Your Resume

You need to choose a format that best showcases the successes of your career. Language in the resume should generate a sense of action, purpose, success, dynamism, impact, progress, results, and value. It needs to be organized, easy to read, focused, tailored to the job at hand, consistent in style, and relevant. Your goal is to separate yourself from the majority of candidates applying, to stand out and accurately communicate the values and talents you possess.



         Chronological is the most commonly used format - look to the right for example of order of content. We will review the components of the chronological type resume, as it is most commonly used.


         Functional format may be used to take the focus away from work history or to focus on specific areas of expertise hen an individual is changing functions.


         A resume differs from a Curriculum Vitale (CV or vitae), as it is a comprehensive biographical statement emphasizing your professional qualifications and activities. It is not the standard resume but a variation provided only when specifically requested, usually in pursuit of an academic or research position.


         Online resumes are often different than what you prepare when you are applying for a specific job. Look at multiple jobs that you are interested in and try to find the keywords that they use. Then, incorporate those into your resume. Many times, recruiters use computer filters to narrow down choices before they even look at a resume, so you want to make sure yours gets through.


Resume Content


         You should think about what message you are communicating- do you want to focus on your depth of experience, your years of experience, etc. Highlight the information on your resume that relates to what you are emphasizing.

         It should be a brief and focused marketing tool that conveys key credentials for future positions.

         Write it like a technical memo- dont use I statements and omit the articles such as the and a.

         It should contain pertinent information- no more, no less. Try to limit the content to one page unless you have certifications, publications, presentations, etc. to exhibit. You may opt to limit your information to the past ten to fifteen years, unless special circumstances warrant more.

         You should indicate the type of impact you have on an organization by using specific percentages, quantifying words and dollar amounts whenever possible to indicate savings, results, etc.

         Remember the person will be reading top to bottom and left to right so put the most important information in that order. If you want to focus the reader on the company, put that first in your position summary. If your title was more important, put that first.

         The reader scans your resume in the first 10-15 seconds. If you have captured their interest, they will invest time to continue reading your resume.


Resume Content sections

-  Name & Contact Information


-  Objective/Summary

o    Areas of expertise


-  Position Summary A

-  General Information

-  Value Statement

o    Strategic Contribution 1

o    Strategic Contribution 2


-  Position Summary B

-  General Information

-  Value Statement

o    Strategic Contribution 1

o    Strategic Contribution 2


-  Education


-  Advanced Credentials

-  (If applicable, include these sections)

-  Professional Development and Training

-  Licensures/Certifications

-  Technology Summary

-  Articles Authored

-  Presentations

-  Associations


Resume Components


Objective or summary

         An objective on your resume can be very useful when targeted and concise, but leave it out if youre afraid it may block you from certain positions. Make sure that it quickly defines what youre looking for in two or three sentences. Think of your objective as a headline, title, or a branding statement. It tells the reader in as few words as possible what separates you from other candidates.

         The summary describes in broad terms the unique qualities, talents, abilities that you have utilized throughout your career to create your success and the impact they have had on the organizations and departments you have led or been a part of. You will usually find it easier to write this after you have completed the experience section of your resume.


Areas of expertise

This is a bulleted section to draw the readers attention to your areas of leadership, knowledge and expertise.

Include clinical and general keywords in this section to increase the likelihood that your resume will be selected when an electronic scan retrieval system is used. Again, you will find it easier to write this section after you have completed the experience section of your resume.


Position Summary


         Each job summary consists of General Information, Value Statements and Strategic Contributions.

         Starting with your last job (if doing a chronological format), start with the general information. Write down your employer name, dates of employment, title and duties.

