, City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York Sept, 1998- June 2000 Biology Major RutgersUniversity, State University of NJ, New Brunswick, New Jersey EXPERIENCE May 2005 Student Nurse St. Luke's Hospital, Emergency Department, Trauma center, NY, NY Sept, 1997- Nov, 2004 Optician Dr. Ronald Goldstein, Dr. Howard Freid, Brooklyn, New York Auto-refracting and obtaining ocular pressures Obtaining patients medical history Adjustments and taking measurements for eyewear Patient follow up calls and overview Instructing patients on contact lens insertion and removal training July, 1995- August ,1995 Volunteer AmbulatoryCareCenter, MaimonidesMedicalCenter Answering patient inquiries Preparing charts for clinic Russian/English translator between physician and patient AFFILIATION AND CERTIFICATION National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) member Nursing Students Association of New York State (NSANYS) member American Heart Association Basic Life support (BLS) certified Expected to take NCLEX June 2005 ACTIVITIES AND AWARDS Phillips Scholarship Recipient Peer Advisor to PhillipsBethIsraelSchool of Nursing Class of 2006 Vaccinated Beth Israel Medical center staff for influenza, November 2004 ADDITIONAL SKILLS Fluent in Russian Proficient in Windows XP, 2000, MS Word, MS Powerpoint, Type @ 56 WPM REFFERENCES Available upon request
  12. Dear Nurse Beth, I have just been fired from my first hospital job as a new grad after having been oriented for 2 months. Although it was devastating, I am quite relieved as I've come to learn that ER is not where I want to be right now. That being said, how do I approach this in my resume and interviews? Should I even put it in my resume as work or as skills? I have learned so much and gained skills that I believe can be useful on the floor, but how do I go about professionally mentioning this (if I should) if I am asked about it during an interview? Thank you! Dear Devastated, You should never leave out relevant jobs in a resume for the purpose of misleading an employer. Even though it was a short tenure, not including it in your resume carries a risk. Nursing is a small world, and you can easily run into someone later on who you worked with during those 2 months. Discovering you were not truthful on your resume after you're hired could result in losing your job. While it can place you in an unfavorable light, when it comes up in an interview, you can mitigate the damage. Plan and rehearse your answer- not to the point of sounding scripted, but enough to control what you say during the interview, and avoid getting off-topic or overly wordy. Keep it brief. Over-explaining makes it look like you've done something wrong. A simple explanation such as "it wasn't a good fit" is best. Never blame your previous employer. Keep it positive and indicate that you learned from the experience. Control the narrative. At every opportunity, segue to the positive and to the future. "I look forward to working in an organization that shares my values" (be sure you know the mission and values statement). I hate to tell you this, but 2 months experience in the ED is not going to carry much weight, experience-wise, with a MedSurg hiring manager. Experience for a new grad begins to count at around 1 year. In their minds, you are not a nurse with 2 months experience, you are a new grad. Submit plenty of applications and practice your interview responses. Start your job search today!
  13. In order to get a leg up on the competition you need to employ strategies that will help your application float to the top rather than sink to the bottom. The goal is to get your application to the desk of a nurse recruiter and ultimately a nurse manager who is doing some actual hiring. How do you get your application into the hands of someone who can make a difference? If you are looking for a strategy to get this done, then you have come to the right place. How To Land a Nursing Job If you are a new grad, getting that interview with the nurse recruiter is especially challenging. Hospitals receive hundreds of applications from new grads each year so your application may not be seen by a human for weeks if not months. That is why I have a method for dealing with this that I call, "The End Around" The traditional sequence of procuring employment as a nurse goes like this: Submit application and wait Wait some more Interview with HR/nurse recruiter Interview with nurse manager If all goes well nurse manager offers you the job The End Around Inside secret: There is a little known fact that in many hospitals in this country a nurse manager can contact HR and have a specific application pulled. For you the job hunter, this is good news because it provides a way to get your application on the desk top of someone who can help you out. What you need is a way to get face time with the nurse manager. When that door opens you need to be prepared, act swiftly, act confidently, and act with purpose. Preparation is key: 1. The first step in the process is doing your homework. Things you need to have prepared in advance are: 2. An abbreviated resume. Keep it to one page or less. If you are a new grad, accentuate attributes that would make you a good fit, but again keep it brief. 3. Do your homework on the hospital and unit you are targeting. Know what types of patients they service. What is the unit's mission statement? What type of committees do they have? What awards has the unit received? 4. Learn something about the nurse manager. What awards has the manager received? What projects is the manager involved in? How long has the manager been with the organization? 5. Take what you learned about the unit and the unit's manager and craft a brief cover letter highlighting attributes you have and how you would be a good fit. Again, be brief. Keep it to a page or less. 6. Get some business cards. Nothing fancy, all that is needed is your name, phone number, and email address. Options range from buying business card stock for your home printer, to ordering a box from Vistaprint for as little as $6 for 25 cards. The reason to include a business card is that there is a possibility your card could sit on the managers desktop for quite some time. A business card sitting on the desktop is like a billboard advertising your name. For this reason to not staple your business card to the resume. 7. Get some decent clothes together. You don't need a business suit yet, but business casual is a must for when the plan is put into motion. 8. The next step is to actually try to arrange for face time with the nurse manager. This is where the unit's secretary comes in handy. The direct strategy: The direct strategy is to simply show up at the unit you are targeting armed with your resume, cover letter, and business card. The unit's secretary is usually your first point of contact. The secretary is your best resource to find out the location of the manager's office. If the secretary is especially friendly, it may be to your advantage to disclose exactly what your mission is. People naturally want to help, and if not too busy the secretary may blaze a path for you to the mangers door. If the secretary is not helpful, be resourceful and strike up a conversation with a friendly looking nurse if there is one around. If this is not working then simply do what you have to do and find the manger's office and knock on the door. The goal here is to get your resume, letter, and business card into the hands of the nurse manager. The pitch: The manager is not expecting you and may not have much time. Be ready to make your pitch in one minute or less. If it is good you may get more time, but you need to stick your foot in the door when it is cracked open. Tell the manager why you are there and how much you want to work on the unit. Butter up the nurse manager: Complement the manager on something you learned while doing your homework. Mention that you have an application in HR and that you would like to leave your resume, letter, and business card. Once you have handed the manger your docs, mission accomplished. Be sure to thank the manger for taking the time to talk to you. State your name one more time and say you hope to speak to the manager again sometime in the near future. Mission accomplished: If the manager is actively hiring for the unit, you are already ahead of 90% of the competition because your docs are on the mangers desk.
