Whether you’re right out of nursing school or an experienced healthcare professional, it’s necessary to have a great resume to help you stand out from the crowd when applying for nursing jobs. Listing your practical experience, training, licenses, and certifications is essential. It goes without saying that you’ll need to possess practical skills such as handling and participating in catheterizations, wound care, dialysis, blood draws, and a host of other important patient care skills. But these are just the beginning.

There are other important qualities that can be added to your resume (or resume summary or cover letter) that might not seem so obvious; soft skills that are crucial in the nursing field, and therefore can make or break your chances of getting an interview for a nursing position.

Soft Skills

Communication – This is more than speaking and understanding a specific language. Good communication is a 2-way street, and being able to listen, as well as to clearly convey information, is a very important skill to have on your resume. A great deal of information can be gained and uncovered when a nurse really listens to a patient. And this, in turn, can impact the information that’s given back to the patient and the family.

Compassion & Kindness – It’s tough to be a patient in a clinical setting. Patients can get angry or impatient because they don’t feel well. Often they’re not in an optimal mental state and can act out or be disrespectful. But seeing a nurse with a kind face and getting help from someone with a warm and compassionate personality can have a huge effect on a person’s healing process.

Flexibility – Nurses are all too familiar with ever-changing schedules, double shifts, and unpredictable situations. They also know what it feels like to be on their feet for hours without much of a break. Physical stamina and being able to adapt to constant change are important skills to add to your resume.

Critical Thinking Skills – Often faced with high-pressure situations, nurses need to be able to assess a problem and make decisions – often within seconds or minutes. It’s a real skill to make a split second decision, and to come up with appropriate – and sometimes unconventional – solutions.

Desire to Learn – It’s a competitive world out there. No matter what line of work, there’s always going to be something new to learn. Whether it’s new computer software, a different medical device, or administrative tools, it’s imperative to stay up to date. Your resume should show how you’ve continued to explore and discover new things throughout your nursing career as well as in life in general.

For assistance with your resume, cover letter, and/or improving your interview skills, call MassHire and Cape and Islands Career Center at 508-771-5627. We’re here to help. 

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