Nursing is one of the most in-demand occupations today. Even in this difficult economic period, new health care jobs are cropping up every month. For example, according to the Department of Labor’s latest Employment Situation report, 44,000 health care positions were added in the U.S. in September.
However, that does not give you an excuse to become complacent. Just because health care jobs are out there doesn’t mean one will drop into your lap. You still have to market yourself, and that means having an excellent nursing resume that includes the skills hiring managers want to see.
First, please read our general article on how to write a resume. Your nursing resume should include all of the items mentioned in that article.
Additionally, here are 4 specific items your nursing resume should include:
1. Licensing and certification details.
We said this to the accountants in our accounting resume article and we’ll say it again to the nurses: no one is going to assume you are certified. Your future employer will not just suppose you are a registered nurse because you apply for an RN position. People apply for jobs for which they are not qualified all the time.
So, specifically mention your relevant certifications in a “licenses” or “certifications” section on your nursing resume. Include any licenses or certifications that are relevant to the position for which you are applying.
For example, if you are a Registered Nurse, you could still include your Licensed Practical Nursing information or your Emergency Medical Technician licensing information. Do not use abbreviations.
For each license, include the state in which it was issued. You should also include either the year in which it was issued or the year in which it will expire. You may also choose to include your license number, when applicable.
2. Leadership capabilities, teamwork skills, and ethics knowledge.
Nurse educator Beverly Hansen OMalley, author of the Dimensional curriculum for practical nursing, has identified teamwork, leadership, and ethics knowledge as several of the most vital skills to mention on a nursing resume.
“Anything on the resume that shows leadership and independent decision making should be highlighted,” said Beverly OMalley in an interview with resume writing expert Richard Lindsey.
According to OMalley, leadership skills are essential, as nurses often need to work autonomously with little direction in a hospital setting.
She also said that collaborative capabilities are “highly valued and necessary” for nurses. Therefore, your nursing resume should emphasize any experience you’ve had working with physical therapists, physicians, pharmacists, and other nurses.
Finally, she said that a nursing resume should highlight knowledge of ethics or ethics courses taken. On her website, OMalley explained that nurses face many different types of ethical dilemmas on a regular basis and need to come to work prepared to handle them.
3. Relevant continuing education information.
Continuing education courses are a necessity for nurses, so a well-written nursing resume should certainly include those that are relevant to the desired position.
Of course, the focus should be on continuing education courses that pertain to the position for which you are applying. They do not have to be directly related as long as they are relevant to the position or the skills mentioned in the job ad.
According to OMalley, continuing education experiences should go in their own section, not under the “education” or “experience” section.
“Practice standards state that the RN must keep up to date,” said OMalley, “so this is considered professional development. Upgrading to a degree would be education.”
Moving continuing education experiences to a “continuing education” section can also emphasize your initiative.
“If you put it in the section of employment history and experience then it looks like it was the employer’s idea,” she said, “not yours.”
4. Technical skills.
Again, make it clear on your nursing resume that you are qualified for the job you’re trying to get.
OMalley recommended emphasizing physical assessment skills, such as:
- Chest assessments
- Peripheral pulses
- Neurological assessments
She also said to include knowledge of common work equipment, such as:
- Doppler machines (for taking a patient’s peripheral pulse)
- IV pumps
- Saline locks
- Central lines
Obviously, if a job ad mentions needing to know any specific skills and you have those skills, you should include them on your nursing resume. It would also be helpful to point them out in your cover letter.
A final piece of advice for your nursing resume…
Your nursing resume determines the first impression you will make upon the hiring staff at your future hospital or doctor’s office. A well-written nursing resume makes it clear that you are qualified for the job for which you are applying. Hiring staff will not assume you are a properly certified, up-to-date nurse with relevant people skills and technical skills if you don’t tell them.
Like a good nurse, your nursing resume needs to be able to communicate hefty chunks of information quickly yet effectively. A focused, efficient, carefully-written nursing resume reflects a focused, efficient, careful nurse.