  14. Nurse Beth

    Revamp your Resume

    No matter what a fantastic employee you would make, if your resume does not immediately impress, you may never get the chance to show them. An ineffective resume gets tossed in under ten seconds in a competitive environment. Along with your chance of an interview. So how do you make sure you impress in such a short time? Succinct Here's a number one problem with resumes. Verbosity. Read the following two versions of the same message below and vote in the comments below for your favorite version. Number one? or number two? 1. "Many, and some would say most, employment resumes are detailed, lengthy renditions and descriptions of the applicant's prior and previous responsibilities, accomplishments and endeavors designed to impress the reader with the use of designated trendy words and terms commonly used by many other similar applicants in their industry in addition to the use of extensive and complex sentence structures for the purpose of making the applicant sound smart." 2. "Most resumes are too wordy." Simple, right? Beware verbosity. Lose the cliches, buzzwords and fillers. They do not add value or meaning. The average length of a resume must be no more than one page, two pages, tops. That one page should succinctly show your skills and strengths. Visually appealing Avoid dense blocks of text with balanced use of white space to make it easy on the eye. Your resume must be visually restful, not too loud on the eyes. Loud meaning the use of italics AND bold AND underlines AND font mix AND CAPS. Use standard fonts such as Tahoma or Arial- they translate on all computers. Use bullet points judiciously for emphasis and to draw the eye. Headers should be consistent in boldness, use of capitalization, and level of importance. Headers, bullet points and indentations need to be precisely aligned throughout. Perfect There must be zero typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Your potential employer may see errors as an indicator of future careless performance. Have two or three people with eagle eyes review your resume. Watch out for "their" and "there" and other spelling mistakes spell check may not catch. Cut and Delete Skip lengthy descriptions of your clinical rotations if you are a new grad. It's a given that you attended school, and in so doing, met your clinical hours requirement. An exception is if you did a senior practicum in the speciality area you are applying for, or at the targeted facility. By the same token, skip long descriptions of duties if you are an RN. Skills such as "starts IV" and "completes care plans" do not set you apart. Do not include your GPA unless it sets you apart (3.75 or above). You can skip the "Objectives" statement or "Summary" statement unless it's something other than "seeks job" (see "verbosity" above) or variation thereof, because it's self-evident. A Performance Summary or Qualifications Summary is best used by an experienced nurse. Update Including "References on Request" is outdated. The employer already knows they can request references and doesn't need a prompt to do so. If your email address is aol.com, change it to firstname.lastname@gmail.com Include your LinkedIn url. Go back 10 years max in your work history. If you wish to conceal your age, do not put college graduation dates. Of course your age can be discovered, but you do not have to make it prominent. You may also want to read Age Discrimination in nursing. Keywords and Customize Use keywords from the job posting to match keyword scanning software and to show that your skills match their needs. It's all about you meeting their needs. Tailor the resume to the employer. Do not blast the identical resume out to 100 different employers. What are their mission and values, the major service lines? Every and by that I mean, every, employer is looking for employees who will be a good fit. Find out if they are for-profit, or are they community or faith-based ? Are they actively expanding service lines, certified in disease-specific care (stroke, chest pain)? Are they seeking magnet status? Magnet hospitals in particular value advanced nursing degrees, speciality certifications, and Shared Governance. Were you a unit based council member or leader? A hospital applying for Oncology Program accreditation needs oncology certified nurses. Hospitals with an accredited Primary Stroke Center need nurses with NIH Stroke certifications. Faith-based organizations seek nurses with the same values. Were you ever a Prayer Partner? Active in your church? Format Top load the most important information, such as your qualifications: RN license, BLS, ACLS, to make it easy to spot. Consider a functional/skills based or combination format rather than a reverse chronological format if your work history is sparse. Many recruiters agree that these are easier to scan and provide information that is needed instantly. Functional/skills based resumes highlight the skills that they are looking for. The format could look something like this: Qualifications, Certifications and Education Skills Volunteer Experience Work experience Past Work Experience Make past work experience relevant by including desired skill sets. Working as a waitress shows your experience in customer service and more so if you were voted Best Waitress or always got the most tips. Include it. Patient satisfaction is highly important to all Medicare reimbursed employers. Show how you can help them with that. Give Examples Examples are really stories, and stories are remembered and powerful. For example, rather than saying "reliable" say "worked 2 years with no call-offs"- that will get their attention and speaks to your work ethic. I hope these tips help make your resume relevant and most of all, I hope you land your dream job! Best wishes, Nurse Beth Related Articles How to Prepare for Your Interview How to Answer "What's Your Greatest Weakness?" Are You Cut Out to be an Emergency Department (ED) Nurse?
