Keys to an Outstanding Healthcare Resume
The healthcare field is one of the largest and most competitive industries in the entire world. With job demand rapidly increasing, it is critical during the application process to do everything possible to market yourself as the ideal candidate. When it comes to writing resumes, best practices often overlap between industries, however, healthcare candidates often have long lists of educational accomplishments and certifications that need to be put on display.
If you’ve been in healthcare for more than a few years, expect your resume to be nearly two full pages. For those who are fresh out of school or seeking administrative work in the healthcare field, keep it to one page.
Bullet points, when used appropriately, are an effective tool for efficiently conveying important information to a potential employer who is likely looking through a thick stack of resumes. Nobody wants to try and quickly skim through a wall of text, and bullet points allow you to highlight exactly what you want your future employer to see.
Bold the main headings of each section of your resume (qualifications, education, skills, certifications, etc.) to make navigating the document easier for the reader, and italicize your job titles to help them stand out that extra little bit.
Do not choose a strange font in an attempt to stand out. You’ll end up frustrating the reader and your resume will be discarded. Times New Roman is preferred for how easy it is to read, and keep the body text at nothing smaller than a 10-point size.
There are two recommended ways of laying out a resume, and which is best depends on your specific education and experience.
This is the most common format in just about every industry, including healthcare. It flows well and gives the reader information in a logical pattern. If you’re strong in education and certifications, chronological is ideal for you as it puts that right up towards the top. Chronological resumes are also a strong option for those looking for an entry-level position, as it highlights education and skills over previous work experience.
For those keen to show their prospective employer their diverse skillset, the functional resume is great. From there, it leads into where you acquired those skills through education and work experience.
Your future employer needs to know who they’re talking to. Your name should be at the very top of your resume, followed by your full title. Below your name should be your contact information, including address, phone number, and professional email address. Objective statements are viewed as outdated at this point and should be avoided.
Pick out keywords from the description for the job you are applying for, and fit them into your resume. Large employers weed out some applicants by using a recruiting system that looks for certain keywords to find suitable candidates automatically. You might have the strongest resume in the world, but if it lacks certain keywords, it won’t make it past the computer.
These are vital for many healthcare positions, so make sure they are listed – especially ones that your job posting mentions specifically. If you’re working towards a certification but don’t yet have it, list it as well, but add an expected date of completion.
Quality references open many doors in the healthcare field. Many gloss over putting references in their resume in order to talk about themselves more, but having others who are willing to talk on your behalf can be extremely helpful. A recommendation from someone who has some clout in the industry carries more weight than you talking about yourself a little bit more. Include two to three professional references on your resume.