Writing a Readable Resume
Job seekers always ask me what they can do to make their
resumes stand out and get noticed. Today, I will put on my recruiter/employer
hat and offer you a few suggestions to make your resume more effective.
When I give your resume its first look there are basically 3
things that I need to see and see quickly.
education. I need to see immediately if you meet the educational
requirement for my position. I want to see the college or university you
attended, what date you graduated and what degree you earned. Because most of
us are awarded a more general degree (such as science or arts) I will
additionally need to see your area of study. By this I mean whether you are a
nurse practitioner (and what specialty) or if you are a physician assistant.
Keep this entry simple and uncluttered so that I can easily identify each of
these specific pieces of information. Don't force me to dig for it!
certification. Create a section devoted ONLY to your certifications and
licenses. Don't hide this information in other sections of your resume.
Remember, I am skimming your resume and if you are unclear I could pass you
over. Also state the status of your certifications and licenses. I really need
to know if you are current. DO NOT include any of your license numbers; instead,
you should note "current" and provide the expiration date after each entry.
Failing to include your status might cause the computer, which reads your
resume before I do, to disregard you as unqualified.
skills. I want to see these in your work history, not in a separate free
floating section. I want to know what skills you have, as well as when and
where you used these skills. Oh, and because I am ultimately only interested in
if you are a good fit for MY job, I would like you to tailor your resume for
ME. Don't clutter up your work history section with skills that are general. I
know you can "assess, diagnose and prescribe". I need you to give me specifics.
And nurses, I realize you had mad ICU skills, but those are not of much use to
most outpatient clinic practices. Sorry.
Pearl: If you expect to have your resume noticed, focus on these 3
areas. Do not make potential employers work too hard to determine if you meet
the job requirements.