Crafting a Great Resume

Build a Great First Impression

Your Vita Health Staffing Relationship Manager will help you through the entire candidate process, starting with crafting a professional candidate profile based on your resume.

The resume and candidate profile plays a vital role in securing appropriate assignments for you to apply.  With travel nursing becoming more mainstream, so is the competition for great assignments.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and your resume is the first opportunity to introduce yourself to a hiring manager.

An effective resume will detail how the skills and qualifications of a candidate will fulfill as many of the preferred qualifications of the job as possible.  And this must be accomplished without crowding the page of the resume or offering irrelevant information that would make it difficult to determine a candidates suitability.

While some hiring managers might reject candidates who don’t have all of the stated qualifications, most understand that the only person who is an exact match for the open position is the person that just left.  Most Hiring Managers utilize the job listing as a guideline and not necessarily a required checklist. If you find yourself short of meeting the state qualifications, you should still apply and over deliver on your interview!

You won’t get 100% of the jobs you don’t apply for.

An applicant tracking system uses computer algorithms to scan your resume and rank it through an automated process.  This means that your resume has to first rank well in the automated process to have the potential for a human being to see it.  Most employers use an applicant tracking system to weed out unqualified candidates, which means only the top ranking resumes will be seen be the hiring manger.  So while your resume needs to be appealing to humans, it has to first contain the right information to be ranked by a computer.  The best way for a candidate to match, is to have the content of the resume reflect the qualifications stated in the job description.

Here are some basic guidelines in the art of resume writing.

1.     Utilize basic fonts in black and white.  Nursing is a technical profession relying on clear and concise communication of information.  Your resume should demonstrate that skill.

2.     Your resume should be custom crafted to secure the assignment by using the same key words in your resume that are listed in the job description.  It’s likely that a hiring manager or recruiter will utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS) to narrow down qualified candidates.  ATS uses algorithms to search data and find matches.  To make sure your name is among the chosen, you’ll want your resume to closely mirror the description and listed qualifications of the job.

3.     Pay attention to details by using proper grammar and vocabulary in your resume.  Just as you are expected to be detail oriented in your assignment, you’ll need to demonstrate that same attention to detail in writing your resume.  Using proper grammar shows that you are meticulous, and you cared enough to invest the time to demonstrate your proficiency.

4.     Combine bullet points and action verbs when discussing your skills.  Hiring managers spend very little time reading resumes.  You’ll need to get your point across quickly.

5.     Your resume should be as concise as possible.  Employers expect to see a long list of work experience from Travel Nurses, but only list relevant and recent NURSING experience with a few noted bullets about your accomplishments at each job.


Composition of the Resume

Every Resume should have these sections:

The Resume Header:
The most important think on the resume is YOUR NAME.  Listed it in large font at the top of the page along with your phone number, and a professional email address. (Create a professional email address specifically for your search if you don’t have one.)

Education & Training:
List your highest level of education, then work backward. Do not list high school information.  Also list any formal training that you have received.

Employment Experience and Travel Nurse Experience
List your most recent or current employer first, and work backwards.  (If you have any employment gaps, be prepared to address that.)

Certifications and Licenses:
List any state(s) licensing info or advanced certifications. 

Awards and Accomplishments
Go ahead – brag on yourself a little.  No one is a better advocate for yourself than you.  List your  relevant achievements in the nursing industry.  These achievements may include recognition of academic achievements; work related awards; scholarships, fellowships or grants.

You can also list professional organization memberships in this section along with any roles you may have filled in the organization.  If you have accumulated a lot of awards and recognition, be selective and list the most prestigious awards that are most applicable to the job you are seeking.

And if you still have room on the page(s), be sure to list any research, volunteering, or academic writing you’ve done.  These are a reflection on your character and your willingness to assume leadership in non-clinical roles.

Proofread….Read it word for word

When you think you are done, read it word for word.   You’ll be amazed at how our brains fill in missing words of sentences or how our eyes read past mis-spellings.  So read your resume word for word and process every word.  Then ask a friend to proofread it.   The resume should be perfect.

Talk to your Vita Health Staffing relationship manager to help you craft the perfect resume for the dream assinment.

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