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									                        Resume Writing – Nursing
     Allie’s story
     I found it more difficult to put my resume together than I expected,
     because I hadn’t updated it since school and I wasn’t sure how
     much information to put in and what I could leave out. Using
     Resume Builder via QUT Virtual helped me get organised and
     reminded me of some headings that I could use. It also made me
     realise that I’ve done more than I thought I had. I showed it to my
     mentor and some of my clinical placement supervisors and got
     feedback from Careers & Employment. It’s not perfect but I know
     there’s no “one right way” to do a resume. It’s a work in progress,
     and it will change as I get more skills and experience, and as I
     target different jobs.

Your resume should be a concise document of your relevant education, skills and experiences, and should
target the specific position you are applying for or the organisation you are sending it to.

The aim of your resume, application letter and other “paperwork” (ie your application could be hard copy
or could be electronic, depending on what the employer requests) is to interest the employer in what you
are offering, so that you are invited to an interview to provide more information.

Take a look at Allie’s resume on the next few pages to give you some ideas for your resume.
Keep in mind that this is a sample and is not the template for a perfect resume.
Your resume will be different as it will be a reflection of your own skills, experiences and presentation

Note the resume writing tips throughout, and check out the resume FAQs at the end.

                                         What should you leave out of your resume?

                                         The general answer is:
                                            • anything that is not relevant to the position
                                               you are applying for, and
                                            • anything that could prevent you from being
                                               offered an interview.

                                         This usually means information such as:
                                          Date of birth
                                          Marital status
                                          Whether you have children
                                          Religious background
                                          Health status
                                          Political affiliation

                                         For each section of your resume, ask yourself
                                             • Is this relevant?
                                             • Could it be perceived negatively?
                                             • Can I word this in a positive way?
                                         Get feedback, but if in doubt – leave it out.

Allison Smith’s Resume
473 Barrington Street
Red Hill Queensland 4059
                                                 RESUME TIP 1
                                                 Only include relevant contact information
                                                 – it’s not necessary to include your date
t:    3345 7768
                                                 of birth, marital status, etc. Make sure
m:    0413 721 201                               you have a professional email address –
e:    allie.smith@bigpond.com                    you may need to set one up specifically
                                                 for your job search correspondence.


Bachelor of Nursing                                                    2007 - 2009
Queensland University of Technology
Due to complete course in November 2009
Course GPA 5.24

Key achievements:
  • Grades of credit and above obtained for all subjects to date
  • Received high distinction for oral presentation on Crohn’s Disease for unit Foundations
     of Nursing Practice
  • Received high distinction for literature review on “Treatment for Pressure Sores” for unit
     Research Approaches in Nursing. Presented this review as part of professional
     development morning to group of registered nurses while on clinical placement
  • Invited to co-facilitate workshop on the student nurse experience at the Queensland
     Nursing Council’s annual conference in September 2007
  • Participated in QUT’s Career Mentor Scheme since mid 2007
        o involved 2 hours/month contact with mentor
        o placed with Deborah Mathers, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Holy Spirit Hospital
           South Brisbane
        o participated in regular work observations and shadowing of staff in the
           accident and emergency centre, and the psychiatric, surgical and
           orthopaedic wards
  • Achieved excellent ratings in all areas of clinical practice – see attached reports

                                                  RESUME TIP 2
                                                  Remember to show highlights from your
                                                  course. Think about key assignments,
                                                  individual or group projects, presentations,
                                                  grades – anything that demonstrates that you
                                                  have the professional and personal qualities
                                                  and skills the employer is looking for.
                                                  Everyone else applying for nursing positions
                                                  will have a nursing qualification. What makes
                                                  you stand out from everyone else? Employers
                                                  won’t know unless you tell them!

