News Ticker

Why your Resume Should NOT Be All About You

Why Your Nursing Resume Should Not be All About You Why Your Nursing Resume Should Not be All About You


You may understandably think that your resume is all about you.  But winning resumes are also about your targeted employer. If you are applying to five different facilities, you will need five customized versions of your resume, because your resume needs to be employer focused, not job seeker focused.

Getting hired is about what you can do for them, so that’s what you need to show them.

Here’s how to customize your resume, the tips you’ll need to make your resume stand out, and an example of a new grad resume:


Six Seconds

Your new grad resume should be tailored to the prospective employer

You have just a few seconds to gain attention with your resume

That’s pretty much how long it takes to scan your application. Six seconds can determine whether your resume is going on the “Consider” pile or the “Shredder” pile. Want to buy six more seconds? Grab their attention by anticipating what they’re looking for. Here’s how:

Be the Mirror

Your resume needs to reflect the values and culture of the organization. How do you do that?

Look back to the job description for keywords. Some organizations initially screen resumes for keywords.

Never submit a resume until you have performed due diligence in finding out about them, what they stand for, what they believe. They are looking for that person who is going to be a good fit, above all.

For example, this is from an RN job description:

 “Join our team of compassionate and passionate health care professionals who are committed to the well-being of our patients and provide patient care based on competence, professional expertise, knowledge and evidence based practice.”

Your new grad resume should be tailored to the prospective employer

Tailor your resume to the prospective employer

In your resume, under Clinical Experience, you can highlight that your senior practicum project was on evidence based practice for central line management. The keyword “evidence-based practice” would show in a computer scan for keywords.


Objectives versus Personal Summaries

This portion goes directly below your contact information, before your education and job history.

Summaries are good for experienced workers, objectives are fine for the entry level applicant, but both are OK.

Whether you use objectives or summaries, your choice, keep it brief. Fifty words or less, straightforward and succinct.

You do not have to write complete sentences for objectives. Simple statements are good. Example:

“Seeking challenging new graduate position in acute health care.”

 Job History

Job history in a traditional chronological resume is in reverse chronological order. Be prepared to explain any gaps in employment. That’s one of the first things some managers look for. Gaps can indicate unreliability, and must be accounted for in a positive manner.

Do not include high school information on a professional application unless instructed to do so.

Cover Letters

Not all organizations accept cover letters, but if they do, you’re in luck! Customize it to your prospective employer. Communicate that your experience, skills, and traits are a match for their needs.

The cover letter should reflect your personality and energy. Provide examples to make it authentic and memorable. If well written, it can get you an interview.

White space is important in order to make it easily readable. Lack of white space and long, dense paragraphs can negate good content.  Five to seven lines per paragraph, then a line break (white space), and repeat.

It must be mistake free. 

When cover letters and/or resumes contain errors, they are likely to be put on the wrong pile.

When you’re finished composing your cover letter and resume, submit it to several different people for editing.

See even more excellent hiring and resume tips here from Nurse Eye Roll.

Contact Information

If your address is zombiegirl@hotmail, be sure and get another one for professional contact information. Provide a phone number that won’t be answered by children, and has a professional sounding recorded answering message. It is OK to add your Linkedin contact information to your resume if you have one.

Use of Active Verbs

Use active verbs such as contributed, achieved, completed. Maintain the same tense and voice throughout, for example, third person and past tense.

Avoid Cliches

Avoid cliches such as forward-thinking, change agent, innovative, self-starter. It’s better to use examples that illustrate these qualities.


  • Use one or two basic fonts, such as Arial, Tahoma, or Times New Roman, 12 point font
  • No clever or artistic fonts, graphics, or distracting colors
  • Use heavy weight, high quality paper for resumes you will take to an interview
  • Keep your resume and cover letter to one page in length

 Sample New Grad Cover Letter       Sample New Grad Resume


Other Related Posts

Uncensored Thoughts of a Nurse Interviewer

How to answer “Tell me about Yourself”


Until next time friend,

Nurse Beth

About Beth Hawkes (146 Articles)
Nice to meet you! I'm a Nursing Professional Development Specialist in acute care, a writer, speaker and career columnist.

13 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Don’t Overlook the Cover Letter – Keepit Real, RN
  2. Insider tips for New Nurses to get Hired
  3. The Secret Nurse Managers Look For In An Interview - nursecode
  4. How to Answer "Why Should We hire You?" Interview Question - nursecode
  5. Answer the "Tell me About Yourself" Interview Question - nursecode
  6. Uncensored Thoughts of a Nurse Interviewer: From Inside the Interview Room - nursecode
  7. How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions - nursecode
  8. Is it ever OK to cold-call walk in to a Nurse Manager's office for a nursing job? - nursecode
  9. Why can't I get a new grad RN interview?
  10. Sample Resume for a New Grad RN - nursecode
  11. 4 Ways to Improve Your Resume Now -
  12. Top 9 Resume Mistakes -
  13. 7 Ways to Get a Nursing Job -

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: