Laura Palmer, CRNA, MNEd
Assistant Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program
University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing
So what is a
Thank You Letter
CV vs. Resumé
Used in PROFESSIONAL A selling or screening
Comprehensive and Highlights of your
complete collection of attributes
ALL your education, Usually one page and
work, and scholarly creative and “eye
MUST include a cover Used for work
letter experiences in NON
Do I need a Resume ?
You probably won‟t…..UNLESS
You are inquiring to MANY places as a
“Professional Resume” is sometimes used to refer to a CV...
What if the Ad asks for one?
Send a CV – that is what they mean for
a professional position
Many Human Resource personnel use
the terms interchangeably
REMEMBER…your resume is a one page synopsis of your best
attributes to interest someone in knowing more about you. Your CV
is a comprehensive all inclusive summary of everything you have
ever done professionally. Unless you are mass screening possible
positions, you will need only a CV.
Goals of your CV…..
Reflect your best characteristics and
assets – not the program‟s
They are not hiring the program
reputation, although it helps….
Now to the
Nuts and Bolts….
Gather your information
READ YOUR CV AS SOMEONE WHO
KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT YOU OR
Then get someone else to PROOFREAD
Organizing the Information
Common sections on a CV include:
TITLE (Curriculum Vitae)
Professional Experience (Work)
Honors and Awards
Scholarly work (Publications, Presentations,
Service or Volunteer activities
Academic vs. employment type
Academic (University) format highlights
Scholarly Work as the primary focus
and employment is just a minor
Can be modified to use when seeking
employment in a non-University setting
Some of the elements can be adapted
Use as an example of how to present
Formatting Issues in the
Having a CV that prints OK no longer works –
many employers are moving to placing your
CV on-line in some way.
Setting up your CV using tabs and columns
will not transfer to Web language (HTML) and
will place info scattered on the screen.
An easy way to accomplish this and make
your CV print easier is to use tables.
A template using tables will be provided for
your assistance – see the information at the
end for more tips…….
What to put in each section…
Or what NOT to put…
Full Name Social Security Number
with credentials Citizenship
RN, BSN (not SRNA) Birthplace
Not CRNA yet……
Home Address Religion, race, sex, etc..
Phone (home or cell) Birthdate (your choice)
Email or Fax
Do I need an “Objective” or
On a professional CV, probably not…
Use your judgment
If you choose to include a goal, make it
intelligent, attainable, articulate and
appropriate to where you apply……
A position as CRNA at a reputable hospital committed to
excellence, professionalism and quality holistic care.
To obtain a position as a CRNA that will allow me to utilize my
clinical and educational experience while actively gaining new
To obtain a position as a CRNA using my expertise in
anesthesia to provide high-quality, cost-conscience care to
Professional growth in a challenging environment.
To seek employment in an entry level position as a staff CRNA
and to become an integral part of the anesthesia care team.
Use something like this ONLY if it truly reflects your goals and
beliefs – and says something new. If your reaction to any of
these is “DUH...obviously”, then it is not appropriate to use. Also
be sure it matches with the philosophy of the organization you
are applying to.
What NOT to include….
Objective: "I am seeking a second job
to supplement my income and support
my shopping habit.“
Responsibilities: "Performed all
screening, interviewing, and executing
Gives new meaning to the phrase,
Visit www.resumania.com for some fun stuff…..
ALL Schools attended (after high school)
Don‟t assume anyone knows where the
institution is located!
Date (full with month and year)
“Expected graduation” is acceptable
Now lets talk about order…
Order all information in each section
from current to past
People want to see what you just did
first, memories are short……
Put general categories in a logical
order with the same strategy.
Education first for now, in the future you
may want to put work experience as the
Should I say anything about my
Anesthesia School experiences?
CERTAINLY, but they are Education, not
That category is for employment only
What should I include?
That‟s up to you….
Decide what makes you a good choice for a
position (or the better candidate) by your
experiences in the program.
What sets you apart?
DO NOT PROMOTE ONLY THE PROGRAM, sell
your assets – They are hiring YOU, not us.
A BRIEF statement about the program quality is
acceptable, but keep to YOUR experiences.
Assume no one knows anything about our
program or what we offered you
educationally – because they may not,
even if they are in our backyard.
Speak in generalities, not specifics
They can backfire – how much is enough?
Include information about your clinical
experiences with your education as a
subsection, not as it‟s own category.
or Combination Style?
To follow are examples – verbiage is purposely old so you can
revise as appropriate based on what you did in the program……
Try to strike a balance between
too much and too little….