Mater Children’s Hospital                                                                    2009
(semester 1, 2 weeks)
    • Oncology
Princess Alexandra Hospital
(semester 1, 2 weeks)
    • Psycho-geriatric
    • Psychiatric

Mater Adult Hospital                                                                         2008
(semester 2, 4 weeks)
   • Oncology
   • Medical and surgical
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
(semester 1, 2 weeks)
   • Medical
   • Surgical

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital                                                          2007
(semester 2, 1 week)
    • Orthopaedic
Prince Charles Hospital Aged Care Unit
(semester 2, 2 weeks)
    • Aged care
Moreton Bay Nursing Care Unit
(semester 1, 2 weeks)
    • Aged care

Key clinical experiences:
  • Developed, implemented and evaluated nursing care plans with clients
  • Worked on specialty wards including orthopaedics, oncology and psychiatric
  • Became familiar with a range of hospital policies, procedures and routines
  • Observed established procedures such as angiogram and blood transfusion
  • Assisted clients with personal care needs
  • Worked collaboratively as part of a health care team which included doctors,
      physiotherapists and enrolled nurses
  • Documented client care, including admission assessment, care planning, nursing
      notes and discharge

Comment from most recent clinical placement report                            RESUME TIP 3
“Allie displayed a high level of motivation and confidence on                 Your pracs are important –
this nursing practicum.                                                       they are a core part of your
                                                                              nursing-related experience.
 I was pleased to observe her ability to reflect on feedback and
                                                                              So make sure you highlight
modify her approach accordingly when appropriate.
                                                                              your skills demonstrated/
She demonstrates an extremely competent standard of nursing                   gained, responsibilities and
care and her calm, friendly, interested and empathic manner is                achievements on prac.
appreciated by patients and colleagues.”
Jenny Fitzgerald, Clinical Facilitator, Mater Children’s Hospital, May 2009

Assistant in Nursing                                     June 2008 - current
St Stephen’s Aged Care Centre
(casual – 10-25 hours/week depending on study commitments)

Skills developed/responsibilities:
    • monitoring and assessing health of residents
    • documenting accurate client care records
    • communicating with clients, health care team members, and families of clients
    • assisting with daily living activities such as mobilising, eating, toileting and showering

Activities Officer                                            Sept 2007 - current
Children’s ward
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
  • This is a voluntary role .5 day/week working with individuals and small groups of
       children in collaboration with the Education Coordinator

Skills developed/responsibilities:
    • developing and implementing age-appropriate, stimulating and safe activities for
        children 5-12 years of age
    • adapting activities when necessary depending on motivation, interest and ability of
        children to participate
    • liaising with hospital staff and children’s caregivers to plan activities and provide
    • demonstrating empathy and providing emotional support to sick children
    • increasing awareness of specific care needs of young children in hospital

 It doesn’t matter if your experience is paid or unpaid
 – it has all helped you to develop your professional
 skills. Think about using a heading such as
 Professional Experience or Career-related
 Experience to include any voluntary work, practicum
 placements, work experience or paid work related to
 your degree. Make sure you can articulate the
 professional skills you’ve developed and
 demonstrated in these roles. Look at the info on
 Personal Transferable Skills at
 www.careers.qut.edu.au, under Applying for a Job,
 then Applications – resumes, letters and selection

Barista and customer service assistant              December 2006 – June 2008
Hudson’s Coffee, Brisbane
(5-25 hours/week depending on university commitments)

Skills developed/responsibilities:
    • producing a quality product for every client
    • providing friendly, efficient customer service
    • maintaining a safe, clean and pleasant environment for customers and staff
    • balancing cash register funds at end of each shift
    • providing barista training and orientation to café operating procedures for new staff
    • workplace health and safety representative

Awarded “Employee of the Month” 3 times during my employment

             RESUME TIP 5
             Don’t underestimate the value of
             “non degree-related employment”.
             You will have gained valuable skills
             that are transferable to more
             professional roles, so use this
             opportunity to promote yourself to
             your future employer.


