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Four Resume Writing Tips for Seasoned Health Care Professionals

Resume Writing Tips for Experienced Healthcare Professionals
Andriy Popov/123RF.com

Employer expectations and resumes are continually changing. Since competition for the best healthcare jobs can be fierce, it is crucial to create a timely, attention-grabbing resume. Producing a resume can be particularly challenging for seasoned healthcare workers. Experienced healthcare workers often have the most exceptional skills, yet they fail to show them in a manner that sparks employers’ interests. Let’s investigate the best ways to improve your resume writing skills. What you leave out of your resume can be almost as important as what you include. Using a current format is essential.

Forget the stated objective

When crafting your resume, keep in mind that the talent acquisition specialist (for us older workers that means human resources person) is likely younger than you. He or she may be more tech savvy and speak a “different “ language than you do. Here is an example:

Remember when we always started our resume with a stated objective? It went something like this: “My goal is to an obtain a nursing position where I can provide mental health services to people in crisis. I want to work in an environment where I can grow and develop my managerial skills.”

The stated objective is passé. Potential employers look at them and immediately say, “Let’s pass this person by; she’s not current.” In today’s’ health care marketplace, stated objectives may appear dated or egocentric. Employers want to know what you will bring to the organization, not what you want to gain.

Can you have too many credentials?

I am a nurse who has an advanced degree and lots of letters after my name. I bet you might think that all of my credentials make me a top candidate. That isn’t necessarily the case. For example, if I am looking to work a couple of shifts per week at my local home health agency, my credentials may work against me. I may be viewed as too academic or overqualified. Potential employers might think that I will demand to be paid an exorbitant salary.

Budgets reign supreme. I have had managers tell me that they prefer to hire new graduates rather than seasoned nurses. I list my credentials, but I don’t emphasize that unless they are pertinent to the position for which I am applying.

As painful as it is, limit your experience list

I struggle with this. I’ve worked in a vast array of settings, wearing many hats. All of those experiences have made me into the nurse I am today. I’ve learned a lot of practical tips along the way. I want to let potential employers know that I can handle just about anything. Unfortunately, employers don’t care if I ran a hospital back in the 1990s. They only want to know what I have done for the past ten or fifteen years. It is essential that my recent experiences demonstrate that I currently have the skills needed by the employer.

Emphasize recent work experience.  Rather than chronologically documenting positions you have had for the past forty years, just include a section on prior work. You can list jobs and facilities without including details or dates.

Show that you are just as modern as the twenty-five-year-old applicant

Include dates and details of recent college courses or certifications. Employers like to see evidence that you are staying current and growing.

Have a Linked in profile and keep it up to date. Include a link to your profile on your resume.

resume is way too long
Aleksandr Davydov/123RF.com

Keep your resume short – one page is best. Do not surpass two pages. Look online and see what current resumes look like. Pay attention to the visual appearance of current resumes and the language used.  Consider hiring a resume expert to evaluate your resume.

Demonstrate that you are tech savvy. If you aren’t skilled working with computer programs, take some continuing education courses and become skillful.

It’s all in the packaging!

There is no substitute for your wisdom and experience. You just have to package it in a way that shows your value. Resume writing can be challenging, but it’s nothing compared to other obstacles you overcame to get to this point in your career. You have the skills; now just package them in a way that is attractive to today’s employers.

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About Patricia Bratianu RN PhD RH-AHG

Patricia is a Registered Nurse with forty years of experience in a wide array of inpatient and outpatient settings. She is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. Patricia earned a PhD in Natural Health. Her goal is to empower patients and healthcare workers.