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Building the Perfect Resume

Follow these tips to create a resume that will open doors.

There are many ways to apply for a position today - or just to get your name in front of the people making hiring decisions even if they don't have an immediate opening. Whether you apply online, go to a job fair, network on LinkedIn, or use snail-mail, somewhere along the line you are going to need a resume.

You should have a resume template that includes every detail of all the positions you've held, your school, continuing education, projects, volunteering, goals and accomplishments. From this document you will select the most pertinent items to include on the resumes you distribute to different people.  For example, you can highlight your leadership skills if applying for a supervisory position, and highlight your clinical skills for a staff position.

In this special download*, created for ADVANCE Insiders**, we'll walk you through the basics of creating a killer resume and provide samples of resumes for new grads, a chronological and a functional resume.

 * If you're having trouble downloading the file, make sure you have the latest version of Acrobat. You can download it at - click on Download Reader. It's free and safe to add to your computer.

If you're still unable to download the file, turn off your computer's "Pop-Up Blocker," or temporarily allow for pop-ups. 

**Becoming an ADVANCE Insider is easy. By clicking on the link above you will be taken to a form asking for some basic information. You need to fill out this form just once. In return, you will have easy access to many exclusive offerings.


I have been speaking to nurses (students in BSN and NP programs and expereinced nurses) on resume writing for the past 15 years, and I tell them that most resume writing consultants advise against the traditional objective as they frequently are "not informative, vague, trite, canned and self-centered".
Instead, I advise them to focus on what and who their prospective employer needs and wants and then show how you match it and provide it in the rest of their resumes. They can use the job ad to guide them in what to say in the objective replacemnt section about what they can offer the employer (that is, only if they can truly and honestly deliver on it).
And, I tell them to use a different word than "objective" as it has a bad reputation of being self-centered and vague.
For example, I advise they call it a "competency" or "focus" and say somethng an employer would be interest in, like, for an experienced ICU nurse:
“Four consecutive years of critical care nursing practice providing critical care to surgical, burn and trauma patients in large urban academic medical centers”.
Or, for a new graduate nurse:
"Professional Summary: Advanced beginnner practitioner with extended supervised clinical experience in a peri-operative baccaluerate student nurse internship providing peri-operative care to diverse patients. Knowledgeable of and expereinced in cardiac rhythm interpretation, basic clinical assessment and critical thinking skills and earned Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) providership."
Additionally, I always advise them to steer clear of the "adult" email addresses -like "partygirl@yahoo" or "nutbuster@aol" that send the wrong image of extracurricular activities.
Also, to get technical" in nursing and other academic roles, the section on education comes before experience, but it really does matter in the long run.
The example resume provided in this web article is always appreciated by neophtyes who want to know it should look, but I would:
1. delete the objective;
2. correct sequence of education section (make it first), and,
3. list either CPR or BLS alone and not together since they are two different names for the same thing.

Robert August 22, 2011
Baltimore, MD

Tips look good but the format was so small I had lots to trouble reading them.

Debora Tyler,  NPJuly 29, 2011

Never have too many ideas for a good resume. Good tips. Definitely will utilize.

Colleen Somers,  LPN,  Tall Pines care and RehabJuly 28, 2011
Show Low, AZ

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