Top 10 ways to improve your resume

We've got such a talented pool of recruiters here at SquadBuilders, it only makes sense to tap into their knowledge and expertise from time to time.  Today, Christina Mullin from our Travel Nurse Division offers some useful tips on getting your resume up to snuff.  Your resume is your calling card; put your best foot forward!  Thanks, Christina! (To reach out directly to Christina, please call her at (913) 752-9968.)

1) Use effective titles
Like it or not, employers will usually make a judgment about your resume in 5 seconds. Under this time frame the most important aspect will be the titles that you listed on the resume, so make sure they are attention-grabbing. Try to be as descriptive as possible, giving the employer a good idea about the nature of your past work experiences. Also, don’t title the resume for a position if your resume reflects no experience in that discipline. For example:
Bad title: RN
Bad Title: Nurse Manager- (resume reflects no management or supervision exp)
Good title: Surgical RN or Oncology RN


2) Put the most important information first
This point is valid both to the overall order of your resume, as well as to the individual sections. Most of the times your previous work experience will be the most important part of the resume, so put it at the top. When describing your experiences or skills, list the most important ones first. In healthcare, your only relevant skills are the ones you have been using for the last two years. Instead of listing your skills under your previous employment bullets, place them all together at the top. That way, you don’t date your skills and experience. 

3) Avoid negativity
Do not include information that might sound negative in the eyes of the employer. This is valid both to your resume and to interviews. You don’t need to include, for instance, things that you hated about your last company. NEVER speak negatively in the interviews as well. 

4) You don’t need to list all your work experiences
If you have job experiences that you are not proud of, or that are not relevant to the current opportunity, you should just omit them. Mentioning that you used to sell hamburgers when you were 17 is probably not going to help you land that executive position. DO not go back more than 7 years. 

5) Use bullet points
No employer will have the time (or patience) to read long paragraphs of text. Make sure, therefore, to use bullet points and short sentences to describe your experiences, educational background and professional objectives.

6) Proofread it twice
It would be difficult to emphasize the importance of proofreading your resume. One small typo and your chances of getting hired could slip. Proofreading it once is not enough, so do it twice, three times or as many as necessary. If you are unsure, have someone proofread it for you. It is easy to miss words that are not misspelled, but misused. 

7) One or two pages
The ideal length for a resume is a polemic subject. Most employers and recruiting specialists, however, say that it should contain one or two pages at maximum. Just keep this in mind:  provided all the necessary information is there, the shorter your resume, the better.

8) Update your resume regularly
It is a good idea to update your resume on a regular basis. Add all the new information that you think is relevant; as well as courses, training programs and other academic qualifications that you might receive along the way. This is the best way to keep track of everything and to make sure that you will not end up sending an obsolete document to the employer. In healthcare, this is especially important. If the skills are not listed, how does the manager/recruiter know that you have them? 

9) List all your positions
If you have worked a long time for the same company (over 10 years) it could be a good idea to list all the different positions and roles that you had during this time separately. You probably had different responsibilities and developed different skills on each role, so the employer will like to know it.

10) No fancy design details
Do not use a colored background, fancy fonts or images on your resume. Sure, you might think that the little flowers will cheer up the document, but other people might just throw it away at the sight.

Thanks again for your insight, Christina.  If you think you’ve got what it takes to #JoinTheSquad, please contact us!  We’re here to help you find that win-win! Good luck!

-RV