         Next, for that same job, replace your duties with strategic contributions. Identify your achievements and the underlying drivers. What has made you successful in your career? These accomplishments validate the statements and focus the reader on the impact these successes had. Measure results- think about your performance, and apply numbers where possible, using percentages, dollar signs and time qualifiers. Some questions to help you:

o    What is your most significant achievement?

o    What was your impact on the division, organization and group?

o    You can also ask colleagues and vendors for their input. For example, you could say, We had a great working relationship. What did you like best about working with me?

o    What would not have happened if you hadnt been there?

o    Dig through your old annual reviews and take note of what your supervisors praised you for.

o    Describe the challenge or situation you were presented with and define your impact. Quantify with numbers and percentages.

         Finally, summarize your contributions with a brief value statement describing your areas of success, accomplishments, value, and impact in each organization. Here are some examples of value statements.



Begin with the most advanced degree you have obtained.


Additional sections (if applicable)


         Advanced credentials

         Professional development and training

         Licensures / certifications

         Technology summary

         Articles authored


         Association memberships


Resume tips



         Use high-quality stationary and envelopes matching your cover letter.

         Use the same font as your cover letter.



         Put your contact information on the top of both pages of your resume.

         Write all aspects of the resume in active voice. Here are examples of action words.

         Write out numbers one through nine. Numbers 10 and up can be written numerically. Avoid the use of abbreviations, industry-related jargon and acronyms. Use an objective tone. Words that are overused, trite and self-congratulatory should not be used.

         As a rule, keep it brief and simple. Omit references, personal information and interests. Try to present your value, the who, what, where, why, how and when, all within thirty-sixty seconds of reading your resume.

         Avoid leaving gaps between employment dates. Its best to list jobs by year rather than by month.

         Look ahead and stay relevant- use key words reflecting the industry and profession you are targeting rather than from previous experience. Remove any outdated skills.

         Be factual. Employers have terminated employees for falsifying resume information.

         Focus on accomplishments, not duties. Instead of writing a list of job duties on your resume, demonstrate how each duty contributed to your organizations bottom line.

         In your objective statement, write about what you will provide to your employer, not what you want to provide.

         Avoid repeating information. If you performed the same tasks for more than one employer, you can eliminate it from one of the organizations. Focus on your experience from the last 10-15 years.

         Tailor your resume. Make it your job to know a great deal about the organization you intend to send your resume to. Know their needs and history and how you can help them. Highlight relevant skills and experience that address their needs.




         Proofread twice yourself and then have two other people check for spelling, grammar and facts. You may inadvertently type words that are not picked up by spell check. Check grammar, spelling and facts.

         Format in a simple way. Avoid over-usage of bolding, italicizing, exclamation marks, underlining, etc. When it gets translated to a simplified format that employers use, it often looks like a broken jigsaw puzzle, so keep your formatting clean and simple.

         If emailing, use Microsoft Word and send it to yourself first to make sure it looks professional.



Clinical Keywords


ADL assistance

administer medication


ambulatory care

ancillary provider

anesthesia support

bed assignment

bedside care

billing practices

care assessment

care plan

case review

chart review


claim assessment

clinical assessment

clinical educator

clinical expertise

clinical procedures

clinical protocols

clinical rotation

clinical specialist

compliance monitoring

data collection

diagnosis education

direct patient care

discharge planning

doctor's orders

dressing changes

emergency care


facility management

facility performance

floor assignments

homodynamic monitoring

infection control



medical delivery system

medical management

medical necessity

medical therapies

Medicare reimbursement

medication inventory

nursing care

nursing documentation

nursing operations

nursing research

organizational restructuring

patient admission

patient assignment

patient care

patient education

patient monitoring

patient outcomes

patient rights

patient rounds

patient safety

patient satisfaction

performance improvement

personnel management

physical assessments

physician negotiation

physician provider

physiological monitoring

policy adherence

practice improvement

practice operations

pre/post op


problem resolution

process improvement

product recommendations

project management

quality assurance

quality initiatives

quality management

rapid assessment

readmission reduction

resident care

resource utilization

risk management

room turnover

service standards

staff assignment

staff development

staff utilization

staffing requirements

state licensure

strategic planning

surgical consultation

task delegation

therapeutic relationship

transcribing orders

triage of patients

trouble shooting

utilization review

vital signs




General Keywords

built consensus

business development

change management

competitive market

corporate vision

cost reduction

customer attraction and retention

customer retention


department reorganization


infrastructure development


investor and board relations



long-range planning


Quantifying Words

business development



increasing productivity

market share increase



reduced overhead

revenue generation

sales/customer increase

shareholder value


Action Words

attain, achieved, acquired, adapted, addressed, administered, analyzed, anticipated, assembled, assisted, audited,


