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Nurses can craft the perfect resume
A resume is your first and sometimes only chance to make a positive impression on a potential employer. As manager of nurse recruitment at UCLA Health in Los Angeles, Calif., Sheri Monsein, MN, RN, receives a lot of resumes, but said the ones that stand out share the following qualities.
Great resumes demonstrate the candidate has conducted due diligence and researched about the hospital for which they are applying. “I want to have a candidate show how their experience, skills and personality are a good fit for UCLA Health,” Monsein said. “I’m aware they want a job, but why do they want to work here specifically? Are they interested in working at a research hospital, do they share our vision and mission? I encourage applicants to tell me what appeals to them about the particular job and working here as opposed to another healthcare setting.”
Monsein looks for resumes that are well-crafted and that highlight the candidate’s skills and experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean paying someone to write your resume, but Monsein said it does involve searching out templates online and asking for a colleague or mentor to critique your resume. “Grammar and spelling errors can automatically disqualify candidates,” she said. Ditto cover letters addressed to the wrong person or hospital.
Monsein said she often sees new graduates who neglect to list their job experiences outside of nursing thinking they will not be relevant to the employer. She disagrees. “Seeing that a candidate has worked at McDonald’s or Abercrombie shows they have learned customer service and time management skills,” Monsein said. “And if they worked while attending school, it typically eases their transition from student to full-time employee.”
They target a specific employer
They list the proper contact information
When she’s calling to schedule an interview or make an offer, Monsein wants to reach candidates in a timely manner. “List a cell phone number and make sure you have a professional outgoing message,” she said. “Also list an e-mail address that you check frequently.” she said. While some people advise not listing a full street address to prevent identity theft, Monsein wants candidates to at least list a city and state, so she can determine whether she needs to factor in relocation costs when making an offer.
They don’t omit job experience
They are well-written – and spell checked
They list prior volunteer experience
sheri
Sheri Monsein, MN, RN
EDITOR'S NOTE: Linda Childers is a freelance writer.
If a candidate has volunteered through their church or within their community, nurse recruiters want to hear about it. “I don’t look for a one-time volunteer stint, but if someone has shown the initiative to go on a medical mission or to work at a non-profit, it supplements their work experience and can demonstrate both leadership and compassion,” Monsein said.
An extra nugget of advice
For nurses who have been out of the job force for longer than five years, Monsein recommends enrolling in a re-entry program before sending out resumes. “Treatments, medications and technology can change quickly in healthcare,” she said. “If you’ve been unemployed while you raise a family, a re-entry course can bring you up to speed.”

For nurses who are considering taking a leave from nursing, Monsein encourages them to continue working on a per diem basis, rather than to leave the profession completely. “It’s easier to stay current with your skills by working one weekend a month,” she said.
Submit your resume to land the perfect job
Nurse recruiter reveals what makes a resume stand out from the crowd
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By Linda Childers
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Contents
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Make 3 mammoth decisions
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Choose your goal and platform before heading back to school.
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Create a winning resume
Jump ahead of the competition with a top-notch resume.
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Salaries on the upswing
Find out how your salary compares to RNs across the country.
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Job satisfaction study
RNs reveal how they really feel about their jobs.
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Avoid turbulent travel nursing
Seek advice on travel contracts before signing on the dotted line.
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5 tips for job interviews
Make a memorable first impression at your next interview.
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Is travel nursing for you?
If you have an adventurous spirit, you might like this specialty.
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CE COURSE: Terminal degrees
PhD, EdD, DNP — which one should you pursue?
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Legally protect your practice
Know the tools you need to protect your license from potential liability.
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Get on boards when job hunting
Nursing job boards can help you find the perfect job.
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Boost your career trajectory
The right plan and tools will help you carve out a successful career.
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Get to the heart of bioethics
Big ethical decisions have a way of influencing all aspects of RNs' lives.
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Speak their language
Bilingual nurses are in demand by recruiters.
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Engaging millennials
Nurse leaders are finding ways to retain younger nurses.
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Healthcare in the outlands
Rural areas seek nurses willing to make the move.
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Continuing education catalog
Read this list of CE modules geared toward your professional growth.
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CE COURSE: Precepting
Find out why preceptors are critical to the nursing profession.
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Protect against retaliation
Nurse attorney discusses your discrimination rights on the job.
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Tips on how to change jobs
When you're ready for a new career direction make a flight plan first.
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Learn how to keep the peace
Conflict management isn't easy, but it's worth the time and effort.
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Job search like a pro
Become a savvy job seeker by following these guidelines.
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FREE CE: Become empowered
Learn how to gain a greater voice at your organization.
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