Participated in QUT’s Career Mentor Scheme (June 2008 – current)

QUT Nursing Students’ Association (Member since October 2008)
  • participate in monthly networking functions
  • involved in planning and implementing February 2009 information day for new QUT
     nursing students

Attended professional development day organised by the College of Emergency Nursing
Association of Queensland (March 2009)

Participated in the following short courses:
   • A nurse’s guide to insertion and removal of chest tubes (Clinician Development
       Education Service, Qld Health – June 2009)
   •   Wound management (Princess Alexandra Hospital Health Service District – April 2009)
   •   ECG for beginners (Northside Health Service District – November 2008)
   •   Basic nursing (Princess Alexandra Hospital Health Service District – July 2008)

Subscribe to The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

   •   Compete in regular triathlon events around Queensland
   •   Travelled overseas to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand
   •   Speak basic Mandarin
   •   Love to cook, especially Asian-inspired foods


Ms Ellen Parker
Director of Nursing
Princess Alexandra Hospital, Buranda
 t     3534 7786
e      e.parker@pa.qld.gov.au
Ellen supervised my clinical placement in sem 1 2008
                                                                   RESUME TIP 6
                                                                   Make sure you keep your referees
Ms Jenny Fitzgerald RN
                                                                   informed of the positions you are
Clinical Facilitator                                               applying for, so that they are
Mater Children’s Hospital, Woolloongabba                           prepared for when an employer
t     3220 1700                                                    contacts them to find out more
e     jenny.fitzgerald@mater.qld.org.au                            about you. It’s a good idea to send
Jenny supervised my most recent practicum                          them an updated resume and copies
                                                                   of your application letter, responses
Mrs Deborah Mathers                                                to selection criteria, etc, whenever
Clinical Nurse Consultant                                          you apply for a position.
Holy Spirit Hospital, South Brisbane
t     3121 9907
e     mathersd@holyspirit.qld.org.au
Deborah has been my professional mentor since June 2007

Copies of clinical placement reports available on request

                                      NEED MORE HELP?
  There’s lots of information available to assist you to put your resume together.

       •   Go to Resume Builder which is accessed via QUT Virtual and be guided to compile your
           resume section by section.

       •   Check out the Careers and Employment website www.careers.qut.edu.au and look under
           Applying for a Job for info on resumes and other application paperwork as well as personal
           transferable skills.

       •   Have a look at Australian sites such as CareerOne for resources on resume writing. Go to

       •   Check out the FAQs on the next two pages.

                                    RESUME FAQs
            What’s the difference between a
            resume and a CV?
            The terms resume and
            curriculum vitae/CV are often
            used interchangeably, but usually
            a resume is the summary                           How long should my resume be?
            document that employers are                       Depending on how much experience
            seeking, and a CV is a more                       (paid or unpaid) you have had, a new
            detailed document often used                      graduate’s resume would usually be
            where extensive professional                      around 3-4 pages. Aim to find a
            experience is required.                           balance between being concise and
                                                              giving enough information to promote
                                                              yourself effectively. A one page
Is it a good idea to include a photo?                         American-style resume is not usually
A photo can be a great way to                                 appropriate in Australia, but wherever
personalise your resume. However, the                         possible, be guided by what an
risk is that you could be discriminated                       employer is requesting.
against based on your appearance, ie
being perceived as too young /old /
serious/ flighty/ inexperienced and so
on. So you could miss out on an
interview based on someone’s possibly
inaccurate perception of you. If you like
the idea of a photo, think about taking         What if I failed some of my subjects during my course
a separate copy of your resume with a           – how do I put this in my resume?
photo included, when you meet with an           Remember that the purpose of your resume is to get
employer. Then they have the                    the employer interested in meeting with you - so think
opportunity to meet with you and hear           carefully about the information you include. Your
what you have to say, and have a                resume is not a “warts and all” documentation of
resume with your photo to remind them           everything you’ve done in your life until now. It’s
of who you are.                                 selected, relevant information – targeted to that
                                                particular employer and job role. So aim to highlight
                                                your strengths, skills, experiences and achievements,
   How far back should I go with                and only include information that reflects you in the
   my employment history?                       most positive light. However, that doesn’t mean that
   Usually the most recent                      you can alter the facts! If you have some failed units,
   information is the most relevant             include in your resume only information about units
   for your resume. So if you’ve                you’ve performed well in, or make a general
   had a lot of employment                      statement about your overall GPA if that’s worth
   experience, think about limiting             highlighting. Think about how to talk about negative
   it to the past 5 years or so. You            experiences in a positive way – you might have failed
   don’t have to include everything             a unit, but from that experience you’ve learnt better
   – be selective and think about               time management and study skills/ when you’ve
   the relevance of your experience             taken on too much and need to adjust your work-life
   to what you are applying for.                balance/ when you need to ask for support etc.. and
   And remember to highlight the                your grades have improved consistently since then. In
   transferable skills from your                this way, perceived negatives don’t stop you from
   employment!                                  getting to an interview, and you will be able promote
                                                the learning you have gained from the experience.

