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Nurses can craft the perfect resume

Nurse recruiter reveals what makes a resume stand out from the crowd

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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.

By Linda Childers

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.”

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.

About the Author

Linda Childers is a freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in both regional and national magazines, such as Arthritis Today, California Health Report, Caring Today, Health Monitor, Neurology Now, New Physician, The Rheumatologist.

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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.

Sheri Monsein
MN, RN
Exceptional Care, Extraordinary Nurses
Mercy Health Services in Baltimore would like to take a moment to express a heartfelt thank you to all nurses everywhere for their hard work, compassion, and dedication to patient care. Thank you. Join Mercy's Team with Career Advancement Opportunities, Spirit of Compassion and a Collaborative Team Environment. We also offer:

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Mercy Health Services in Baltimore would like to take a moment to express a heartfelt thank you to all nurses everywhere for their hard work, compassion, and dedication to patient care. Thank you. Join Mercy's Team with Career Advancement Opportunities, Spirit of Compassion and a Collaborative Team Environment. enjoy tons of benefits.

They target a specific employer

They are well-written — and spell checked

They don’t omit job experience

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 list prior volunteer experience

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.

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