Nursing Resumes- Top 5 Tips!

Resumes – The New Thing Nurse Top 5 Pro-Tips

By: Sarah K. Wells, MSN, RN, CEN, CNL

Are you still looking for your nurse dream job? Your resume will be your ticket in!

Oh nursing! You are so amazing! A 3-day work week! Getting to work in your PJs! Endless job security!! However, finding the job of your dreams starts with a job search. The ticket to any new position is that resume, and I know everyone loves pulling their resume out to update it.

My name is Sarah, and I own New Thing Nurse, an academic and professional services company for the nursing community, and I have seen a lot of ugly nursing resumes. Some are too wordy. Others are too long (7+ pages is NOT ok). Many don’t have enough information. I’ve seen resumes without a person’s contact info or any clinical experience listed. **INSERT SCREAMING EMOJI FACE HERE** Below are my Top 5 Pro-Tips to keep your document comprehensive, eye-catching and concise!

1. Make sure they know who you are & how to contact you.

  • Always include your full name & credentials at the top of your document in BIG, BOLD FONT. You want the person reviewing your document to know exactly who you are & what credentials you hold.


  • Make sure that your phone number, email & mailing address are current & at the TOP of the page under your name.
  • They can’t make you a job offer if they can’t get a hold of you!

2. Use a Professional Summary.

  • The professional summary is located just under your name & contact info at the top of the page. This is a paragraph that is an introduction to what kind of employee you are going to be for a potential employer.
  • Use this as an opportunity to highlight your experience. Make is STRONG. Make it CONVINCING. This is frequently the main piece of the resume that an employer will read. Make it COUNT.

EX: Bachelor’s prepared nurse with 5 years of acute care experience seeking a challenging clinical environment. Experienced leader who excels working with diverse interdisciplinary care teams. Passionate patient advocate who wants to be the next stand-out member of your nursing unit.

3. Keep it concise.

  • Keep your resume to TWO PAGES OR LESS.
  • If you have 20+ years of experience, that’s great! You don’t need to list it all. Most employers are just interested with the last 5 years of professional experience. If you have an impressive project or position that you held in the more distant past, consider weaving that into your professional summary.
  • If you are a new nurse, you might not have a lot to put on your resume. Consider using your clinical rotations in place of professional experience. However, try to keep your resume to 1-2 pages. Don’t feel the need to put in a lot of filler just to take up space.

4. Make it neat & pretty.

  • Use easy to read fonts & don’t clutter your resume with too many words or graphics. The average reviewer looks at your document for less than 30 seconds. If you’re document is too busy, you can be sure that they will skip right over to the next applicant’s.
  • Triple check for typos & misspellings. Get a 2nd set of eyes to look over your resume before submitting it.
  • Color is totally acceptable, but do not take this moment to use the entire rainbow. This is a professional document that needs to be eye-catching, but not eye-punching. I always recommend color-schemes with 2-3 colors maximum in a pleasant palette.

5. Make sure that your info is current & correct.

  • Ensure that all the information provided is up-to-date & correctly listed.
    • Avoid leaving time gaps in your professional experience.
    • Try not to list things out of order.
    • Ensure that your educational info is correct.
    • List all CURRENT Don’t list them if they’re expired.
  • Make it as easy for the reader of your resume as possible to get the most accurate information about you through a quick glance over your resume.

If you follow these tips, it is hard to go wrong. Have more questions? Never be afraid to seek out more advice. New Thing Nurse is always available to help with all of your resume preparation needs!

Happy job hunting!

–  Sarah @ New Thing Nurse

About the Author – Sarah K. Wells, MSN, RN, CEN, CNL an educator, speaker, blogger and owner of New Thing Nurse, a professional and academic coaching company for the nursing world. New Thing Nurse is organized to provide support and guidance to aspiring nurses, newly graduated nurses, and veteran RNs looking to make a change in their life. Whether it’s a new school, new job or new idea,

New Thing Nurse wants to help with your new thing!

Contact: Sarah K. Wells, MSN, RN, CEN, CNL

Email: [email protected]

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