As recently as early 2020, getting a job, starting a business, or switching career paths were not overwhelmingly difficult challenges. Since then, however, the global pandemic has changed the world dramatically. Economic pressures have forced companies to cut staff and trim bonuses, raises, and benefits. The pressure of competition for fewer jobs now forces you to prove your value and unique talents. Despite a nursing shortage, the COVID ushered in a trend of hospitals becoming more selective in choosing new hires and demanding more from staff. This is why your nursing resume has become even more important.

Potential healthcare employers want to learn all they can about you before they hire you. As either a seasoned Registered Nurse or especially a new or recent graduate, you are going to need a compelling and persuasive cover letter and resume in order to advance your career. Remember, a resume does not get you the job; it gets you the interview. It is a fine distinction, but one worth remembering. It is a two-stage process. Your resume leverages you into the best possible position to be able to secure the role you are targeting. Wording it through that perspective will hold you in good stead. 

Although job openings have become scarce, most people seeking jobs still rely on submitting generic resumes to internet job boards. They mistakenly believe they can compete successfully with an ever-growing number of job seekers with this approach, but the real problem is that it delivers miserable results involving little or no human-to-human interaction, networking, or relationship-building. 

Your nursing resume is a marketing tool and is one of the ways to tell your story by presenting your skills, knowledge, and experience to a potential employer in a concise, easy-to-read way. The average employer spends only 15 to 20 seconds reviewing a resume. Ensure that yours is targeted, error-free and easy to scan. You need to push your value proposition. You may have heard the term ‘value proposition’ used to describe how a brand or product is marketed to its audience. However, value proposition statements are not just for the business world. Creating a clear value proposition in your nursing resume can help you to better market yourself to employers. Your personal value proposition is a guarantee of worth to a potential employer.

Creating a compelling nursing value proposition means knowing the healthcare organisation you are targeting, their specific vision and areas of specialisation. This will also include the community they serve. A value proposition has several key elements. The main one is the problem or the opportunity. What is the issue you solve? And what is the thing you bring to the table that your competitor may lack? Why is that important?  And why is it something the hospital needs to help them? A clear value proposition will increase your chances of being hired and the number of interview requests you receive. So how do you make certain that your nursing value proposition lines up with your prospective employer?

Your personal value proposition should be a statement of the real results a healthcare organisation will get from hiring you. In other words, it is the unique benefits you will bring to an employer that others will not. You may need to define your value proposition to yourself first before you set it down on your resume. List your prior job titles one by one. What have been the most important duties you have filled for current and previous employers? Then look at your key achievements within those roles. How satisfied was your employer with your results? Did you improve efficiencies, raise the bar on patient care, act as an effective mentor to AIN’s? When you look beyond the titles and duties, you begin to realise your value proposition.

All of these little things will help you focus on what your unique nursing value proposition is. An effective resume that lands job interviews boil down to how well you know yourself, your healthcare skills, and how persuasively you can sell yourself. So, it is good training to take an inventory of your skills, job accomplishments, and personality traits. Together, they can work as a vision statement that helps to illustrate the value you bring to an employer. Also keep in mind that if the employer sees value in you, you will be landing a job that will increase your value proposition even higher.

In the next part of this blog article, we will look at specific elements to your nursing resume and cover letter to make sure you land that all-important interview.