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  • Writer's pictureJessica C

How to Create a Resume for Nursing Students

What is the purpose of a resume?

A resume is a marketing tool and works by presenting your skills, knowledge, and experience to a potential employer in a concise, easy-to-read way.

The average employer spends only 15 to 20 seconds reviewing a resume.

Remember that a resume does not get you a the job, it gets you the interview

  • One or two pages in length (one page double sided)

  • 0.5 inch margins or greater and 11 point Times New Roman font.

  • Consistent Format and avoid clutter

  • Tricks: Target Your Content Highlight experiences and skills most relevant to the position by incorporating keywords from the job posting.

  • Avoid Pronouns: Personal or possessive pronouns (I, my, me, we, our) are not appropriate in a resume.

  • Highlight Accomplishments: Use action verbs, and details to describe not only what you did

What to Include:

HEADING: Include name, mailing address, telephone number (home or mobile) and a professional email address.


  • List all institutions and degrees: Include dates of completion in reverse chronological order. Make sure to include study abroad or summer institutes.

  • GPA: Including your GPA is optional, unless the employer requires you to do so. Standard practice is to only include GPA if over 3.2

  • Include academic accomplishments: Research, special projects, presentations, and/or relevant thesis topics


  • If you are a new RN graduate: prioritize your clinical experience by placing Clinical Rotations and any nursing related experience (CAN, Nursing Home Aide, etc.) toward the beginning of the resume.

  • Remember all new RN graduates completed clinical rotations: find a way to make your rotational experience stand out.

Only include clinical experience that is relevant to the job position

Setting location and hour


  • Include Clinical Experience and/or Related Experience first: Not nursing school clinical

  • Reverse Chronological Order: Include the employer name, city and state, job title, and dates of employment.

  • Bullet points = accomplishments Show the results of your work and how it helped the organization.

  • Use Action Verbs: such as analyzed, communicated, assisted, developed, improved, increase, counseled, organized, managed.

Do not use any action verb more than once under the same job.


  • Technical Skills: list relevant computer applications, languages, and technical clinical skills from most unique to least unique.

  • Languages: acceptable proficiency terms: native/bilingual; full professional proficiency/fluent; minimum professional proficiency/conversational, limited working proficiency, elementary/basic.

  • Leadership o Include your most recent leadership roles; avoid using outdated experiences o If you have extensive leadership experience, you could create a separate “Leadership Experience” section or you can include leadership positions under the “Work Experience” section.

  • Affiliations o List professional organizations and other community affiliations that support your career goals, including student organizations.

  • Volunteer o List most recent and/or relevant activities first. In general, employers like to see some type of volunteer activity on the resume even if it’s not directly related to the job you’re applying for.

  • Certifications o List most recent and/or relevant certifications first.


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