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Career Coach

Writing a Readable Resume

Published January 16, 2013 4:49 PM by Renee Dahring

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.

  1. Your 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! 
  2. Your 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.
  3. Your 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.  

2 comments

God is great

David Alabi, Primary care - Apn April 25, 2013 6:36 PM
Newark NJ

Thank you very much for your blog!  I will graduate in May as a family nurse practitioner and I am starting to think getting my resume/CV in order was going to be more stressful than what I have been through in school.  Thank you for simplifying what needs to be included.  You have helped me tremendously!

Stuart, Charge Nurse February 8, 2013 1:19 AM
Lubbock TX

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About this Blog



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