Is your resume updated? If not, it’s holding you back. From patient care to technical proficiency, there are so many facets to working in the healthcare industry. And showcasing your abilities in a strategic way will play an integral role in helping you land your next career opportunity. 

It’s no secret: the healthcare field is extremely competitive – even in the post-pandemic era. Did you know that recruiters and hiring managers spend a mere six to seven seconds scanning your resume before deciding whether it’s worth delving into or tossing into the reject pile? Yikes.

It’s crucial to remember that your resume is a powerful marketing tool. When crafted properly, it serves as a way to showcase your education, skills, experience and qualifications in a compelling and relevant manner. By modernizing your resume, and regularly updating it,  you can make a strong first impression and improve your chances of scoring that job you’ve had your sights set on. 

Here’s how –

Make Your Mark: Start with a Strong Professional Summary

Your resume should open with a 3-5 sentence professional summary, consisting of strong, pithy statements that encapsulate your skills and experience. The goal is to communicate your value to prospective employers in a quick and effective way. You’ll want to include details like facility designations, years of experience, awards or recognitions, managerial experience and relevant skills that’ll help paint a clear picture of why you’re an ideal candidate for the role. 

Here’s an example to help get your creative juices flowing:

Compassionate registered nurse with 8 years of clinical experience specializing in emergency room care. Strong patient advocate and excellent communicator who drove a 23% increase in positive patient outcomes by implementing a new follow-up system in my previous role. Successful in delivering acute care, prioritizing tasks, and exercising sound judgment. 

You should also create a skills section to highlight key differentiators, such as IV management, patient triage and proficiency with particular EMR software systems. It’s also advantageous to demonstrate technical abilities, as it communicates that you are evolving your skillset as the industry adopts new, cutting-edge technology. 

Keep it concise: no more than 7-10 max, in two to three columns center-justified, bold text.

Quantify Accomplishments & Use Powerful Action Words

To make a compelling case for why you’re a good fit for the role, reflect on your strengths and accomplishments and draw parallels to why they’re relevant to the specific position you’re vying for. Leverage positive adjectives, quantifiable evidence and powerful action words to help your potential employer understand how you’d add value to the organization. 

Be sure to invest some time in researching the hospital or facility to understand their mission, values and goals. You can lean on information gleaned from your learnings to demonstrate your interest in the position and how your experience aligns with what they’re looking for. 

When delving into your previous experience, strive to quantify your responsibilities and achievements whenever possible. Here are a few examples of how to leverage numbers and showcase measurable outcomes on your resume:

  • Triaged patients entering the ER, expediting treatment for patients needing immediate care by 35 minutes. 
  • Led community outreach program and provided education on early signs of overdoses, decreasing the rate of drug-related overdoses by 8%.
  • Developed a medication administration training program for nursing staff that decreased medication errors by over 75%.
  • Supervised staff of 10 RNs and 7 CNAs in delivering chemotherapy and procedural assistance in an Oncology clinic. 

You should also include elements (where applicable) like public speaking, professional memberships, training curriculum created and delivered, presentations given, participation in CQI and experience collaborating with interdisciplinary teams. 

Tailor Your Resume to Align with the Prospective Role

Before you apply for a position you’re interested in, review the job description carefully. This gives you the opportunity to understand points of emphasis and keywords the employer is utilizing. As mentioned earlier, also dig into the employer’s website, their social profiles and any recent news or media mentions. 

Once you’ve digested this information, revisit your resume to ensure you are including relevant keywords and only highlighting skills and experience that are relevant to the organization’s needs and values. You want your resume to speak specifically to individual job openings, where needed, to make a persuasive and powerful argument for your candidacy. 

Flaunt Your Flexibility and Adaptability

Covid-19 brought unprecedented challenges to the healthcare landscape. And while everyone’s experience during the pandemic was unique, the majority of healthcare professionals were forced to shift their mindset and working style to be more patient, flexible and able to adapt on the fly. 

These skills are incredibly valuable. And if you had to implement creative solutions during such chaotic and uncertain times, it’s worth including on your resume. For example, maybe you had to figure out how to transition your in-person care to a virtual-based environment. If so, how did you approach the problem? What was the outcome? Did you acquire new technical skills? Reflect on your time navigating the healthcare field during the pandemic to ascertain whether or not there are noteworthy experiences and learnings to convey. 

Take the Next Step in Your Healthcare Career 

When it comes to landing a new career opportunity, always strive to be thoughtful and intentional in how you present yourself to a prospective employer via your resume. Illustrate why you’d be an asset and paint a clear picture of how you’d make a valuable addition to the hospital or facility’s team. 

At Polaris, our healthcare recruiters have the expertise needed to help you move forward in your career. Contact our team today to discover how we can help you achieve your professional goals.