cause, create, communicate, calculated, centralized, changed, collaborated, composed, condensed, conducted, constructed,

contracted, converted, coordinated, created, cultivated,

direct, demonstrated, designed, developed, devised, discovered, doubled, drafted,

execute, edited, eliminated, enforced, established, evaluated, expanded

forge, forecasted, formed, founded

generated, guided

human capital development, hired

implemented, improved, informed, insured, interpreted, interviewed

launch, lead

maintained, managed, marketed, minimized, motivated


obtained, operated, organized, originated, oversaw

performed, planned, prevented, produced, programmed, promoted, provided, publicized, published

reconstruct, recruited, reorganized, reported, researched, resolved, reviewed

spearhead, selected, separated, set up, simplified, solved, surveyed, staffed, supervised

turnaround, taught, tested, trained



Value Statements

Visionary leader who... excels in process improvement, turnaround management, and business development strategies for international business, high tech and manufacturing industries.

Strategic planning expertise... in workflow prioritization, elimination of work redundancies, multi-organizational unit restructure and integration, maximizing workforce performance excellence, streamlining systems, and revenue generating productivity._

Dynamic senior executive with... expertise in leading reorganization and downsizing efforts, dramatically improving operations and successfully directing new product development.

Critical thinker with... a strong commitment to creating profitable systems improvements that exceed organizational objectives, by relying on business acumen and pioneering industry innovations.

Change agent with... decisive leadership strengths in building profitable relationships in global distribution planning, creating rapid execution systems, and protecting revenue and reducing costs.

Adept negotiator of... multimillion dollar new accounts, who has won expanded market share and improved profit margins to drive growth and revenue.

Spearheaded... programs credited with the creation of community-based resources, promoting involvement to produce positive individual outcomes.

Strong communicator

Persuasive negotiator who

Innovator of

Visionary with special expertise in

Respected leader of

Successful execution of

Strong entrepreneurial background

Dynamic manager

Accomplished executive

Extensive record in

Tactically proficiency in





On the following pages are two examples of quality resumes, as well as a page of keywords and other helpful resources in writing your resume. There are many tips out there about resume writing, but we wanted to give you a few good examples to get some ideas from.




Mary A. Jones


City, State Zip Code

Phone Number, Email



Master of Science in Nursing 1996

ABC University School of Nursing

Town, State

Bachelor of Science in Nursing 1987

ABC College

Town, State





Registered professional nurse with 25+ years of versatile experience in operations, program development and administration. Excellent problem solver and communicator, skilled in building rapport between executive management and physicians. Demonstrated track record in building strong, cohesive teams and achieving profitable outcomes. Strong commitment to healthcare, nursing and quality initiatives including patient safety and patient rights.


Vascular Program Manager
, Department of Surgery
ABC Hospital, Town, State 2002-present

        Oversee the start-up of the Vascular Care Unit including renovation of existing space to accommodate new unit, development of unit admission criteria, pilot testing and implementation of documentation tools.

        Coordination of unit and multi-unit performance improvement activities, leading to improvement in lower extremity assessment and monitoring, improved pain assessment and increased patient satisfaction.

        Meet with staff formally and informally to address unit issues and conduct the unit staff meetings. Availability of this unit has resulted in a standardized utilization of intensive care beds, greater continuity of patient care and an increase in patient satisfaction.

        Management of unit operations including bed flow, patient assignments and procurement of supplies and materials.

