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Effective Healthcare Resume Writing

Effective healthcare resume writing can help you land the job you want. In the healthcare field, your resume is basically your first impression. This is why writing an effective healthcare resume will get the attention of human resources staff. You want to keep it at the top of the pile and make it memorable. Whether you are just starting out in the healthcare field or have been working in it for years, you want to stress the key points to show this prospective employer that you are what they are looking for.  Here are some very important things to remember when you are writing an effective healthcare resume:

Important things to remember when writing your resume:

Up To Date InformationThe top of your resume should contain your full name, current address, current telephone number and e-mail address. If you have a fax number go ahead and include that. Do not include your birthday or any other personal information.

Proper ObjectiveIf you have an old resume from before you went into healthcare, toss it. Writing an effective healthcare resume means being specific about the job you are applying for. Make sure to highlight your strengths and how you will benefit the environment and team.

Education and Certifications FirstHealthcare employers need to see your education and what you are certified to do. For instance; nurses who are certified in Intravenous Therapy or Advanced Life support, radiology technicians who are certified in MRI or CT scanning, Registered Nurse Anesthetists, etc. This way the employer will know how valuable you will be for the job.

Skills Are A Big DealI once asked an employer what is important when writing an effective healthcare resume. They said the next best thing to education listed on a resume, is skills.

Use a bulleted list and remember if you’re new to this, the things you practiced in school are skills. Here is an example:

  • Phlebotomy   

  • BLS Certified

  • Wound Vac (Use the type/company you were trained on)

  • Family Centered Care and Support (Very important to show customer service skills)

  • Accurate and Timely Documentation

  • Medical Coding (ICD.9 and CPT)

  • Any Software and Operating Systems         

Don’t try to list too many skills, but make sure you get the key important skills that are needed for the job you are applying for. You are trying your best to keep your resume to one page only, so if you need to list your skills in two columns.

List Five Years Of Previous Employment and Note Any BreaksMake sure you account for a full five years of employment unless the employer is asking for more. Some correctional healthcare jobs require a little more since you will be getting security clearance. Account for any breaks in employment. Make sure you give the employers name, city/state, dates and a brief paragraph outlining job duties.

Additional note on writing an effective healthcare resume:

If this is your first healthcare job then you need to use any clinical rotations under “clinical experience” at the top, then under your clinical experience list “additional experience’ to include non-healthcare employment. This will keep your resume more concise and to the point.

Extracurricular ActivitiesThey want to get to know you as a person, briefly and appropriately. Bonfires and beers on the beach might be fun for you, but your new employer doesn’t need to know that much. This also means try to keep religious and political activities out of this section. Keep it light such as; civic activities, charity work, volunteer time and even ongoing studies. You can include hobbies if they seem appropriate including; lifeguard during summer, windsurfing, reading, playing tennis and running. (The latter show an interest in healthy lifestyles that you will pass along to patients) Just be prepared for questions on why you like certain hobbies and that is why it should be kept appropriate in order to avoid an embarrassing question.

References On Your ResumePrior to working in the medical field, you may have listed “references on request.” This is one important change you will need to make when looking for a job in the medical field. Your prospective employer may want to contact your previous employers prior to your interview to get to know you a little better. Always have three solid references for employers that know you well and list them on the bottom of your resume. This gives you an added advantage and your interviewer will already know that you are good for the job that you are applying for.


When you write an effective healthcare resume, it needs to model how you will work in patient care. Remember, the medical field is a fast paced environment with attention to detail and learning to prioritize the most important things first. Your resume will reflect how you will perform in the healthcare setting with speed, accuracy and attention to detail. Make sure you do a good spell check and have someone look it over before you finalize it.

If you haven't tried professional resume writing services earlier, you can check out the services that The Resume Center offers a range of related services, as well as help and advice pages that you may wish to consider, from cover letters to tips on interview techniques.