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Career Coach

Employers' Resume Feedback

Published November 7, 2012 5:03 PM by Renee Dahring

I just returned from a national conference and as I promised you on my NP Career Coach Facebook page, I am going to report to you what employers and recruiters are saying about the resumes they have been receiving from our professions.

  1. Employers can't hire you if they can't contact you. Recruiters tell me that a startling number of candidates are neglecting to include their contact information on their resumes. At a minimum, you need to include at least an email address. Email has become the preferred method of contact so if you don't have an email account, you should get one. Telephone numbers are important to include as well. It's not the end of the world if you don't have your address on your resume, but I am still recommending that job seekers include it. 
  2. Not enough specifics about your skill set. Employers want to know what skills you possess and where you obtained these skills. This means if you are a seasoned practitioner your skills should be under the job where you performed them. If you are a new grad the skills employers are interested in hearing about are the skills you obtained in your clinical rotations. Highlight those rotations that provided you with the experience that fits the position you are seeking. And be specific. They get it that you "assessed and provided quality care." What they really want is for you to define and quantify your experiences. 
  3. Cover letters. Recruiters tell me they get some great resumes from some great practitioners that may not be quite the right fit for the job they applied for BUT may be right for a different position - that is IF the candidate is interested in pursuing other opportunities. Employers have no way of knowing if you are open to different positions, other specialties, relocation or travel positions unless you tell them. Use your cover letter to share your aspirations and interests if you want to stay on the radar for other openings. 

The market is improving. I found a great deal of enthusiasm and interest in hiring both NPs and PAs. While the employers did express a desire to see some improvement in your resumes, they told me that you all still did a better job than the physicians when it comes to your resumes. They told me some tales of MDs submitting paper resumes that were outdated, and rather than creating a new resume, the doc would write in (by hand) their most recent information on their old resume!

You can download a resume template from my website


I have been a resume writer for over 30 years. Everything we create is customized for the client and the recipient. I don't believe in templates - one size does not fit anyone! The information in this article is good. Be professional, creative and conservative, and hire a professional.

Doris Appelbaum, Resume Writer - CEO, Appelbaum's Resume Prof., Inc. November 7, 2012 10:24 PM
Milwaukee WI

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About this Blog

    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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