        Input into staff clinical performance, in writing recommendations supporting staff for clinical advancement and assisting with their development.

        Development of protocols, policies and procedures that have resulted in a decrease in complications and in length of stay and the improvement of managed care processes with individuals in the unit.

        Secure resources to support patient care and assure compliance with current standards relevant to a vascular patient population.

        Collaborate with physicians, nursing management and staff to establish effective relationships, working agreements and quality partnerships.



Manager, Emergency Department
XYZ Hospital, Town, State 1998-2002

        Management of day-to-day operations of Level 1 trauma center seeing 75,000 patients per year

        Provide direct leadership and supervision to staff RN's, LPN's, paramedics and patient care associates

        Recruitment and retention

        Staff performance evaluations

        Facility patient flow

        Involvement with design and implementation of redesign


Nursing Supervisor

ABC Health Services, Town, State 1994-1998

Supervision of healthcare team, caseload and office staff.


        Developed and implemented a successful training and in-service program for managed staff.

        Planned and coordinated all conference arrangements with professional staff.

        Directly responsible for agency operations in absence of Director.

        Assisted in the design for clinical development, policy and procedure manuals.

        Provided case management and clinical services to affiliated Hospital division.

Critical Care Charge Nurse 1990-1994

ABC Hospital, Town, State


Critical Care Relief Charge Nurse 1988-1990

ABC Hospital, Town, State



        State RN #R12345

        State APRN #12345

        Medical-Surgical Clinical Nurse Specialist, 1994, Re-certification 2001

        Cardiac Life Support (CPR) Certification 2002-present



        Society for Vascular Nursing, Award of Excellence, 2004



        State Chapter, Society for Vascular Nursing 1995-present

        ABC Hospital Pain Management Team 1995-present

        ABC Hospital Nursing Implementation Team, 1994-1995

        XYZ Hospital Nutritional Support Committee, 1992-1995



Mary A. Jones

Address, City, State Zip Code

Phone: (111) 222-3333 Mobile: (111) 222-3333 Email:




Registered Nurse Excellent Communicator Strong Team Builder

Extensive Clinical Experience Relationship Builder


Skilled trauma RN with extensive hands-on supervisory and clinical experience. Team player with strong clinical background and a passion for new challenges. Proven track record in effective management of shift scheduling and developing recruiting/retaining programs. Creative problem solver who thrives on building strong team environments and fostering open communications.



ABC Hospital, Town State

Level One Trauma Center Staff Nurse Neurosurgical Care Unit (2000-present)

        Responsible for care of critically ill patients, including open heart surgery and trauma patients

        Operate ventilators, cardiac and hemodynamic monitors; intra aortic balloon pump certified

        Assist in admission/transfer decisions when a trauma occurs

        Schedule staff for all shifts, matching skill level of nurses to suitable patients

        Develop and participate in recruiting/retaining programs

XYZ Hospital, Town, State

Registered Professional Nurse (1994-2000)

        Performed infusion therapy, insertion, chemotherapy, hemolytic, and apheresis administration and ambulatory care

        Primary nurse to infectious disease and pediatric services

ABC Health System, Town, State

Emergency Department Staff RN (1991-1994)

        Responsibilities included providing direct patient care to a variety of medical/surgical/trauma patients



Medical Staffing Agency, Town State

Registered Professional Nurse per diem (1988-1991)

        Performed staff relief to area hospitals in ICU, CCU, Burn Unit, Pediatric, Medical/Surgical, Neurology, NICU, ER, OR, and Oncology



ABC College - LPN (1983-1984)

ABC College - ASN-RN (1984-1988)




Certified in: ACLS, PICC Insertion, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Intravenous Therapy, Oncology Nursing,

Child Abuse and Neglect, Infection Control, Oncology Emergencies, Hospital IV Infusion, Home IV

Infusion, Ventilator/Respirator Therapy, Pediatric/Neonatal IV Infusion, Home Chemotherapy