  15. It's Spring and it's New Nurse Graduation Time! Last week I attended one of two New Grad Banquets hosted by my hospital for the graduating classes of our local colleges. This one was for our community college ADN program (my alma mater). The purpose of the New Grad Banquets is to celebrate new grads and for the students to meet us and get a sense of what we stand for. At the same time, we begin to identify the stand out candidates. We are looking for new grads who will be a good fit. CONGRATS! and welcome! The conference room, located at a very nice local hotel, was beautifully decorated. Round tables were dressed in floor length heavy-weight white tablecloths with shorter square black overlays. Black folded napkins stood upright at each place setting. Red twist-wrapped hard candies were strewn for accents. Each table had a centerpiece tent placard printed with the name of a nursing unit- ICU, ED, MedSurg/Oncology, MedsSurg/Peds, L&D, etc. Students could sit at any table they chose, and table-hop. Encircling the room were long, narrow tables featuring trifold conference style poster boards showcasing each nursing unit, to encourage circulating and conversation before dinner. Large colorful banners with our hospital name, logo, and mission statement swooped down from the ceiling. The first hour was to meet and mingle. Our hospital's Versant Program Director, Nurse Recruiter, CNO, Nurse Managers, Directors, and Educators were all there to congratulate the nursing students. And to make mental notes. We are looking for new grads who will be a good fit. After awhile, the Nurse Recruiter announced that dinner was served and said a short prayer. Seated at my table, I focused in on our group and listened. They all had such interesting stories of why they had chosen nursing, and how they overcame challenges to get through school. Each one inspired me. Sitting back and surveying the room, I noticed the same animated conversations going on at every table. The room was chock full of bright, fresh young people. You could feel the positive energy. But I know that fewer than a handful of these bright young candidates are going to land a job in acute care within the next six months. What separates the successful candidates from their peers? Here are two stand out candidates I met, and my uncensored thoughts (in bold). New Nurse Grad STAND OUT Candidate A I met Javier, whose wife had delivered a baby that morning in our hospital! Now you certainly can't plan that kind of attention-getting event, but it definitely worked in Javier's favor that night. It's their first, a healthy girl, 9lbs 12 ounces. His mother-in-law urged him to leave as both mom and baby were doing well, and to attend the banquet. Wise mother-in-law. Javier is on the quiet side, a big guy with an open face and humble demeanor (he's teachable, he listens well. Non-entitled. He'd be appreciative to be selected ). He gave the impression of solid. Steady. Family guy with family values. A good fit The Program Coordinator and I texted back and forth later about Javier (all names are covered by the hearts). I'm sharing the texts to because hospitals do compete and pursue new grad nurses who stand out. Right or wrong, first impressions count for a lot when hiring. Javier made a good first impression because he is authentic and genuine. His values are a good match for ours. New Nurse Grad STAND OUT Candidate B This young woman wowed! Ashley approached our table with her hand extended, introduced herself, and shook everyone's hand. We were all still talking about Javier's baby. Ashley hadn't heard yet that Javier's wife had delivered. She instantly teared up, which I could tell embarrassed her a bit. (OK, a spontaneous cryer. I get her. Like me) Turns out Ashley has children of her own, so it was a mother moment. We bonded. Warm and assertive and nice... a good fit First impression: outgoing, confident, spontaneous. Ashley seated herself and asked us some well-planned questions. "Does the hospital support nurses who go back to school?" (do we ever! what days do you need off?) "Your Peds unit is imbedded on MedSurg. Do you plan to expand?"(she knows about us. Did her homework) "I want to go on and get my NP. Do you think it's important to get MedSurg experience?" (smart, smart girl- she shared her future goals while asking our advice) Ashley came to the banquet prepared and with purpose. She understood that this was a working dinner, and she worked it. Turns out she is President of her Nursing Class (why was I not surprised?). My uncensored thoughts: The window for Versant applications has not even opened yet at our facility- no matter! Don't wait for her app-do whatever it takes to hire this young woman. Do not let her get away. Call her in the morning. New grads who stand out and are good fits have the best chance of getting hired. YAY!! We found some awesome new grad nurses! I hope my uncensored thoughts help you understand what's important to hiring type folks. And the very best of luck to you in landing your first nursing position. But you need more than luck! You need to prepare. For example, how can you make your resume stand out?
  16. Congrats, you graduated nursing school! What a huge and happy accomplishment. While I do not know of a nursing resume service, there are some important guidelines for successful resumes and cover letters. Resumes Here are some key articles written here on allnurses Creating a Resume with 1 yr experience Give Me a Chance, I'm a New Grad How to Land a Job as a New Grad Revamp Your Resume Landing That First Elusive Nursing Job Cover Letters Limit your cover letter to one page, with three to five or six short paragraphs, in a pleasing layout with ample white space. White space provides contrast to dense text and gives your reader bite-size information a little at a time with a visual and mental break in between. Readers are more likely to leave their eyes on a document that provides visual respite. Use keywords from the job description. Application-tracking software (ATS) is programmed to pick up the keywords, skills, and experience for the job. #1 Avoid cliches and buzzwords (detail-oriented, team player) #2 Cover letters and resumes must be error-free. Grammatical errors are seen as an indicator of careless performance #3 Set yourself apart. Do this by making yourself memorable; give an example that shows what a good fit you'll be.. Remember- words tell, stories sell #4 Have a beginning (reference the position; if you know someone in the organization, mention it here) middle (show how you're a good fit), and an end (positive with call-to-action or next step) #5 Do not use "To Whom it May Concern". Find out the name of the hiring manager Close with a call to action Interviews You must also start preparing for your interviews because your well-written and focused resume is going to land you interviews 🙂 How to Answer "What's Your Greatest Weakness and What NOT to Say" How to Answer "Tell Us About Yourself" Hope this helps and good luck!