Omit the obvious!
i.e. Children‟s “Pediatric anesthesia experience”
Better: What makes the Children‟s rotation unique?
If your work experience is described in bullet or
paragraph format, you may want to be consistent.
Why include anything?
Because you are seeking employment in a
new field where you do not have work
When you apply for subsequent jobs, you will
include similar info about your past
employment and trim your educational info
the further away from it you get.
It shows what makes you different from any
other anesthesia student (this program or any
Honors and Awards (usually a separate category)
Activities during school (professional that is)
Committees – can group with activities if all from NAP stuff
GPA – not necessary but since grad school here doesn‟t give
“honors” designations, you may want to include it if good– your
Additional coursework if any while in the
program, like Independent Studies and what
(or “Professional Experience”)
List ALL employers (remember order – current first)
Must have complete info
Date should include month and year, not just year
i.e. 12/99 – 1/00, or 1/99 to 12/00 ( one month vs 23)
Address and positions
Don‟t assume everyone knows you worked as an RN! You
may have been the housekeeper…..
SHORT description of the role – trim it to key elements
You are not being hired as a nurse now, so it is not the focus
but can showcase what you brought to the anesthesia
Include other employment as relevant to your professional
Past professions can be helpful, especially if there is a gap in
Licensure and Certification
List all states you are licensed in as a
nurse, exp date, and status of license.
License number – not required but can
help you to have them on record
ACLS, BLS, PALS, CCRN, etc…
(Spell out…….do not abbreviate)
Can do expiration date or from original
certification to “present”
or Membership in Professional and Scientific Societies
(can put initials in parenthesis if re-using throughout)
Member or offices held
AANA implies PANA (although you can
include it if your want more “stuff”)
Students are “associate member”
Awards and Honors
Be complete – some of these need
explanations to make any sense to others
Include institution or organization giving the
“2007 – Mary Smith Award”…..means nothing –
was the award given by your classmates, hospital,
school, regional, national, other organization……….
If it is a prestigious award – SAY SO
i.e. Nurses Education Funds Scholarship (one of 8
awarded nationally to master‟s and doctoral
Scholarly Work (Publications,
Presentations, Research, etc.)
You may not have much at this point, but
try to make more of less…..
BUT…..Don‟t over-stretch the truth….
Separate or Sub-groups?
Up to you….
Suggest combining categories if there is only
one thing in each
Can use “Graduate Program Activities” as a
heading for presentations to peers, research
endeavors, committees, tutoring, etc.
See the academic CV format for how to
organize this section if you have different
types of publications, etc. It is very explicit.
Summarized to follow…..
as per academic format
Refereed articles – accepted for publication
Proceedings or conferences
Other publications (include master thesis and
doctoral dissertation, editorials in professional
Chapters in Books/Monographs
Audio-Visual materials (do not include materials
developed for classroom teaching)
Do not include articles SUBMITTED but not yet accepted.
as per academic format
(If you are not the principal investigator, state your position
on the grant – do not include small grant requests that were
What about my Research Practicum?
Include YOUR role in the project but be
certain that you do not misrepresent
yourself as one of the PI‟s (unless you
What about Research Assistant
They are probably employment (as are
Graduate Assistants and TA‟s), but a
Group by National, Regional, Local
Title, Date, Organization, Location
Peer (also could be grouped as “Teaching” and
included with graduate activities)
In a true academic CV, peer presentations don‟t get
included, but when applying for employment as a CRNA it
is helpful to accentuate that you have presented materials
to a group, rather than only absorbed them as a
Don‟t be repetitive – “Presented to … then group the
subjects with dates and courses.
Other Scholarly “Stuff”
TV or Radio appearances
Service or Volunteer Activities
Can be separate or together depending on
May want to include in the category of
“graduate activities” if there are many from
school, which saves you repeating
information and separates it from volunteer
activities outside of the profession
Include: committees, recruitment events,
community outreach projects, etc.
What does this mean to anyone outside of
your class? What is the SAS and what was
Role??? Be sure you don‟t make it sound
like you helped select the applicants for
Other ESSENTIAL Information
Revised date – otherwise no one including you knows
when you last updated the document.
Suggest NOT using the automatic date field – it will change
each time the document is printed, not revised!
You can put this at the end, in the personal information, or
on each page except the first……
PAGE NUMBERS and Header with Name
If you don‟t know how to use “Headers and Footers” in
documents, now is the time to learn.
Use “different first page” so that you can avoid having a
header or footer on the main page, but just on subsequent
Pages get disconnected when copying or faxing and
information can be lost
May want to use “page x of y” so that it is apparent that the
CV has all the pages
Non-professional activities or interests
Unless they include skills that are
transferable or marketable in your
position, such as specific computer skills,
then explain them and include.