If your job hunt has you feeling down, relax for a few minutes by checking out some funny cover letters. These funny cover letters, which we found online, were all used by real applicants. Reading them will not only amuse you, but remind you of the dangers of presenting irrelevant “experience,” wasting the hiring manager’s time with cutesy gimmicks, or attempting to use dark humor in what is supposed to be a professional correspondence.
Funny Cover Letter #1: Elementary School and Internet Accomplishments
This gem of a funny cover letter was first posted on the message board of the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club on April 10 of 2008. The user who submitted it, a regular, said their friend had just received it from someone applying for a business development associate position. Here is an excerpt:
I won 3 of my 4 elementary school spelling bees and it was here that I first made the newspaper with my picture. Years later, in the mid 1990s, my picture graced the papers many more times as an all-state and state champion runner. I am blessed by God.
In addition, my math skills are excellent and really consider myself a numbers guy. In elementary school, my flash cards multiplication skills set the standard for excellence. I have 3 semesters of calculus under my belt and was the co-captain of the calculus team.
My IQ is rated by tickle.com at 131.
You may be thinking that the author of this unintentionally funny cover letter was looking for a job while in middle school, but no. Apparently, on his resume, he said he had a Bachelor of Science.
Now, the grammatical errors are annoying and the reference to a religious belief is distracting, but the biggest problem is clearly that he is wasting the reader’s time by listing irrelevant experience. It is better to present a brief cover letter than a cover letter stuffed with fluff.
Funny Cover Letter #2: Even Santa Wouldn’t Hire This Elf
Our next funny cover letter-or cover poem, rather-comes from the marketing experts at Killian Branding. An applicant submitted this cover poem to them in what we can only guess was an attempt to be clever:
Twas 4 weeks after Christmas
And all throughout Killian and company
Human Relations pondered over
Who would be the next intern/employee?
The staff in their cubicles, all snug in their chairs
While visions of lunch in Chi-town were their only main cares
The big boss in his office, and me still at Miami
Both nervous and wondering: our hands remained clammy
When out in the mailroom there arose such a clatter
Employees from all over crowded to see what was the matter
Back in my apartment with a smile laid back
I knew once they’d opened my letter; there was no turning back
The sun on the streets of busy Windy City
Gave the luster of midday to 322 S. Green
When, what to their letter reading eyes should appear?
A girl with some spunk, and evidently no fear
As Ivory goes along with a substance called soap
Everyone looked at each other with a small gleam of hope
“It’s time to stop letting all the normal folk dance
And open our eyes, and give this chick a chance!”
That’s just an excerpt-the original is a full-length piece. Setting aside the fact that this applicant can’t write poetry, this gimmicky format is exactly the opposite of what a busy hiring manager needs to see. However, the worst thing about this cover letter is that it doesn’t speak to the company’s needs. After 180 words, the applicant still hasn’t given the hiring manager a single reason to hire her. No qualifications, experience, skills, or anticipated benefits to the employer are offered, unless “spunk” and lack of “fear” are somehow core job competencies.
As you can imagine, this poetess did not obtain the position for which she applied.
Funny Cover Letter #3: Fear and Loathing from Human Resources
This next excerpt comes from someone who actually did become a successful writer eventually. While this is an intentionally funny cover letter written by someone with a strong command of the English language, it’s still obviously ineffective:
I got a hell of a kick reading the piece Time magazine did this week on The Sun. In addition to wishing you the best of luck, I’d also like to offer my services.
Since I haven’t seen a copy of the “new” Sun yet, I’ll have to make this a tentative offer. I stepped into a dung-hole the last time I took a job with a paper I didn’t know anything about (see enclosed clippings) and I’m not quite ready to go charging up another blind alley.
By the time you get this letter, I’ll have gotten hold of some of the recent issues of The Sun. Unless it looks totally worthless, I’ll let my offer stand. And don’t think that my arrogance is unintentional: it’s just that I’d rather offend you now than after I started working for you.