  17. As you begin to put together your cover letter and resume, it is important to understand what nurse recruiters are looking for in a potential candidate. Here are five essential components to make your nursing resume stand out from the rest of the competition: Make it concise and professional The first thing recruiters look for in a nursing resume is exceptional writing skills. In fact, if your writing skills are not exceptional, you may not even get past the automated screening software that many healthcare facilities use to weed through applications. Since communication is an imperative part of a nurse's role, facilities invest in programs that toss out hundreds of applications that are incorrect and/or incomplete. Be sure to keep your resume professional by avoiding specialized fonts, colors and images, and sticking to a maximum of two pages in length. Emphasize your skills and strengths Including job-specific skills and strengths is a sure way to help a nurse recruiter easily determine if you meet the desired skill set of the position that they are looking to fill. Remember those automated software programs I mentioned above? - They also look for these keywords! Hint: things such as Effective Communication, Strong Work Ethics, Teamwork, Safe and Effective Patient Care, Bilingualism, Computerized EHR Documentation Systems Experience, Quality Assurance Knowledge, Leadership Experience, and Ability to Articulate Critical Thinking Skills are some of the most desired attributes of a nursing applicant. Don't be afraid to highlight your skills and strengths - these are what makes you stand out above the rest! Highlight your accomplishments Be sure to Include all academic and nursing related achievements. These can include: awards, honors, internships, and academic or professional works that you have received recognition for. These items will provide the nurse recruiter with a sense of your personal drive, and will certainly catch their attention. If you are a member of a professional nursing organization such as the American Nurses Association or the National Student Nurses Association - be sure to include that information as well. Provide a recent and relevant employment history Since recruiters sift through hundreds of resumes while searching for a qualified applicant, make sure you provide a concise employment history that directly relates to the position for which you are applying. This helps the recruiter quickly determine your experience level. For example, if you have previously worked in a doctor's office as a secretary, and at a fast food restaurant as a line cook, you should list the doctor's office experience first. Be sure to include the dates of each position held, and provide a brief detail of your job roles and responsibilities. Include three professional references with recommendation letters Professional references are essential for the nurse recruiter to obtain information regarding your character and performance ability. There is a lot of controversial discussion about whether or not you should list professional references on your resume, however, I've always done so. In fact, when I've been in positions of interviewing potential candidates, I've always looked to see who their references were. Sometimes having really great references previously listed sends a clear message to the nurse recruiter that you are confident in your ability and that you are ready for immediate employment. Remember that professional references include professors, clinical instructors and direct supervisors only. Be sure to ask for letters of recommendation that you can submit to the nurse recruiter or nurse manager upon their request. Do you have any tips that you'd like to share for new grad resume building? What's your experience with completing online nursing applications? Have you learned any additional information from another source regarding cover letters and resumes? Please share by leaving a comment below!
  18. tokyoROSE

    How I Got My Dream Job!

    I have been waiting to post this for a long time! I hope this information will help anyone looking for a job. Some background info - I graduated with high honors December 2011, got licensed February 15th. I had applied to a couple places before getting licensed, but did not seriously look for a job until I got my license. I must have done 20 applications, getting no response and/or rejection letters left and right. This is nothing compared to how many applications some of you have done, but nonetheless I was down and hard on myself because it seemed like most of my classmates have gotten jobs. I kept on thinking, what is wrong with me? I graduated almost near the top of my class! I volunteer! I (think) my resume and cover letter rocks! Then one day, I read a post on allnurses.com that absolutely changed my life. In that post, the author details all the strategies they used to score six job offers, and they are not "conventional" methods. I learned that I must get out there and make something happen for myself because sending in the good ol' resume does NOT cut it anymore! Read the post because the strategies are outlined very well there. I will share with you how I personally used those strategies here. On the weekend of March 3rd and 4th, I went about getting information and sending out emails. The key is to contact the director of nursing (DON)/nursing supervisor/nurse manager of every unit in every hospital you want to work at. 1. Search for Contacts I started out just searching for names and emails. Google became my best friend. This strategy works best when the hospital is well-known and has many publications on the internet. I got tons of information on the largest hospital in my state just by reading their annual nursing report, going back 5 years. Lots directors, supervisors, and managers were on there. 2. Search for Names and Phone Number If I could not locate them on the internet, I would call the hospital switchboard and ask for the unit. I would ask the unit clerk, "Can I have your DON's name and phone number?" I didn't want to be transferred because the NAME was most important to find their email address. Luckily the unit clerks often gave me the full name. Sometimes they would give me the first name and phone number. I didn't want to sound like a stalker, so I thanked them and carry on. I would call the number during lunchtime on the weekends (none of the DON's were in their office!) so it would go straight to voicemail. The voicemail will say, "Hi, you've reached so and so..." Sometimes I had to call two or three times to make sure I got the right name. I would verify that this was indeed the right person by, again, Googling them. I got 90% of DON names this way. The large hospital was easy, the smaller facilities are a bit tricky. There was this one facility that only gave me the first name and the DON was sitting right there so she picked up the phone. I panicked and hung up! But don't think that was the end of that (ha!) I Googled her first name and the hospital name together. I did not get the DON's full name but I did find that my clinical instructor, with the same first name, works at that facility as a charge nurse. SUCCESS! I email her and ask her to forward my info to the DON. It helps that I was very successful in my clinicals and she basically turned into another reference for me. 3. Search for Email Now that you have the DON/supervisor/manager's name, you need to find their email. This part can be tricky if you are not familiar with the organization's email system. With the well-known organization, it was a piece of cake because I knew how their email worked. For the ones I didn't know, I scoured their website to look at examples of emails. You can also Google it. Some formats that I ran across for "Jane Doe": doej@hospital.org, doeja@hospital.org, jdoe@hospital.org, janedoe@hospital.org. Taking it one step further, you can use Verify Email Address Online - Free Email Verifier - Free Email Address Verification to verify your email. Keep in mind that this is not 100% accurate as it did give me false negatives and positives. **If you have access to the hospital database, use it! I volunteered at a hospital and didn't think to get in there and look up the emails until after I had already done this detective work. I did verify the info I had with the database, however. It showed that my detective skills were ON POINT! Hehe. 4. Contact by Email Once I had their email address, I wrote a short but precise email about how I'm interested in working for their hospital