                                        RESUME FAQs
                                                   What if I’ve had jobs that involved
What if I don’t have any nursing-related           similar skills – do I have to list them
experience to include in my resume?                separately for each job?
Being a nursing student means that you’ve          Try to make your resume interesting
gained a wealth of industry experience             and easy to read for potential
throughout your course via your clinical           employers. Rather than repeating
placements. Your experience is valuable –          similar duties/responsibilities/ skills
whether it is paid or unpaid. Make sure            for similar positions that you have
that in your resume you promote your               held, think about listing each
learning, skills demonstrated and                  position and then do a summary of
achievements while on prac. If you have
                                                   skills under this.
been employed as an AIN or in another
nursing-related role during your course,
this is also excellent experience to include
in your resume. Many students work in                          Do I need to include my interests/
non-nursing related jobs while studying,                       extracurricular activities?
and feel hesitant about listing this                           As with any part of your resume, only
experience in their resume. Remember                           include information that reflects
that your prospective employers are                            positively on you in relation to the
interested in the skills you’ve developed                      position you are applying for. Your
and demonstrated in these roles too, as                        interests and extracurricular activities
these skills are often transferable across                     can be a great way to personalise
employment roles. Think in terms of                            your resume and present you as a
communication skills, ability to prioritise,                   well-rounded applicant. Think
meet deadlines, work as an effective team                      carefully about what your interests
member, etc. Check out handouts on                             and activities say about you and be
www.careers.qut.edu.au for help with                           prepared to describe them further at
identifying your personal transferable skills                  interview.
– and promote them with pride in your
                                                  How do I make my resume stand out from all the
                                                  others that will be received?
    Who can I list as professional referees in    Resumes are very subjective – everyone has
    my resume?                                    their own idea of what makes a good resume.
    Professional referees can include current     What one employer thinks is a brilliant resume,
    or recent employers, supervisors from         another may be unimpressed by. Get feedback
    your work experience, practicum               from employers, lecturers and careers staff and
    placements or voluntary work, your            work towards a resume that balances being
    mentor, or someone with whom you have         different from others but still within the comfort
    built a professional relationship, or maybe   zone of employers.
    even your lecturer or tutor. They are         Experiment with design features such as
    people who can comment on your                different fonts, watermarks and borders. If you
    professional or employment related skills.    use colours, make sure your resume photocopies
    Make sure you build and maintain these        clearly.
    relationships throughout your course so       Use bold, uppercase, underlining or italics to
    that you can ask these people to be           highlight different sections of your resume. Use
    referees for you when you are applying for    bullet points where possible, rather than lengthy
    jobs.                                         text. Different types of paper can also create a
                                                  different effect – but make sure your resume
                                                  photocopies clearly or you risk your copied
                                                  resume not looking as professional as your

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