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Why are my resumes ignored? For 2 Years?

Nurse Beth   (219 Views | 0 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

19 Followers; 108 Articles; 237,210 Profile Views; 2,121 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,

I have been a Nurse for 5years. I have experience in telemetry, pre & post cath lab recovery, iv certified, bls, acls, and critical care bedside. I have been trying to breakout of bedside and get into the ED. I have been submitting resumes for the last couple of years but I don't even get picked for an interview. What am I doing wrong? Is there something I can do to stand out? ED was always my end goal in nursing but I can't seem to get there. Can you help?

Dear Needs Help,

You are a nurse with 5 years of solid experience, and you never get a response to resumes.

Here is where nurses who are golden, like yourself, either fail to stand out or shoot themselves in the foot by not understanding what recruiters look for.

I get that.

Nurses are not trained to interview successfully or compose winning resumes. That is why I wrote my book, below, because I saw so many nurses like you who can't get noticed.

Your resume must be pristine in all ways. You should have 2-3 people with good editing skills look at it for spelling, grammar and syntax. In your letter above, you do not capitalize BLS, ACLS or IV. There should be a space between 5 and years. As a nurse manager, and having no other frame of reference, I may assume you are careless in your nursing practice. Unfair? Maybe. But true.

But think about it- your resume is the ONLY picture they have of you. And you have approximately 6 seconds to grab their attention.

As a hiring nurse manager, the most appalling mistakes I saw were resumes sent to my hospital with the name of another hospital in the cover letter or resume. This happens when people are sending out mass applications.

Another red flag is the person whose dates of employment don't match or don't make sense. In that case I would assume they were careless or hiding something.  I would wonder if they could do medication calculations correctly when they couldn't add up dates of employment correctly.

Visual Appeal

If another equally qualified applicant submitted a grammatically correct resume, I would call that person.

Let's say that's not the case, your punctuation was perfect, and you are still getting rejected. It has to be visually appealing.

Overall length should be 1-2 pages, tops, with smart use of white space to make the information pop. Notice how in my response to you I include white space because it helps the brain read and process.

Use one standard font, such as Arial or New Times Roman. No serif (tails) font, nothing artsy and font size 12- nothing smaller than 10.5


Do not put "references on request", it is outdated and unneccessary.

Likewise, if your objective statement is "seeks employment as a dedicated professional" or anything close to that, leave it off. It is wordy, redundant, and self-evident. Read 


Make sure your email contact info is professional, for example, JonesA@gmail.com and not Blinglover@Hotmail.com. 

I have so much more to help you in my book and in articles here at allnurses. To stand out, you need to learn how to tell a short story in your resume and cover letter. You need to be the solution to an employer's problem.

You need to target each market hospital differently and individually. I guarantee you, with your work history and a stellar cover letter and resume, you will absolutely get noticed.

 Best wishes, my friend

Nurse Beth



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