and unit. The format is almost like a cover letter. You must SELL yourself. I attached my cover letter, resume and a couple letters of recommendation. One thing to note about resumes is that I believe you should keep it to ONE PAGE. But that's just me. Remember, I did this on the weekend. On Monday, I received THREE replies! One said that she did not have a position open, however, the other two said they will work with the nurse recruiter and schedule an interview. I was too excited. Throughout the week, I got various replies, from "I suggest you apply with HR" to "I anticipate an opening in the future and will keep you in mind". IMPORTANT No matter the reply, you must send an email thanking them. You never know what they can do for you now or in the future. Then on Wednesday, I got the THREE calls from HR to schedule interviews. I scheduled two interviews that Friday and one the following Monday. It is so important to be prepared for your interview. Study the organization's vision, mission and values. Practice answering questions. Some questions I got were: Tell me about yourself. Strengths/weaknesses Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What kind of patients do you like? Name some interventions you've carried out. I got scenarios of patients and how I would react. For example, you walk in to Mr. X's room and see him collapsed on the floor, what do you do? The most difficult questions are "Tell me a time when you..." You must study these questions beforehand because they are difficult to come up on the spot. Luckily they are quite predictable questions. One's I got are, tell me a time when you.... made a mistake, went above and beyond for a patient, have conflict with coworkers/classmates, how you manage stress. The key to this questions is to be positive. When you tell them the mistake you made, tell them how you learned from it and moved on. The worst is to tell them that you've never made a mistake. Be honest! Talk about your passion for nursing, how you are a patient advocate and will put them first. Come prepared with at least 10 questions. Asking questions show that you are beyond "interested in the job". You need to know if you would be a good fit for the organization and for the unit. My interviewers were very impressed at what questions I threw at them. Make sure you have the questions memorized, it does not look good when you have to glance down at your paper to read off the questions. Other interview tidbits is to be on time. I cannot stress this enough. If you are not familiar with the hospital, you must go there extra early. Parking and walking to the hospital/floor can take up quite a bit of time. You could even do a test drive the day before so that you are 100% sure where you will be the following day. Dress professionally and conservatively. I put my hair up, used minimal makeup, minimal jewelry (pearls), black pants, black blazer (this looks sharp on everyone), and 3" pumps (nothing more than 3 inch, seriously, wear those when you are going out, not at a job interview). I brought extra resume's in a black leather folder and left everything else in my car. After the interview, I wrote thank you letters to everyone that interviewed me. I wrote different letters to everyone on the same floor. You don't want to look lazy using the same message. Results I got "the call" on March 19th, two weeks from when I started contacting the DONs. I received two offers that day and another offer a couple of days later. I officially accepted an offer today and learned that it has a $3,000 sign on bonus. Say what?! I am so, so blessed. I don't know where I would be if I had not stumbled on that original post. I'd also like to add that I was turned down by a nursing home and home health position. I was praying every night that something would happen. This was my answer. I always had faith that God has a plan for me. I firmly believe I got turned down because there were better opportunities out there. God is good! how-I-got-my-dream-job.pdf seeking-work-email-letter.doc
  19. You worked hard on your resume and applied for jobs that spoke to who you are as a nurse. You received a call and landed an interview. Now what? How do you prepare? What type of questions will they ask? Most hiring managers use behavioral interviewing techniques these days. The idea behind behavioral interviewing is simple: the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. This means that the hiring manager will ask questions that require you to think about past situations and how you handled them. They want you to tell them details about your behavior in an effort to predict how you will handle yourself in their workplace. These questions will be open-ended questions followed by as much time as you need to describe your actions. How to Answer Behavioral Questions Behavioral interview questions can challenge your brain. You must think about specific situations and quickly pull out the necessary information to answer the questions. Below are a few quick tips to use when answering behavioral interview questions: Think about the skill they are asking about and answer their question specific to that skill. For example, if they ask, "Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a team member and how you resolved it?", they want you to understand your ability to work in a team and your conflict resolution skills. Try to keep the story relevant to these two skills. Describe the event or situation with as much detail as possible. The manager wants to know the situation in order to understand how you responded. Be specific. Avoid concepts. Tell them about your behaviors and what made you choose that particular way to handle the situation. Don't talk about the behaviors of others. The only exception to this rule is in the case that it helps tell the story about how you reacted. Just make sure to bring it back to your response and not the behaviors of others. Don't be critical, talk about others, or tear down others in your story. The hiring manager wants to know who you are as a person. If you start talking about others negatively, they will quickly start thinking this is how you will handle yourself in their workplace. Talk about the actual situation and how you responded. If you feel you should have handled yourself differently, tell them that after you described the situation. Be honest. Don't skip over or embellish details. Use the S.T.A.R method when telling your story: Situation - Describe the situation. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand what happened. Task - Describe the task you needed to accomplish. Action - Tell them the action you took. Keep the focus on yourself. Don't tell them what you might do, tell them what you did. Results - Let them know how the situation was resolved. What happened? What was accomplished? What did you learn? How to Prepare for Behavioral Questions Many people think there is no way to prepare for behavioral interviews. I mean, how exactly would you be able to know what questions the hiring manager will ask? While you can't know the questions that will be asked, Wayne State University offers these quick tips for preparing for behavior-based questions: Think about 6-8 situations from your past where you demonstrated top workplace behaviors or skills. This could be teamwork, discipline, patient care, or leadership. Use the S.T.A.R. method to organize your thoughts around these situations. Half of these situations should be positive. Think about your accomplishments or how you met your goals. The other half should be situations that started out negatively but ended positively. Or, with the best possible outcome, given the situation. Use various situations. Draw from past jobs, volunteer experiences, or just life in general. Use recent examples if possible. Review your resume before going into the interview. This will help jog your memory. Review the job description for the job you applied to and think about the skills needed to succeed. Behavioral interview questions can rattle your nerves. They are designed to make you think. Give yourself time to think through each question and what they really want to know. Try to organize your thoughts before you answer, so you're not rambling. Some people struggle with 'selling' themselves, even in job interviews. Do you have a story about a behavioral interview or question that went well? Or, maybe you have a story about an interview that went awry. Whatever your story is, we would love to hear it. Put it in the comments and get the conversation started.
