Are you graduating from nursing school soon? If so, you need to start working on your resume to submit to potential employers. Many new nurses do not have any job experience in the health care field and are afraid this may hurt their chances for employment.
In this article, I am going to give you some resume tips on how to make your resume look the best even if you don’t have job experience. In addition, I am going to give you some tricks on how to highlight certain categories of your resume to it look just as desirable as a nurse with experience.
In this article you will learn about:
- Importance of a resume and cover letter template design
- Categories to include on your resume and how to highlight them
- Importance of a cover letter
- Letters of recommendation
Video on Resume Tips for New Nurse with No Job Experience
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Resume Tips for New Nurses
Make or buy a professional looking resume! The design of your resume is very important. You want to make sure it is pleasing to the eye, has color, organized neatly, and unique to you.
You can create your own resume template or purchase a nice design that stands out among the competition. Resume templates are relatively inexpensive. Here are some resume templates with matching cover letters we have to $3.99. You receive 10 resumes and matching cover letters (instant download) which are customizable for you to enter your information.
Watch for misspelling or errors! Always proof-read and get someone to look at it as well. It is so embarrassing to misspell something on a resume and you don’t want to look unprofessional.
Include categories that accent your skills! In your resume, you can include whatever categories you want, but make sure you include categories that highlight your skills. For instances, did you graduate in the top of your class or have a high GPA. If so, include this information. In addition, list any volunteer time in a healthcare setting, job shadowing, or summer jobs (this will show you have held down a job).
Lastly (which I think is the most important for new nurses without job experience), is to list your clinical time under “experience”. This will show you have experience because you do. Here is an example using one of our templates:
Sell yourself in your cover letter! The cover letter is your sales pitch to get the manager to look at your resume and call you for an interview…so make it good. I suggest writing 1-2 sentences highlighting your extensive clinical experience during nursing school. Be sure to include any complex tasks you performed and specialties you had clinicals. Then, end with a sentence about being highly motivated and willing to learn.
Include a letter of recommendation from a clinical instructor! This should be a clinical instructor or a registered nurse you worked with during clinicals. Ask them to highlight your work ethic, nursing skills, patient interactions, and attitude during clinicals.
Still in nursing school? If you are still a student, I suggest trying to get a PRN (as needed) job as a nursing assistant. This will allow you to build your resume and possibly easily transition to a registered nurse position when you are ready to graduate. This happened to me and I had an easy time getting a job after nursing school.
Don’t get discouraged! Many employers are looking for new nurses and some even prefer new nurses over nurses with experience. I’ve talked with several nurse managers who said they preferred new nurses because they don’t have bad habits formed yet and can be trained easier. Plus, they tend to bring a fresh “pair of eyes” to the unit and help see things others don’t see.
You may be interested in: “Nursing Resume: A Job Guide for Nurse”