Working as a registered nurse offers qualified candidates the opportunity to enjoy a profitable and rewarding career in a clinic, healthcare establishment or hospital. Employers evaluate you based on the quality of your resume, and an improperly formatted resume reduces your chances of being called back for an interview. Choosing the best resume format for a registered nurse depends largely on the skills and experience you can potentially offer the medical establishment.
Differences Between a Functional and Chronological Resume
Functional and chronological resumes each have their own strengths and weaknesses. The format you use depends largely on whether you have years of experience or have recently graduated with minimal clinical experience. A functional resume offers the best resume format to display your abilities and unique attributes. It’s ideal for people who can demonstrate a strong educational background and potential but who don’t yet have significant work experience in a clinical setting. In contrast, a chronological resume focuses on your work history while still providing information about your personality and abilities that make you suited for the position.
Sections to Include in a Registered Nurse’s Resume
Both functional and chronological resumes typically start with a summary statement to outline your skills and abilities as a registered nurse. In the past, it was often recommended using a resume objective. A resume objective doesn’t provide information about medical procedures or patient care experience you possess. A summary statement includes a statement about your medical experience, two to three relevant skills and a glimpse of your personality. Keep the summary statement less than six lines, and concentrate on your most proficient medical skills.
A chronological resume includes a listing of your work experience followed by a related accomplishments section. End the chronological resume with your educational information, certifications and skills. Certifications and special skills typically are listed under the educational information section.
If you’re creating a functional resume, proceed to create a profile section that discusses your experience, capabilities and skills. As a registered nurse, discuss your experience working with patients. Give the employer a glimpse into your ability to effectively juggle multiple responsibilities, such as taking vital signs, maintaining accurate medical records and performing basic medical procedures. Discuss any certifications you have, and write the section in paragraph form. Additionally, list a summary of your skills, professional experience, employment history, education and any related computer skills or medical certifications. Write each of these sections with a subheading, and use bullet points for each item.
Selecting the best resume format for a Registered Nurse
Choose a functional resume if you have gaps in your employment history, limited work experience or frequent job changes. The functional resume offers the best resume format for college graduates since it takes the focus away from work experience and provides the ideal format for discussing your medical training and knowledge of medical procedures. The functional resume puts an emphasis on the skills, abilities and education that you can bring to the medical profession.
The chronological resume offers the best resume format for people who have significant work history. If you have less than a few years of work history, the functional resume provides a better option for you. Regardless of the type of resume you use, ensure that all of your information is concise and to the point. In general, follow the guideline of creating one page for every 10 years of experience.
During the process of putting your resume together, LiveCareer has several helpful tools, templates and community support features that can help with the process of creating your registered nurse resume.