  20. Hi! So I am fairly new to allnurses, but I figured this would be the place to go for help on deciding what to keep/throw away on my resume. I graduated in May with my BSN and have been working at my first nursing job at a hospital almost an hour away. Since starting almost six months ago, I have recently been looking into applying to places closer to home now that I have actual nursing experience under my belt. I worked at Hooters for about a year while in college, and have been debating whether to remove it from my work history or not. A few family members have mentioned that maybe that was part of the reason I didn't get many interviews after graduating, but I feel it's related to lack of RN experience. And honestly, if an employer really doesn't want to give me the chance to show how great of a nurse I am based on the fact that I was a waitress at Hooters, then maybe that's not the place for me anyway. My work history consists of the following from newest to oldest: RN (present job), Nurse Extern (for a few months), waitress (Hooters), and two associate positions at local shops. Should I keep the RN and nurse Extern position only? Or keep Hooters as well since it really does show a great deal of customer service experience? I have had various opinions from friends and family so I figured ID get the opinions of actual nurses 🙂 Thanks in advanced for any and all advice! Newbie-RN
  21. Getting your PALS will not directly help you to land a non-ED, non-Peds position in acute care. Actually, while most new grads amass certificates, the are helpful only in that they show initiative, not subject mastery. Hospitals provide PALS, ACLS and other training and certificates required for the job. What will help far more is to craft a resume that will help you to land interviews, and to prepare for your interviews. Here are some resume tips I hope will help. Resume Resumes are not about you. They are about the employer and showing the employer that your skill sets and qualifications meet their needs. Do some research so that you can target your resume to the employer. For example, are they faith-based or for profit? Magnet status or seeking magnet status? Perhaps they are growing a service line, such as oncology services. These things are good to know going into an interview, but also when composing your resume. It gives you an idea of what they are about and how to show that you are a good fit for them. Resumes should be visually appealing, blending white space and text. Avoid dense blocks of text. Use a standard 12 pt font in Arial or Tahoma which works across all computer systems, nothing artsy. Make sure your layout is pleasing to the eye. Headers should be uniform and help the reader navigate. Your resume should be one-two pages in length, and error free. Hiring managers assume that if your resume contains careless errors, you may be a careless worker. Yesterday I read a resume stating "In response to your job posting of July 30, 2025". Proof your resume once and then twice. Then have someone else proof it, because your eyes may not see your own errors. Until you hit "Send", that is. Avoid over-used terms such as "detail-oriented", team player" Avoid listing basic nursing skills and lengthy descriptions of clinical rotations. They do not serve to set you apart from every other candidate Use keywords from the job posting Use bullet lists for emphasis and interest Be sure your email address is professional (firstname.lastname@gmail.com; No princessleah or 1coolchick@aol.com). Highlight previous work or volunteer experiences that showcase skills the employer needs. For example, did you exceed in customer service as a waitress or bartender? Include an example in your resume, as examples are remembered. Once you land an interview, you're on your way! Now you can WOW!! them in person. Be sure to read these articles for some great interview tips. Uncensored Thoughts of a Nurse Interviewer How to Answer "Tell Us About Yourself" How to Answer "What's Your Greatest Weakness?"