I didn’t make myself clear to the last man I worked for until after I took the job. It was as if the Marquis de Sade had suddenly found himself working for Billy Graham. The man despised me, of course, and I had nothing but contempt for him and everything he stood for. If you asked him, he’d tell you that I’m “not very likable, (that I) hate people, (that I) just want to be left alone, and (that I) feel too superior to mingle with the average person.” (That’s a direct quote from a memo he sent to the publisher.)
Nothing beats having good references.
Of course if you asked some of the other people I’ve worked for, you’d get a different set of answers.
If you’re interested enough to answer this letter, I’ll be glad to furnish you with a list of references — including the lad I work for now.
The enclosed clippings should give you a rough idea of who I am. It’s a year old, however, and I’ve changed a bit since it was written. I’ve taken some writing courses from Columbia in my spare time, learned a hell of a lot about the newspaper business, and developed a healthy contempt for journalism as a profession.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. If this is what you’re trying to get The Sun away from, then I think I’d like to work for you.
Most of my experience has been in sports writing, but I can write everything from warmongering propaganda to learned book reviews.
I can work 25 hours a day if necessary, live on any reasonable salary, and don’t give a black damn for job security, office politics, or adverse public relations.
If this sounds like an obnoxiously modern lack of respect for authority, keep in mind this cover letter was written in 1958. This person obviously did know how to attract attention through writing and could have used this talent to write an appealing cover letter instead of an inappropriately funny cover letter.
Again, putting aside the use of expletives and the tone, this cover letter does not speak to the employer’s needs. It is not until about 300 words in that the author starts explaining why he is qualified for the position, and even then, he says that the supporting evidence he’s enclosing is outdated. It is not until about 400 words in that he starts talking about what he can offer The Sun.
Of course, bad-mouthing one’s previous employer in a resume or cover letter is another big job hunting mistake, even if justified.
The bottom line…
Your cover letter is supposed to be a concise business letter. You do not have time to list experiences or qualifications that have nothing to do with the position for which you are applying. You do not have time to be cute, clever, or gimmicky. Swagger will not compensate for a lack of substance. Human resources managers have seen all the funny cover letters imaginable already. They are much more likely to be impressed by a cover letter that dives in, presents the information they want to know, and ends on a professional note.
As a teacher, resume writing can be challenging. While items like certifications objectively communicate your proficiency, it’s harder to express the “soft skills” that are necessary for a successful teaching career, such as the ability to communicate well and handle conflict appropriately.
Plus, when you’re a teacher, resume length can quickly become a concern, as you may have to squeeze student teaching experience, practicums, tutoring experience, subject proficiencies, and other qualifications into a document that’s typically only one or two pages long.
Wait a minute,two pages? Yes, while we typically recommend that job seekers try to limit their resumes to one page, a teaching resume looks a little like a CV-resume hybrid, so it tends to be longer. According to Boston College, home of the Lynch School of Education, a 2-page resume is acceptable for teachers.
To begin, your first assignment is to read our article on how to write a resume in general. All of the following tips for educators in the United States should be used in combination with the information covered in that article.
Besides the typical items on every resume, such as the mandatory “education” section and optional “awards” section, a teacher’s resume should include the following:
1. Teaching certification details.
Saying you are “certified” is not enough. Certification requirements vary by state, so name the state from which you obtained your certification. Also include the levels and content area or areas you are certified to teach.
If you aren’t yet certified, provide the date that you’ll qualify for certification.
2. Continuing education experiences.
Continuing education courses should be featured on your teaching resume. Again, remember that continuing education requirements vary by state. In New Jersey, for example, 100 hours of continuing education courses are required over a 5-year period for each teacher.
Resume subsections, such as “continuing education” or “professional development” can be helpful for listing specific experiences. Don’t expect employers to just assume you are up-to-date!
3. Soft skills.
Soft skills, also known as “people skills,” are the traits that determine how effectively you can interact with other people. Examples include the ability to communicate, negotiate, deal with conflict, influence others, work within a team, maintain a friendly attitude, apply creative solutions to problems, and behave in a socially appropriate way.
An executive summary at the top of your teaching resume is a good place to mention these skills. Obviously, you don’t want to just have a laundry list of soft skills, so stick to a few that are particularly relevant to you as a teacher.
