Tailoring the resume for the unit

Nurses Job Hunt


Hi everyone,

I will be graduating this May with my BSN and am applying for ICU positions. I am revising my resume and am thinking of including my clinical experience that is related to the ICU. For example, at the end of the resume I would include this:

Clinical Experience

¨ Experience with chest tubes, ventilators, ventriculostomies, and medication drips

¨ Familiarity of the care of patients with sepsis, congestive heart failure, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, myocardial infarction, diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, and different types of shock

¨ Clinical experience in oncology, orthopedics, medical-surgical, emergency services, intensive care, psychiatric, and community health nursing

Would this be helpful information to have? I don't want to just include my clinical rotations or skills because I feel like that is very generic. Thanks!

Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

I'd put things that you want to stand out at the beginning of the resume. I've heard that sometimes hiring managers wont even read the whole resume, they look at the first page and skim it. I'd also put that in the cover letter too.

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

You don't really have experience with those things because you are a new grad. However, you have been exposed to them in your clinical rotations. It is an important distinction and important that you not give the impression that you A) think you are proficient in any of these and B) that you think the reader is stupid and easily fooled. You are a new grad. You have no experience, just exposure. Putting it down as experience is not wise.

Your resume is going to be pretty generic, as are all new grad resumes. Your cover letter needs to shine with what you were exposed to in clinicals and how you meet their needs for their new grad opening. If you were a CNA/PCT before or during school you can list experience with different types of precautions and some parts of direct patient care. Your interview if/when you get one is where you talk about your passion for ICU in greater detail and expose your sparkling "who would not want to work with me" personality. Being a good fit for the unit is the only thing you bring to the table ahead of other new grads, particularly if you didn't work in the hospital before or during nursing school. Your cover letter and interview are huge. Your resume isn't going to have a lot on it that is pertinent (and that is ok...it isn't supposed to). It is tempting to list clinicals as experience. Don't fall into that trap. Nobody will be fooled and your resume will be trashed. Wording is important.

Best of luck.

Instead of using words that describe what someone watches, you should use words that describe what someone does. e.g.:

Experience with = performed

Your interviewer will want to know what you have done.

Don't get too worked up over limited experience. The interviewer will not expect experience that is unrelated to a new grad position. Just be proud on paper to own your actions.

I hope this helps.

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