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 style. 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 Disability 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. 2 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: firstname.lastname@example.org you may need to set one up specifically for your job search correspondence. QUALIFICATIONS 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! 3 CLINICAL PLACEMENTS 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 4 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 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 feedback • demonstrating empathy and providing emotional support to sick children • increasing awareness of specific care needs of young children in hospital RESUME TIP 4 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 criteria. 5 OTHER EMPLOYMENT 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. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 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 6 EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND INTERESTS • 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 REFEREES Ms Ellen Parker Director of Nursing Princess Alexandra Hospital, Buranda t 3534 7786 e email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 http://www.careerone.com.au/jobs/job-search/get-that-job/improve-your-resume • Check out the FAQs on the next two pages. 7 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. 8 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 resume! 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 original.
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