Resume writers can always just claim they have great people skills, of course, so it’s best to only include soft skills that you can back up using past accomplishments or experiences as evidence. For example, if you include on your resume that you spent several years teaching students from different backgrounds in an inner-city school environment, effectively managing diversity might be listed as one of your soft skills.
4. Secondary job skills.
OK, so you listed your primary areas of proficiency, but what else can you do? While your future school may have just listed a position for a math teacher, they may also be wishing for someone who could help the school French club this semester. If you can speak French at a conversational level, the school might be more inclined to hire you.
So, it might be useful to include a section with your other abilities, such as computer skills, knowledge of a foreign language, interest in remedial education, and musical abilities.
5. Student teaching and practicum experiences.
If you are further along in your career as a teacher, resume boosters like this might be unimportant compared to paid positions. But, student teaching and practicum experiences are important for new teachers.
Generally, you’ll want to describe student teaching experiences under your “professional experience” section, just as you describe jobs. It’s helpful to include the grade level and subject matter you taught, along with the number of students or classes you worked with. Also include any events you took part in, such as open house days.
Practicums look better under your “education” section. You want to include where the practicum took place, the age group or grade level you worked with, and what you did.
If you received some type of special distinction while participating, you will want to include that.
Don’t forget the basics!
Again, these are the items that are a little more specific to you as a teacher. Resume staples like volunteer experience, honors and awards, and professional association memberships should definitely appear on your resume, as long as they are relevant. Please look over our general resume writing tips for more advice.
And that wraps up our lesson plan for today. Now that you have done your reading, you should be able to write a resume that will receive top marks from employers.
High school students and even middle school students are often eager to take their first steps toward adulthood by working part-time. If you are a teen who wants to work, understanding the youth employment situation can give you a better picture of what to expect. Knowledge of U.S. labor laws can help you figure out which types of jobs and work shifts you can apply for. Keep reading to find out about these topics and learn practical strategies for working while in school.
The job market is tough for teenagers right now.
Well, the job market is tough for everyone right now, but especially so for teenagers. Jobs for high school students and minors are especially hard to come by. As of August, the unemployment rate for teenagers was 24.5%. That’s the highest of any demographic group.
Basically, it means that about 1 out 4 teenagers who has been actively looking for a job has been unable to find one. So, expect to apply to a lot of jobs before getting your foot in the door!
U.S. labor laws restrict jobs for high school students and teens according to age.
The law limits the types of jobs high school students and middle school students can hold. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Youth Rules website provides examples of jobs teenagers from different age brackets can hold.
Jobs for Middle school students: 13 or younger
As a middle school student, you can’t do most types of work until you turn 14, but you can still start earning money. While walking dogs and mowing lawns might not sound exciting, this type of work will prepare you for bigger jobs later.
Examples of age-appropriate jobs from the Department of Labor:
- Delivering newspapers
- Acting/performing (movies, TV, theater, radio)
- Working for your family-owned business (owned or operated by your parents)
- Helping on a farm (you must have a parent’s permission)
Jobs for high school students or middle school students: at least 14
Now that you are finishing up middle school or starting high school, you can do many more types of work. However, you still can’t do any type of work considered hazardous by the U.S. Secretary of Labor. Still, there are plenty of opportunities.
Examples of age-appropriate jobs from the Department of Labor:
- Office work
- Grocery or retail help
- Restaurant service
- Movie theater employment
- Baseball park positions
- Amusement park positions
- Gas station help
Jobs for high school students: 16 and up
Jobs for high school students open up a lot once you turn 16. You can now hold any job that isn’t considered hazardous. Rather than listing the many types of jobs you can hold, it’s easier to list the jobs you still can’t hold. Keep in mind that the Department of Labor makes some exceptions for apprenticeship opportunities in these hazardous jobs.
Examples of prohibited, hazardous jobs from the Department of Labor:
- Making or storing explosives
- Driving a vehicle or helping a driver
- Forestry services (fire fighting, fire prevention, timber management)
- Logging, sawmilling
- Operating power-driven machines (there are exceptions)
- Meat processing
- Making tile, brick and similar products
- Demolishing and shipbreaking
U.S. labor laws also restrict the kinds of hours teens can work according to age.
