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Writing a winning travel nurse resume doesn’t need to be daunting. Now that almost all travel nurse resumes are loaded into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you simply need to know how to work with the system to get your resume noticed. All you have to do is follow a few simple rules and your resume will shine.
In ATS, your resume is uploaded by someone and the system autopopulates the corresponding fields. This information is then sifted through by the recruiting team to find the right fit. Knowing how to structure your resume in order to fit into the system will bring you well on your way to getting hired.
Use Microsoft Word, Wordpad or Notepad to write your resume. Avoid using Adobe InDesign or other fancy formatting applications, because your resume’s content won’t be picked up by ATS. Don’t use PDFs or jpgs. Although ATS might be able to pick up the information, it’s safer to use .doc.
Use punctuation so that ATS can read your resume easily. If you write “Location: Dallas, TX” it will be easier for the system to read than if you wrote, “I currently live in Dallas but would like an assignment in …” A colon separates the data for the system. Also, using easily understandable titles like education, specialties, licenses and profession will greatly increase your chances of having your information sorted correctly.
When writing about your education and degrees, it’s not enough to list the institution and the degree you earned. You must include:
○ Institution’s full official name
○ Full address
○ Telephone number
○ Exact dates of attendance
○ Name of degree achieved
For licenses and certifications:
○ List every license and certification you have by its correct significations (using RN instead of nurse, for example)
○ List the license or certification number if applicable
○ List the licensing or certifying body for every license and certification you have
○ List the expiration date for every license and certification
○ If there is no expiration, then list date obtained
○ If it’s a compact nursing license, then clearly state it
Aside from getting your education and license information right, your resume needs to include the following:
○ Electronic Health Record (EHR)/Electronic Medical Record (EMR) experience.
○ ICD-10 billing code experience.
○ Facility and unit types. Include the types of facilities you’ve worked in and be specific.
○ Nurse-to-patient ratio. How many patients have you managed?
○ Number of beds. How large were the past facilities you worked at?
Highlight your travel assignments, because they can be your golden ticket to your next travel assignment! Many recruiters are looking for recent travel nursing experience, so if you have it, flaunt it. Add the text “job type” and then follow it with the appropriate title, such as “Job Type: Travel Nurse.”
Try to keep your resume to only one page. It may be tempting to go on and on about your qualifications and expertise, but out of respect for the people reading your resume, keep it brief.
Ask a friend or relative to proofread your resume and give you their thoughts. Although they may not be familiar with how a travel nurse resume should read, it helps to have another person check for misspellings and grammatical errors.
Make sure to regularly update your resume so you can have it ready in case an opportunity comes your way. You never know when the perfect travel nursing assignment will open up.
Giving yourself time to get your travel nurse resume right will pay off in the end. It takes only a few moments for someone to have an impression of you based on your resume, so gather all the details you need to show off your experience and skills and create a winning travel nurse resume that will get you your dream assignment.