  22. 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
  23. Melissa Mills

    10 Tips for Resume Readiness

    Nurses should have their resume in working order at all times. Whether you are actively looking for a new opportunity or just warding off bad job mojo, it is important to stay on top of changes on your resume. Below are 10 quick resume tips that will keep your nursing resume in great shape no matter what may happen tomorrow. Proper Contact Information Ensure your resume includes the best contact information before sending it out to hiring managers. If your personal email has "sexy nurse" or similar phrases in it, create a new email just for the purpose of getting a new job. Make sure to include a phone number that has voicemail capabilities set up so that you don't miss out on opportunities. Don't Use Resume Templates Be sure to create a one-of-a-kind resume. Templates may look generic and often fail to highlight your skills. Your resume is the only shot at getting an actual interview with the nurse manager. It needs to be eye-catching, current and easy to skim for details. If you are uncertain how to create a unique resume, hire a career coach or resume writer for assistance. It will be money well-spent. Lead with Qualifications The use of an objective statement is no longer the best way to get the hiring manager's attention. Objectives focus on what you want. At this point in the game, you are trying to be a solution to the staffing problem the nurse manager is experiencing. You want to highlight your skills and qualifications to attract their attention when reviewing your resume. This section should offer a picture of what you have to offer through the use of a narrative statement that includes your goals, specialty area, level of experience, and credentials. Highlight Your Skills Provide a keyword-rich bulleted list of your skills. This can provide a snapshot of who you are as a professional. Be sure to include your specialty, training, and certifications. Showcase Your Experience If you have many years of nursing experience, this may be easy. Include details of the facility and units where you have worked. If you are newer to nursing, it is okay to include details of your nursing experiences from school and any clinical or preceptor experiences. If you worked in a healthcare role while in school, include those roles. This shows that you have some diverse experiences that may help in your new nursing role. Capture Your Return If you have been working in a non-related field and are re-entering the nursing field - no worries. Instead of listing your resume in chronological order, simply break it into 2 sections. Call one section "Nursing Experience" and the other "Additional Work Experience". This allows you to bring the older, nursing experience towards the top of your resume even though it may be older than your additional work experience. Degrees and Licenses Make sure you always create a specific section for Education. Be sure to include any honors, awards, scholarships or fellowships you have been awarded. If you are a new grad, include your GPA, if it is impressive. Also include all licensures and certifications you hold. Never provide your nursing license number on your resume. Once invited in for an interview, the hiring manager will likely gather this information from you at a later date. Keep it Positive Most nurses start looking for new opportunities when they are unhappy with their current employer for a variety of reasons. No matter how bad or justified your views of your employer may be, don't include your opinions on your resume. Once you are given the opportunity to interview for the position, you can share with the hiring manager your challenges at your current employer. Always proceed with caution when discussing previous employers in a negative light. Demonstrate Your Performance Don't simply list your past employers. Be sure to detail your contributions to each employer. Provide statistics or data if possible. Be sure to include any of the following: Positive contributions to patients, coworkers, families or the community Participation on boards, councils or committees Presentations given Creation of new programs or services Skills you were known for, such as patient advocacy or IV skills Contribution to audits or accreditation visits Roles such as trainer or preceptor Awards received Talk to your References Now References are no longer included on resumes, but if you get invited in for an interview, things may move quickly. Be prepared Contact 3-5 professional colleagues who are willing to provide a professional reference. Obtain their best contact information, including both phone and email. Keeping your resume up to date can be challenging. If you are in a role you enjoy, you will likely allow your resume to collect some dust. It is best to keep it in good working order at all times.
  24. UPDATED ARTICLE @ Resume Tips: Perfecting Nursing Resume, Cover Letter, Online Job Applications Look at your resume! I was taught in LPN and BSN program how to prepare a resume. Is this a lost art being skipped?? Also agree with our BB members that calling facility and finding out who is department manager, then forwarding your resume to them along with hr is great idea. I work in smaller organization than hospital but has taken me over two months to get open positions advertised and three weeks to get resumes sent to me...those that sent to me directly have interview same week. Resume Writing updated links 1/3/2011 Resume writing and interview tips for nurses from Univ. of Pennsylvania: Job Search Prep: Resumes, Cover letters & Interviews Resume tips for nurses Sample resume for a nurse Final cut: Words to Strike From Your Resume Cover Letters for the Resume Cover Letters That Sell - this article contains an outline and guideline of what each paragraph of a cover letter should contain Cover letter mistakes you should avoid c. Interview Advice Learn to Answer Difficult Interview Questions You are interviewing the hospital too: Questions for Management Positions: If I called a member of your current staff and asked them to tell me about you, what would they say? What actions would you take if you came on board? How do you lead? What's your secret to getting subordinates to follow you? How do you motivate employees? How do you reward employees? Describe your management philosophy and management style. Some managers supervise their employees closely, while others use a loose rein. How do you manage? How have you improved as a manager over the years? How many people have you fired? how do you go about it? How would you deal with an employee who broke a policy (ie: late for work)? How would you deal with an employee who was not open and honest in communication? It is very hard to attract (critical care, er, or, ob etc.) nurses to this area. What are some strategies you Might use to have enough qualified nurses to be sure patients get quality care in the facility? What single professional event made you most proud to be a manager/leader? What event made you least proud to be a leader? In prior positions did you have budgeting responsibilities? If so, what was the size of your operating budget? Do you know how to figure fte's? What is your definition of empowerment? What is your definition of quality assurance (QA), and who should be responsible, for qa? Tell me about a time when your manager made a decision you disagreed with. What actions did you take and why? Tell me about a time when you had to handle a disruptive employee. what did you do? what were the results? Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an irate physician, patient, employee etc. how did you handle it and what was the result? How have you managed to foster a successful team in your past positions? What methods have you found successful in determining the priorities when you start in a new facility? What methods do you use to foster open communication with staff and management? Tell me about a work incident when you were totally honest, despite a potential risk or downside for the honesty. How did you handle a recent situation where the direction from above was unclear and circumstances were changing? Describe how you motivated a group of people to do something they did not want to do. Who is your most effective subordinate and your least effective subordinate? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? What have you done to develop each of these subordinates? Tell me about some of the people who have become successful as a result of your management. what was your role in their development? What are the major training and development needs of the people in your department? How did you identify them? What are you doing about them? Are there any techniques you have found useful in identifying particular subordinates' needs and potentials? Tell me how they worked with a particular person. What do you do differently than other managers? Why? Examples? What is the farthest you've had to bend your standards in order to succeed? What job duties would you like to avoid if at all possible? Describe a time in which you weighed the pros and cons of a situation and decided not to take action, even though you were under pressure to do so. All of us have been in situations where we assigned work to other people and they didn't do what we intended. Can you tell me about some of those? What were the circumstances and how did you handle it? Have you ever had problems in getting your subordinates to accept your ideas or department goals? What approach did you use? How effective was it? Have you ever needed cooperation from groups that did not report to you? What did you do to gain cooperation? What were the satisfactions and disappointments? Is there a trait or characteristic about you that you find is frequently misunderstood, that surprises you when you find out that people think that about you? What 3 things do you hope to accomplish in your first year? What do you expect of those who report to you? If candidate responds with a one word answer (for example saying, "support" you can probe further by asking the candidate to describe three behaviors that she/he would view as being supportive. If you had an unfavorable plan (I.e., budget) to implement, what would you do to get the managers' buy in and support? With the current nursing shortage, what are two solutions you would like to see put in place? What kind of support do you offer managers, directors and front-line staff, knowing the stress of the nursing shortage and the increasing acuity of our patients? Tell us about a high level innovative idea/change that you implemented. Was it or was it not successful? Questions to ask the employer: What unique challenges has this unit faced over the last year? (I.e. successes, failures, etc.) What sets this organization apart from it's competitors? How long is the orientation phase and what can I expect? Will I work with one preceptor throughout or will I have several different preceptors? How does the administration view nursing in terms of importance to the hospital? How much independence do nurses have in being creative problem-solvers? What kind of professional advancement is available to nurses here? What are some of the attributes of working for your hospital? If I were to get a job offer from another hospital, why would I want to work for this one? What is the criterion you will use to select the person you are looking for? What kind of support can I expect from the nursing educators and preceptors? How does the hospital handle new grads that might be slow in becoming oriented to their new jobs? How long have you been the manager of this unit and what is your nursing background? How many nurses have quit and how many hired for this unit in the past 6 months? How long have some of the nurses been working on this unit? Who will be precepting me? Can you tell me something about them? Will I always have the same preceptor or will there be more than one? Have you ever had a new grad who didn't seem to work out? How was it handled? If for any reason it seems that orientation is just not going well for me what will happen and who should I talk to about it? Questions about the following are illegal to ask at a job interview here in the US: your personal life (married, divorced, children) family planning pregnancy provision for child care religious preference club memberships height weight dependents age (birth date) ethnic background maiden name native language physical problems psychiatric problems spouse's employment and/or earnings credit rating home ownership automobile ownership Resigning from position Check your facilities policy and procedures--most require that you give notice equal to amount of vacation provided, often 2-3 weeks; long term employed rns can be 4-5weeks. Managers often need 1-3 months notice to be eligible for rehire -- Don't burn your bridges. Resign from a healthcare job gracefully Books: The nursing job search handbook
  25. You finished nursing school and passed the NCLEX. You are ready to land that first job. You sit down in front of the computer to hash out your resume.........crickets! You freeze. Do really have any skills to list? How do you make this look professional and get the attention of the hiring manager without a nursing job history? The American Nurses Association (ANA) recommends creating a well-structured resume no matter how much experience you have. This format may give you an advantage over applicants who don't put the time and effort into their resume, even if they have more work experience. The ANA says that an excellent nursing resume will showcase your education, career progression, professional skills, and significant experiences. Below are 10 tips you can use when creating your first nursing resume. 10 New Grad Nurse Resume Writing Tips 1. Structure and Organization Your resume is the first impression the hiring manager will have about your communication skills. Use proper spelling, grammar, and abbreviations. Consistent formatting throughout the entire resume is a must. 2. List Skills Even as a new grad, you have clinical skills. You probably completed a preceptorship where you were able to perform many clinical skills and procedures. Be sure to include a comprehensive list. You should also include a list of "soft skills". Soft skills are better known as social skills. These skills provide you with the ability to get along with others and be a productive member of the healthcare team. Common soft skills include: Communication Decision Making Time Management Self-Motivation Autonomy Adaptability Leadership 3. Think Like the Hiring Manager Resumes used to be created to list what you were looking for in a job. Today, you must create your resume to stand out to the hiring manager. Look at the job description and be sure to align your skills with those needed to perform the job in which you applied. 4. Choose the Best Headings You may not have much work experience to include and that's okay. Just make sure the headings you do choose tell the story of who you are was a qualified nursing candidate. Consider headings like, "Professional Affiliations" or "Awards" to showcase your experiences, networking skills, and achievements. 5. Describe your Training Include any specialized training you received. If your nursing program provided special training or experiences, be sure to list those. Include the name of the facility, department or unit name and specialty as well as the dates for any special training. 6. List all Awards If you received any awards or were part of an honor society, include this in your resume. Nursing school is hard. The hiring manager knows this too. They will understand the commitment and dedication you had to have in order to finish with any awards or honors. 7. Be Professional Getting your first adult job means you have to start acting like an adult (well, at least while at work). Be sure to have a professional email address. Do not use an email that references hot nurse or other inappropriate terms. Do not include pictures, lists of hobbies or interests on your resume. And, the hiring manager already knows you can provide references, so no need to list this on your resume. 8. Create a New Resume for Every Job You Apply To Even if you are applying to similar types of job, be sure to make your resume to specific to each job. The best way to do this is to create a standard resume. With each job you apply to, create a version that aligns well with the job description or job posting. This will increase the chance of your resume making it through the automated computer system and into the hands of the hiring manager. 9. Be Specific You want to stand out, right? The easiest way to do this is being specific with each skill or experience you list. If you completed a 4-week preceptorship on a med-surg unit, be sure to include details about the number of patients you cared for each day, skills you performed, and any other details that help the hiring manager understand your specific skill set and success. 10. Include Past Work Experience While you do not want this to be the focus of your nursing resume, there is no reason to not include a bit of your past experiences. If you held any jobs that are healthcare related, include this with details of the work you performed. If you have never worked in a healthcare field, include soft skills such as leadership, multi-taking, and communication skills to showcase your diverse skill set. Creating your first resume is exciting and maybe a little scary. Take your time and be yourself. Showcase who you are through the way you craft your resume and skills. Are you struggling with how to create a good resume? Have any specific questions? Or maybe you have some other great tips for new grads creating their first resume. Share in the comments, we would love to hear your thoughts.