Think about these statements…
Active in all types of sports
Enjoys hunting and fishing
Employers can view “hobbies” as liabilities
because some require scheduling issues for
the time commitments and demands, or put
you as risk for injury and loss of work time.
Also your activities may not be in line with
the mindset of the one hiring you……
“References Available on Request”
You are better off preparing a list of
references with complete contact
information as a separate document so if
you are asked for references, you can
simply produce the list.
You will be asked for them when you apply
YOU MUST ASK SOMEONE TO BE A REFERENCE
FIRST, don‟t assume they will – very poor form.
Select those who will be prompt, professional and
reflect well upon you.
Ask what address/phone they want you to use, work
or home and be sure it is correct. Some want a
phone number because phone references are
Remember, you are not privy to what is sent to the
institution by your selected reference.
You may want to select different references specific
to the clinical environment you are applying for….i.e
peds, cardiac, OB – you may want a clinical person
who can speak to your abilities in that area.
FORMATTING and LAYOUT
If it looks good, you look good.
A sloppy CV will portray a careless CRNA…….
Typoos stand out (yes this was purposeful) – use both spell and
Get someone else to read it. Example……
“Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest
It should look professional – get help if you need it
CVs for Email….
Use “custom” formatting, don‟t try to make it look good only
on your computer. If you do, it will look like garbage on
Suggest converting to PDF to avoid these formatting issues
Need a full Acrobat program or another PDF converter
Software is free from Pitt – suggest you get it while a student –
it is very pricy from retail.
Use 1 inch margins and do not squash things in, but don‟t
sprawl them either
Keep to one font (or maybe 2 if you want one just for main
Accentuate the look by changing size, using bold or italics, and
block indenting and/or using bullets, just don‟t get carried
away with them (don‟t bullet a bullet with a different one!).
Use 11-12 point font for main information and shrink to 9-10
point for accessory info
Smaller fonts look more professional but don‟t get too small to
Keep to standard serif (curly) or san-serif (block), especially if
you are going to print it from different printers that may not
have the same font packages installed.
Use sparingly or not at all
Good quality white or off-white (but be
sure you have matching envelopes)
As many styles as there are people
Look at some samples
Templates can be helpful
Much easier to put info in tables within
each section than to try to line stuff up
“on screen”. When you change fonts,
everything re-aligns out of place. Webs
use only table formatting for layout
placement. A template is provided with
basic table structures. Use the help
within word for tips for working with
What NOT to DO…
CVs are available from prior classes
They are with Cyndi at the front desk area
Removal of personal information was requested
but optional, so you will know who some of them
are and others may have no information, or
Use these as samples to help you design yours
DO NOT COPY DIRECTLY ANYONE ELSES
DESCRIPTIONS OR STATEMENTS
It is simply rude and unprofessional
Misspell the Hospitals……
Children‟s Hospital of Pittsburgh
no „ despite your spell check
UPMC uses the full information in their formal title,
but you probably should put (University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center) once with UPMC in
parenthesis and use UPMC after that.
Check the handbook or the hospital website if
You are graduating from the University of
Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Nurse Anesthesia
Program. Use that full name, don‟t create your
“University of Pittsburgh – MSN” doesn‟t even indicate
that you are prepared as an anesthetist!
Use “expected” or “anticipated” graduation date
Your degree is not “anticipated”, only your
Your degree is: MSN with an anesthesia specialization
Reminders for the future
When you graduate, change your CV to
GRNA, or CRNA when it occurs
Keep your information current, you will
need a CV every time you apply for
Keep continuing ed records
Back up your CV – it is amazing how
many I‟ve scanned to word for people!
Keep it short
Do not include the same information as
This may be where you want to express
your “objective” or “goal”, rather than
on the CV itself
Thank you Letter
Short, polite, add something
distinguishable from the interview
Letter Writing 101
Learning to write a business letter was probably taught to
you a LONG time ago so here is a review:
Must be dated!
Your full address goes at the top, but not your name unless you are
using a designed letterhead.
You need to include the name and full address of who is to receive
Space the letter on the page so it is not all clumped at the top
Your signature should be followed by a printed signature and
include your full credentials on the same line. Use RN, BSN since
SRNA is not an accepted professionally recognized abbreviation.
If you are attaching a CV, then on the bottom include the
attachment: CV, or enclosure
Website for assistance and sample templates:
Websites about CV‟s and tips
General Info with links
Links to some samples and other sites
Fun site: What NOT to say!