Just as the Department of Labor sets the standards for acceptable jobs for high school students and minors in general, they also specify the hours in which teenage employees can work. The following guidelines come from the Department of Labor’s Youth Rules website.
Working hours for middle school students: 13 or younger
Since the jobs that students your age are allowed to hold are positions that regular child labor laws don’t apply to anyway, there are few specific limits on working hours. These are usually part-time jobs, however, and you need a parent’s permission to hold them.
Working hours for teens: 14 to 15
At 14 or 15, you can now hold many potentially full-time jobs, so the Department of Labor gets more specific about the hours you can work.
Outside of normal school hours, you can work after 7 a.m. and until 7 p.m. During the summer, from June 1 to Labor Day, you can work until 9 p.m.
You are not allowed to work more than:
- 3 hours during a school day
- 18 hours during a school week
- 8 hours during a non-school day
- 40 hours during a non-school week
You can’t work during school hours, unless you take part in an approved Work Experience and Career Exploration Program. Then, in addition to being able to work during school hours, you can also work up to 23 hours per week during a school week.
Working hours for high school students: 16 and up
Jobs for high school students 16 and up can involve any hours. You can now work during normal school hours, too.
Finally, if you want to work in high school or middle school, follow 5 pieces of common-sense advice:
1. Keep school your top priority.
Jobs, for high school students and students in general, should always take a back seat to school responsibilities. If your grades start slipping, you come back from work without enough time to study for tests, or you need to rush through your homework, it’s time to cut your hours or find a different job.
2. Start small.
Don’t sign up for lots of hours right away. Start slowly and figure out what you’re comfortable with first. It’s better than possibly disappointing your new boss or coworkers later.
3. Tackle the transportation issue early.
As a teenager, there’s a good chance you don’t have your own car yet. So, you will need to figure out a way to get to work on time. If your city’s public transportation system is decent, look up bus schedules online and plan a route to get to work. You don’t want to take the last bus that can get you there on time—you want to take the one before that. It’s better to be half an hour early than 5 minutes late.
Otherwise, you’ll either have to take your bike, walk, or find a reliable carpool. Try using Google Map’s walking directions or bicycling directions to see how safe and how far the trip is. Joining a carpool with your coworkers can be a good option, but only if they’re dependable.
4. Stay organized.
Make sure you choose classes as early in the semester or year as possible and pick up your work schedule as early in the week as you can. Let your boss know about changes in your availability, such as final exams week, ahead of time. You may want to keep a planner, wall calendar, or to-do list app with your assignment due dates and work hours regularly updated.
5. Budget your study time.
Bring a few assignments, school books, or e-books with you to work. If your boss allows you to do homework or read during downtime, this can be a great opportunity to get caught up. You can also do an assignment while on the bus or listen to an e-book on your headphones while walking or riding your bike to work.
The bottom line on jobs for high school students…
Working can be a great experience for teens. However, tracking down jobs for high school students is hard in this economy, where even experienced workers are unemployed or facing lay-offs. You can improve your chances of being hired by knowing which positions the Department of Labor allows you to hold at your age and which shifts you can work. Once you are hired, following simple guidelines can help you get the most out of your new job and show the world how responsible young people can be.
Your dental hygienist resume could be your ticket to riding out the current economic crisis in comfort, as demand for dental hygienists is very high right now. According to the Department of Labor, job prospects for dental hygienists are excellent, because “dentists continue to need the aid of qualified dental assistants.” The Department of Labor explains that, “as dentists’ workloads increase, they are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks,” thus opening up more positions.
To benefit from this boom, however, you must have a polished dental hygienist resume that quickly and effectively markets your skills. Before we discuss specifics, please look over our main article on how to write a resume. That article covers basics that apply to all professional resumes, including your dental hygienist resume.
