Spring Cleaning: 5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Nurse Resume

Last Updated on February 15, 2024

Nurse in scrubs showing her nursing resume to a smiling job interviewer.

Spring is a chance for fresh starts and new beginnings. As you organize and declutter your home this season, consider adding your nurse resume to your spring cleaning to-do list. With a bit of strategy, TLC, and our tips to spruce up your nursing resume, you can attract your dream career opportunities this year!

Before we dive into tips for nursing resumes, let’s explore the importance of continually updating your healthcare resume.

Tips for Nursing Resumes: Why You Need to Update Your Resume

From balancing busy shifts and a social life, finding enough time to update your nurse resume can be difficult. However, this time is an investment in your career. Of all the tips for nursing resumes, the most important is this: Make a habit of continually updating your resume, and you can grow your career with success.

Target the Jobs You Want

Your nurse resume should clearly represent your career goals. For example, a labor & delivery nurse’s resume should look different from a surgical nurse’s. Each specialty has its own set of qualifications for experience, education, and even personality. 

Regularly updating your resume can encourage you to reevaluate your goals, align your resume to support them, and prepare for a successful nursing interview.

Stand Out in Your Nurse Resume

Without the right strategy, there’s a chance your resume isn’t even seen by potential employers. Don’t worry — the good news is, you can use this system to your advantage by understanding the basic algorithm. By incorporating keywords (which we’ll discuss soon), you can show the system you’re the right candidate for the job.

Always Search for New Opportunities

You should always be searching for new roles and opportunities in your career. Even if you love where you’re at, you should always be aware of your options. Continually updating and sending out your nurse resume can help you accelerate your career growth, pay, and benefits. 

Tips for Nursing Resumes that Get Results

Need some tricks and tips for nursing resumes that stand out from the crowd? Let’s dust off your old resumes and upgrade them to match your career goals: 

1. Update Your Career Wins

Why should hiring managers celebrate the chance of adding you to their team? Update your nurse resume to highlight your career wins: AKA, your impact and contributions. Think about your accomplishments over the past year. Ask yourself: 

  • How have I impacted the morale and culture of my team?
  • How have I impacted the lives of my patients?
  • How have I contributed to the success of my team and organization?
  • What “wins” wouldn’t be possible without my time, support, and efforts?
  • What makes me different from my coworkers? 

Incorporate these wins into your resume to emphasize the unique value you bring.

Pro tip for nursing resumes: Keep a “career win” folder on your laptop or computer. Any time you receive positive feedback from a patient, peer, or manager, write it down or take a screenshot. Store it in your folder, and reference them when updating your nurse resume. Plus, it might just help with motivation on the “harder” days!

2. Refresh Your Experience and Certifications

Have you gained any experience since you last updated your resume? The answer is yes — even if you’re still in the same position, you’ve gained more experience. 

Ensure your job description captures your current knowledge, skills, and abilities. For best results, make your experience measurable. Can you quantify the quality you bring to the team? For example, you might include the number of patients you’ve served, any milestones or benchmarks you’ve hit, or how you’ve increased productivity or efficiency. 

Lastly, review your listed licenses and certifications to ensure they’re up-to-date and accurate.

3. Upgrade Your Keywords

Optimize your nurse resume to stand out by finding the keywords in the job listing. Take a closer look at the listing description:

  • Are there any words repeatedly used?
  • Are any words or phrases bolded, underlined, or italicized?
  • What terms do they use to describe the qualifications they’re looking for?

Think about your nursing career experience and incorporate these into your resume when relevant.

4. Tailor Your Resume to the Position

While sending the same resume out to several employers may be tempting, this is a surefire way to fly under the radar. 

Every position has its own set of keywords and qualifications. Every employer and organization has unique needs, goals, and values. Customizing your nurse resume for the position can help you resonate with the employer and stand out from the crowd. 

5. Work with a Recruiter to Review, Refine, & Refresh

Need more tips for nursing resumes? Go straight to the source by working with a recruiter to tailor your resume to your unique goals. Their expertise can give you insight into what employers are looking for, your career readiness, and your next steps for growth. 

Spring Your Resume Forward with a New Job

Once you’ve utilized these tips to spruce up your nursing resume and are ready to take on your first assignment, it’s time to take your healthcare career to the next level!

Explore your opportunities! Check out CareerStaff’s available local, per diem, and travel nursing job openings, and bring your goals to life. Or, Quick Apply below to talk with a recruiter to review your resume and target career opportunities that fit your lifestyle and goals now.

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