Join me as i speak with Jordan G. Roberts, PA-C and I will tell you why it is SO important to de-clutter your resume, offer a few tips (and cautions) on job searching in the current job market along with a few other job seeking gems. Oh, and i will tell you all about going to jail… for the right reasons. All this wisdom is delivered with a healthy dose of humor.
There seems to be some confusion about cover letters. I have seen some advice on the big box job sites that is telling job seekers that the advice to include a cover letter may be a thing of the past. No doubt this will have many of you jumping for joy – I mean, who likes to write a cover letter anyway?
Your resume needs to demonstrate that you have the skills the employer wants.
The only thing that matters is what the employer wants.
As a new graduate the most marketable experience you have is your clinical rotations.To be successful your resume must contain clear and easy to find information. You can’t get an interview if the recruiter can’t determine whether or not you meet the requirements. Your resume will have about 30 seconds to catch the eye of the employer, so it’s important to be sure all the info in your resume is easy to find. The reader shouldn’t have to strain or work hard to figure out who you are.In today’s market employers are expecting to receive a resume that is tailored to the position. When creating their first NP resume many new graduates get carried away and include too much extraneous information. Remember, your resume is just a snapshot to show the employer you are a match – not your entire life history.First, you must make it clear to the reader that you possess the appropriate educational preparation. Place your educational section at the top of your resume. Make sure you have included your degree and the dates it was earned (or will be earned). You can safely omit elements like your GPA, thesis, or doctoral project. This simply adds clutter to your resume without increasing your marketability. I know you worked hard for your GPA, but it doesn’t belong on your resume.Second, clearly indicate your certification. You will be seen as ineligible for the position if information relating to your certification status is missing. Identify the name your certifying body and note either “current” or the expiration date of your board certification. If you have not yet taken boards note “pending” or your scheduled test date. Also, be sure you list your RN licenses. This may seem like a no brainer but it is important that your nursing license(s) be on your resume.Next is your experience section. As a new grad your clinical rotations are your most pertinent and relevant experience. Take a look at the job posting and find the skills the employer has stated are a requirement. Then make sure you mention those skills in your student experience section. Avoid statements that reflect minimum entry levels skills. It’s a waste of space on your resume to say “manage acute and chronic conditions” or “history and physical exam skills”. That won’t set you apart. Give the recruiter some real data about procedures, specific conditions and populations. You should find this data in your clinical logs.Finally, take care not to focus on your RN experience. Employers like to see that you had RN experience but they are not interested in your RN duties. A simple entry indicating the department where you worked in will be sufficient. You are applying for an NP job and you are a new NP graduate, however, you are competing against candidates who have NP experience. To put it bluntly, what you did as an RN will not trump actual NP experience so it’s best not to waste the resume space because it won’t make you more marketable. If the employer wants to hear more about your RN jobs they will ask you about them in an interview.Oh, and a nice cover letter will help you get noticed too.I will send you my cover letter and resume guides via email.Good luck and keep me posted on your job search.~Renee
Hello New Grads!
Abe Lincoln once advised “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 7 sharpening my axe”.
Don’t get worried, I don’t actually want you to chop anything down! My point is that I want you to be well prepared before you begin your NP job search.
In my last column for Advance for NPs & PAs I outlined 5 essential steps to include in your job search plan.
In my column you will find advice on
- Applying too soon (yes, you can apply too soon)
- Finding and choosing the proper references
- How to sell yourself and your skills
- Handling the dreaded “strength and weakness” interview question.
Graduation is exciting but also a little stressful. New grads (or maybe I should call them “soon-to-be-grads”) spend almost as much of their last semester worrying about getting their first job as they do studying.
Well, I personally have never seen any value to worry. It’s far better to spend your time preparing instead of worrying. And luckily for new grads there is some good advice out there.
Advance for NPs and PAs puts out a great “Guide for NP & PA New Grads” every year and it is chock full of both practical and valuable advice.
This year 2013 the guide has gone digital and you will find 4 extremely helpful articles.
The first (which just happens to be written by me!) is Salary Tips for the New Grad. I discuss realistic salary expectations as well as the proper time to negotiate. You might be surprised at what I have to say. Read more
There is also a nice article on Building a Better Resume. This piece includes some nice tips on social media, keywords and paper resumes. As your trusted NP Career Coach I can say without reservation that the advice is spot on and will help you be more successful in landing that job interview.
Speaking of interviews, did you know that the new trend is to do your interview via Skype? Check out the handy tips in Get Psyched to Skype. You will be glad you did.
And finally, read Networking Know-How and find out how to make the most out of your networking.
Access the entire guide HERE
I have preached this for years. Call it a resume trifecta, the holy trinity or the triple play but every (and I mean EVERY) NP resume must contain these 3 critical pieces of information. If employers do not find this information – and find it quickly – your resume will never make it past the first round.
It’s a simple formula really
1. Your education
2. Your certification
3. Your skills
Create your resume around these elements. Remember, we review your resume in less than 15 seconds so you must make these 3 bits of data the centerpiece of your resume. Skip the fancy formatting, long winded “objective” statements and just focus on ensuring that this information as easy for us to find as possible.
What to know what to include under each of these 3 headings?
Read my latest blog here