When it comes to a dental hygienist resume in particular, here are 4 specific items that you should include:
1. Licensing and certification information.
As we always say, no one will assume you’re licensed or certified if you don’t tell them, so always include this type of information on your resume.
Be sure to include the name of the state in which you were licensed, since dental hygienists are generally only allowed to practice in the state in which they have been granted a license.
Remember that you can list more than your Registered Dental Hygienist license on your resume, too. Here are some examples of related certifications that can make your dental hygienist resume stand out:
- Expanded Functions Certification
- Radiography Certification
- Nitrous Oxide Monitoring Certification
- Orthodontic Assistant Certification
- Registered Dental Assistant Certification
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification
These items should go under a “licensing” or “certification” section on your dental hygienist resume. You should also consider including either the year in which the license or certification was issued or the year in which it will expire. Don’t use abbreviations.
2. People skills.
As a dental hygienist, you will be working face-to-face with many different types of people – literally. So, it’s obviously important that you can handle social interactions well.
Just saying you are “good with people” isn’t enough for a dental hygienist resume, however. Most dental hygienists could say the same thing. You should think about the extra value that your people skills could bring to a dental team.
For example, are you especially good at helping patients who suffer from dental anxiety or phobias? Are you great with children and parents? Do elderly patients enjoy working with you in particular? What about patients with different physical or mental needs?
These are the kinds of specifics you should focus on in your dental hygienist resume, although, as always, you should only mention the skills that are relevant to the position for which you are applying . A good place to cover them is in your executive summary, which provides a quick, punchy run-down of your most marketable skills.
Of course, you will have to work closely with dentists, dental assistants, receptionists, and other dental hygienists, too. So, if you can emphasize past experiences in which you’ve successfully worked as part of a team, you will be all the more marketable.
As always, you should only list interpersonal skills that you can back up with evidence, since anything on your dental hygienist resume will be fair game during an interview. For example, if you write that you can work well under hectic conditions, have an example from your previous work experience or college days in mind to drive that point home.
3. Applicable continuing education information.
Most states require dental hygienists to take continuing education courses on a regular basis.
However, requirements vary widely. In South Dakota, for example, 75 continuing education hours are required every 5 years for all dental hygienists. This includes a mandatory 5 hours of Radiography. In Wisconsin, on the other hand, there are no continuing education requirements for dental hygienists, or even for dentists.
Even if you aren’t required to take continuing education courses, but have chosen to do so, mentioning ones that are relevant to the position for which you are applying can boost your odds of landing a job. Of course, you shouldn’t just list all of the classes you’ve taken, just the ones that fit the best.
For example, let’s say that you are submitting your dental hygienist resume to an oral surgeon’s office known for handling difficult dental extractions. If you have taken Nitrous Oxide Sedation in Dental Offices as one of your continuing education classes, this would probably be relevant to the position.
Continuing education experiences, if included, should be placed in a separate section. Having a section titled “continuing education” helps emphasize your commitment to honing your skills as a dental hygienist.
4. Dental care skills and areas of specialization.
Including your areas of technical specialization helps the hiring staff see how qualified you are. Here are some examples of areas of specialization that could be emphasized on a dental hygienist resume.
- Preventative Care
- Protective Sealants
- Disease Exam/Screening
- Dental Charting
- Oral Cavity Exam
- Self-Care Programs
- Stain Removal
- Patient Management
- Nutrition Counseling
These are just a few helpful examples. To find more, look for dental hygienist positions on websites such as Monster.com, Craigslist.org, or job search engines specific to the health care field. Write down the desired skills you see listed most often in those job ads.
Then, look over them and see which apply to both your own areas of specialization and the jobs you’re interested in applying for. Those are the best ones to include on your dental hygienist resume. It’s also helpful to point out those skills in a corresponding cover letter.
A final piece of advice for your dental hygienist resume…
As a dental hygienist, chances are high that you will be working in a dentist’s office alongside many other types of dental staff who are already used to working with one another. You need to show that you are qualified, skilled, and personable enough to contribute to this existing team.
If you focus on specific ways you can add value to the practice, your dental hygienist resume will stand out for all the right reasons.