5 Nursing Resume Tips to Help You Stand Out

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Knowing what to put on a nursing resume can be challenging, but in Marquette University’s Direct Entry MSN program, preparing for success in your career is important. Here are five nursing resume tips that will help you feel confident in your applications.

nurse looking at laptop smiling

If you have ever pursued a job or internship, you are likely familiar with the basic requirements of a resume. You also have probably added to it as you have gained new skills and work experience — resumes are meant to evolve. A resume in nursing requires a different focus than a traditional resume (although you should always follow general best practices like spelling, grammar and layout). If you are considering earning a nursing degree through Marquette University’s Second Degree Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, you should know what to put on a nursing resume in order to earn the types of positions you are looking for.

Your resume is the first thing that a prospective employer (or nursing program) will see, so it should be an accurate and positive representation of you, both as an individual and as a nurse. First impressions are important, and the impression your resume imparts can make you a more competitive candidate.

Each resume should be tailored to the field you are entering, and nursing is no exception. As such, there are some things that you should keep in mind before submitting your resume. Marquette’s accelerated curriculum has been crafted to provide you with the nursing knowledge and skills you will need for success, and your resume can help display the knowledge you’ve worked so hard for. Let’s explore five nursing resume tips to consider before you enter the field.

1. Write a Clear Objective Statement

A comprehensive and direct objective statement is one of the marks of an excellent resume. This serves as an introduction to capture your employer’s attention and give them an idea of what type of work you are seeking. It is also an opportunity to display some of your most remarkable skills and combine them with a brief history of your work experience.

For example, rather than saying, “seeking a job opportunity to use my nursing skills and help patients,” you might say, “pursuing a position as a dedicated nursing professional with opportunities to utilize my two years of experience as a nurse technician providing committed and compassionate support to patients in a hospital setting.” The first option is straightforward but lacks individuality, while the second provides a peek into your experience and passion for nursing.

nursing student writing

2. Communicate Your Value

A common mistake that many nursing applicants make is underselling themselves. Your resume is your opportunity to show off a bit and put your best foot forward. When writing about your skills and job experience, use specific and thoughtfully chosen words to convey the value of your experiences. Don’t minimize yourself. You certainly possess skills that can stand out on a nursing resume.

If you worked in a medical setting, elaborate on your experience to draw in admissions committees or employers. Briefly describe the value of your past job opportunities and how they have influenced what you can bring to the table at the position you are applying for. Perhaps they provided you with specific technical experience or further developed your patient-interaction skills. Incorporate those benefits when describing yourself because you might be a more impressive and valuable candidate than you think.

3. Elaborate on Your Clinical Experience and Expertise

As mentioned before, your experiences are of the utmost importance to nursing programs and employers. They demonstrate that you have spent time in the field and are continuing to pursue a nursing career. Including these experiences on a resume also indicates that you have developed a competitive level of expertise. However, employers will never know about these experiences if you do not communicate them effectively.

Remember that your nursing clinical courses are not just a part of your MSN education but a helpful tool to use in applying to jobs. Be clear and direct about what medical facilities you worked at — both in and outside of clinicals. Describe what you gained from those experiences and why they set you apart from other candidates. Remember to be concise and include any relevant references.

smiling nursing student

4. Include your Level of Education

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there is more to communicating your education than simply writing out your degree. Your education also encompasses any additional training you have undergone in school or at work. If you received recognition from an academic body or if you graduated with honors, include it. Anything that might set you apart from a candidate with only a degree listed will help you be more memorable and boost your chances.

Completing your Direct Entry MSN will elevate your resume as well. Nurses with BSNs and MSNs are more highly sought-after by hospitals, as they are highly trusted to meet the needs of patients. This is why nurses with an MSN or BSN are more eligible to be hired at a Magnet-status hospital associated with higher nurse job satisfaction in addition to better patient outcomes. In addition, if a leadership position is of interest to you, an MSN degree on your resume will qualify you for more specialized and higher-paying positions.

Marquette nursing students sitting in hallway

Are you building your resume to apply to the Direct Entry MSN program? See more about what nursing schools look for in applicants.

5. Check for Grammar and Professionalism

You could have extensive nursing experience, an impressive education and a quality skill set, but if your resume has poor formatting and grammar or vague vocabulary, that will reflect negatively on you as a job candidate. Your resume should give the impression that this program or position is important to you, so ensure that it sends the message you want.

Triple check your resume to make sure it communicates exactly what you want it to. If writing is not your forte, ask a friend for a second set of eyes or use editing software. Make sure that your resume does not exceed two pages and that it is easily readable. Try looking through nursing resume templates online to make sure that your resume appears professional while conforming to industry norms. Read through your entire resume to check for any unnecessary words, or sections that could be more interesting or specific.

Your Resume with a Direct Entry MSN

smiling marquette nurse portrait

These nursing interview tips will help ensure that your resume stands out, but a master’s-level education will boost your resume even more. With an MSN from Marquette University, not only will you have the opportunity to enter the world of nursing as a well-educated professional, but you will also appear more qualified to employers and find many doors opened to you.

Once you have an MSN on your resume, you can continue to hone your nursing skills, enter a practice area, or even pursue further education or certifications to enter an advanced practice registered nursing position.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these APRN positions have a projected growth rate of 40% by 2031. This career flexibility is only one of the extensive benefits of earning your MSN, and Marquette is here to help you achieve your nursing goals.

Nurse with patients answering why start you career with an MSN

Learn more about the benefits of an MSN to explore if nursing is the right fit for you.

With these nursing resume tips in your inventory, are you ready to take the first steps toward a Direct Entry MSN? Contact an admissions adviser today to learn more about the program and about your prospective future as a nurse.