Healthcare is the largest employer in the United States. Over 16 million men and women work as nurses, doctors, and home health aides, and the industry continues to grow. Analysts predict healthcare jobs to expand by 15% through 2029, which is a much faster growth rate compared to all other industries combined. With so many opportunities for employment, it’s time to freshen up your resume.
Your healthcare resume has three primary objectives that it must cover. The document should clearly state the healthcare position you are interested in, your education, and experience. You also need to format the information so the hiring manager can make a decision in under five minutes. That’s the average time hiring managers spend looking at the average resume. No pressure at all, right?
Getting your resume into the hiring manager’s hands is the first step. Once that mission is accomplished, your information must be organized, concise, and aimed at the role for which you are applying. Use these pointers when developing your healthcare resume before you send out the first volley.
How to Organize Your Healthcare Resume
Your resume will be easier to read if you put the information into various sections. Think of a menu at a restaurant. The place you’re seated at may have fifty to a hundred selections, but the information is spaced out and organized for easier reading. For resumes, it’s best to keep all the information to one page if possible. Use the following sections with proper formatting to make your healthcare skills and education stand out.
Name and Contact Information
State your full name, city and state, and a phone number where you can be reached. Include a professional email address and social links if appropriate.
Spend time writing a summary that will catch the eye of the hiring manager. Your goal is to infuse keywords into a short paragraph that also illustrates your experience, desirable characteristics, career goals, and industry accomplishments.
Good keywords to use include terms that are relevant to the position. Examples include caseload, computer skills, grant writing, patient and staff relationships, staff management and budgeting, scheduling, payroll, knowledge of medical procedures, and patient charting.
Here is an example of a resume summary you can use to construct your own:
“Experienced Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) with hospital nursing experience in ER and trauma units. Seeking to leverage my training to fulfill the new role of Emergency Room Nurse. Compassionate, professional, and quick-thinking, with the ability to remain calm under pressure. Capable of delivering consistent patient-centered, quality critical care in all emergency room situations.”
Skills and Qualifications
Hiring managers want to know that you have the knowledge and certifications necessary to qualify for the position on offer. Make the information bite-sized for easier reading. Bullet points work best. At the very least, use small paragraphs and sparse wording to list your most valuable accomplishments, characteristics, and career goals.
To find the skills most relevant to employers, start searching through job ads. Pay attention to the skills employers want most when writing your resume. Make the best skills prominent and your resume may just catch a hiring manager’s eye.
Don’t be afraid to list skills that aren’t necessarily healthcare related. Skills like open communication and customer service are applicable to medical professions across the board and may be attractive to a hiring manager looking for a healthcare professional like you.
Be consistent when listing out your last few employment positions. State your position and the name of the company you worked for, as well as any duties, skills, and achievements you feel are relevant. Put the most recent employer in the top position and work your way down chronologically.
Use the same job listings to find out what scholastic accomplishments you should list, including degrees, certifications, and licensures. Be thorough by including the dates along with descriptions of your schooling and training, but be concise by using bullet points for easier consumption.
Even if some of your education or certification seems irrelevant to the position, list your schooling anyway. You will also want to describe every professional certification and license you’ve obtained in the past. Include the name of the license, the certifying body, the certification number (when applicable), and the date you obtained the license or certificate. Listing your educational achievements on your resume is your opportunity to show off, so let your accomplishments shine!
Healthcare Resume Formatting
You don’t have to be a master at typesetting to create an appealing resume. Microsoft Word, Open Office, and other word processors have resume builders you can use. Your resume does not have to be fancy. A professional black font against a white background is best. Go with a simple and conservative design with easy-to-ready fonts if you hope to boost your chances of succeeding. You may also want to test different designs to see which ones gain the most traction.
Customize Your Resume for Each Submission
When submitting a resume to a healthcare employer, always tailor the information to the position at hand. Sending the same resume to multiple employers can make your skills and education appear generic. Employers who are looking for specific skills and educational degrees will prioritize the resumes that highlight that information. Use keywords that are pertinent to the position and list the skills and education that are common among top employers. The more your resume aligns with what employers are seeking, the better your chances of jumping ahead to the next stage in the hiring process.
Don’t Forget a Cover Letter
Sending a customized resume and cover letter can be time consuming but may be worth the effort. A cover letter is a must if you hope to make a good first impression. Hiring managers consider resumes without cover letters to be a big red flag. A cover letter makes your resume appear professional, but it also specifies where the information should be directed.
When writing your cover letter, use the same header as the one listed on your resume. State your full name, address, phone number, and email. Include the date of submission and the hiring manager’s name exactly. Use Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks to identify the hiring manager. If you can’t find the manager’s name, call the organization for assistance. The more personalized you can make your cover letter, the greater the odds of having it read.
The letter should be used to greet the hiring manager personally before delving into why you are the right fit for the job. A good use of your cover letter is to embellish on all the bullet points you listed under your accomplishments, skills, and education. You also have a chance to show off your excellent writing and communication skills.
Your letter doesn’t have to be long, but it should be enticing. Your goal is to sell yourself enough to make the hiring manager want to learn more about you and your qualifications.
Proofread Your Resume Before You Submit
Hiring managers like to see well-written resumes that are completely free of errors. Spend the extra time to edit your healthcare resume after every change. When you are tweaking your resume and customizing the information for each position you apply for, little mistakes can happen. Spelling and grammatical errors can occur and formatting can get wonky. CareerBuilder found that more than half of all hiring managers will discount a resume that presents a glaring error.
Most word processors have spelling and grammar checkers built in. Companies like Grammarly make software that can edit your documents using AI. You can ensure even the tiniest of errors will be caught by giving your resume to someone else to read. Sometimes an extra pair of eyes can comb through the information enough to catch case errors, grammar inconsistencies, and the occasional spelling flub.
Start Submitting Your Resume
A healthcare resume written with the above elements can give you a significant advantage over applicants who don’t put in the required effort. Once you have your resume polished and ready to submit, start knocking on doors and sending your resume to employers online. You can also partner with ProLink Healthcare. We have resume specialists who can help you bolster your resume with the right keywords and terms to garner success. We can help you tailor your resume and seek out the right positions to make getting you hired a very real possibility. Get started by speaking with a dedicated account manager today.