Get your Nursing Resume Noticed, with a Compelling Summary

The resume summary is a very rich section designed to quickly demonstrate you've got what it takes! Let's look at two examples of very compelling resume summaries for nurses.

1. Highlights of resume for St. Joseph Hospital

  • Leadership qualities with experience as team leader of a busy downtown Emergency Department.
  • Board certified family nurse practitioner with 16 years of advanced practice experience caring for the adult and pediatric populations within the acute care setting and outpatient care environments.
  • Managed three outpatient programs, two of which became quite successful and well known throughout the State.
  • Active participant in quality improvement measures and staff trainings.
  • Member of the 2014 Hospital Accreditation Committee.

2. Summary for XYZ correctional facility

  • 4 years of experience as a registered nurse.
  • Strong clinical skills enhanced by natural ability to build rapport with patients and families.
  • Nurse in-charge on evening and night shifts in active Orthopedics Unit.
  • Participated in round table discussions with our medical director and other team members to assist in finding cost-effective medical care options.

The goal of the summary is to: 1. show you qualify and 2. build a strong first impression. And you do that very, very quickly, in a few bullets. Unless you're very early in your career, you should mention how many years of experience you have. Also touch on the sectors or specialties you've worked in.

Make sure your resume summary is tailored!

Always remember the job ad when preparing your summary. Maybe you'll see certain keywords in there that need to be emphasized. There's no such thing as a good one-size-fits-all resume. It has to be customized. As I often repeat, accomplishments are the strongest elements of your resume, because they make you stand out from the nursing crowd. On your resume, you want as many accomplishments as possible. But in your summary, you have to choose a few that seem most relevant for the specific job you're applying for. Which means that your summary repeats your key accomplishments. It's a smart thing to be redundant with the most valuable info on your resume! A potential employer won't mind that you insist on managing successful outpatient programs, or participating in discussions about cost-effective care options! If you write a strong summary using these tips, potential employers are much more likely to give your resume a good read. And that's a necessary step to getting more interviews!

More tips for nurses

If you're looking for more advice specifically for nurses, check out 5 accomplishments for your nursing resume. But if you feel like 5 isn't enough, get the Nurse Resume Hacking e-book!