Presentation on theme: "Preparing World Class Résumés and Cover Letters School of Nursing."— Presentation transcript:
Preparing World Class Résumés and Cover Letters School of Nursing
This Is Your Ad For An INTERVIEW! Make It Effective! Ple ase Hir e Me !
Good Resumes Market you to a targeted reader. Show Skills You Are Developing Show Your Current Skills Matches Required Job Skills The Job You Want
A resume is not… Personal autobiography An exhaustive list of experiences (exclude irrelevant details) Designed to be “read”… it is scanned A place for mistakes, unusual formatting, poor grammar or rambling prose
A resume is … Proof you can do the job Evidence you love the work Your value proposal Basic chronology of related experience Powerful tool for shaping interview! –Your interview “Cheat sheet” Demonstration of your fit with the employer’s culture/team
Resumes are “first dates” in the employment process. Make them impressive and a second date may occur. Amazing Resumes, Jim Bright & Joanne Earl
Dating Analogy Resume = First date Interview = Second date Office Visit = DtR Offer = Proposal Acceptance = Engagement Employment Start = Wedding
Cover Letters Introduce You
Cover Letters Dress up your resume Introduce you to the reader Express your personal interest better than an Objective Demonstrate your communication skills
Cover Letter Do’s and Don’ts Don’t address the letter incorrectly Do be direct – recruiter shouldn’t have to guess Don’t babble Don’t restate the facts of your resume Don’t be arrogant or presumptuous Do follow up Don’t write if not personal
Ima Great Student 800 North University Avenue #22220 Provo, Utah February 1, 2013 Jane Q. Recruiter, Employment Manager AAA Clinic 123 Broad Street Pleasant City, NY Dear Jane (Ms. Recruiter): Re: Nurse Practitioner Job Opening No. 1 After meeting you at our recent Career Fair I have taken the opportunity to learn much more about AAA Clinic. I am delighted to accept your offer to consider me as a candidate for your nurse development program and have enclosed my resume for your review. I believe I bring skills and experience that will benefit the clinic and add to its already successful record. Some of my specific abilities related to your job opening are: Valuing teamwork synergy and leadership through practical experience and group projects. Solving complex problems using applied analytical techniques and practices. Thinking critically to determine needs in serious settings and thoroughly develop efficient recommendations, practical solutions, and effective procedures. Please review my resume for more details about my experience and qualifications. For the past year I have worked at BBB Clinic and know the high regard given your organization at one of its major competitors. I look forward to discussing my background with your recruiting team when you come to interview this month. It is easiest to contact me via or at the number listed above. I am in class Monday through Thursday from 10 am until 2 pm each day. If I am unable to answer please feel free to leave a message and I will return your call as quickly as possible. Thank you for considering me for this opportunity at AAA Clinic. I will contact you early next week to determine how we should proceed. Sincerely, Ima Great Student Introduction With Job Reference Date Contact Info Greeting What you offer them What happens now/next Close Cover Letter Sample Your Contact Info
From: Ima Great Student Sent: Friday, February 1, :01 AM To: Jane Recruiter Subject: Job Opening No 123 for Talented Graduate Dear Jane (Ms. Recruiter): After meeting you at our recent Career Fair I have taken the opportunity to learn much more about ASuper Employer. I am delighted to accept your offer to consider me as a candidate for your internship program and have enclosed my resume for your review. I believe I bring skills and experience that will benefit the company and add to its already successful record. Some of my specific abilities related to your job opening are: Valuing teamwork synergy and leadership through employment and class team projects. Solving complex problems using applied analytical techniques and research. Thinking critically to determine needs in ambiguous settings and thoroughly developing efficient recommendations and solutions. Please review my resume for more details about my experience and qualifications. For the past year I have worked at ALess Super Employer and know the high regard given your organization by its major competition. I look forward to discussing my background with your recruiting team when you come to interview this month. It is easiest to contact me via or at the number listed above. I am in class Monday through Friday from 10 am until 2 pm each day. If I am unable to answer please feel free to leave a message and I will return your call as quickly as possible. Thank you for considering me for an internship at A Super Employer. I will contact you early next week to determine how we should proceed. Sincerely, Ima Great Student 800 North University Avenue #22220 Provo, Utah Introduction Contact Info and Date Greeting What you offer them What happens now/next Cover Letter Sample Close and Your Contact Info
Top Five Things Recruiters Look for in a Cover Letter “Readability” Sense of the applicant’s personality How applicant found out about the job opening Something eye-catching such as a major accomplishment Evidence that the applicant has researched the employer National Association of Colleges and Employers
Make It Tempting
Avoid Canned Letters They smell (sound)
Provide a WOW Factor
Focus On Results Show them what you have achieved –Results are far more impactful than responsibilities –Use numbers and comparisons to provide context Demonstrate what sets you apart from other candidates Prove you have job passion –drive, creativity, and energy
Grade Your Resume Statements Description of responsibilities statements – C –Responsible for batch process optimization Impact/Change description statements – B –Productivity improved 22%, costs were reduced Comparison or value creation statements – A –Selected as best, won award, highest score –Actions made a $250,000 impact Need B+ to get an interview
Practice Exercise Make this an A grade statement –I scooped ice cream – C –Served ice cream to customers each shift and suggested method for reducing wait time by 50% - B –Improved purchases 25% by up-selling products raising revenue $100 on shift, decreased wait time 50%, and developed the store’s highest loyal customer return rate - A (E – used first person)
The Concise A+ Version Increased shift revenue 25% by up- selling products, shifted register positions decreasing customer wait time by 50%, and achieved store’s highest loyalty return rate.
Actual Sample Original: Reduced lab error rate Rev. 1: Streamlined error rate to reduce client rejections Rev. 2: Reduced production costs by lowering lab error rate and generated savings of $80,000 per year Rev. 3: Reduced lab error rate 20%, saving $80,000 annually by cutting process steps and streamlining production
Use Key Words Especially when resume is scanned or electronically read Today’s systems are sophisticated weave words throughout the resume Sample: Nursing Key Words Registered Nurse (RN), long-term care, managed care, healthcare, case management, prognosis, admissions and discharge, treatment plans, care plan, clinical intervention, MDS, RAI, diagnostic models, problem solving, rehabilitation, life support monitoring
Provide Enough Detail, But …
This is the way to present far too much and to over load the recruiter with more than needed in the resume. Long paragraphs and lengthy information discussions will over whelm the reader’s ability to absorb all that the writer wants to convey. As the reader attempts to understand everything that is written, discouragement sets in and the reader tires and quits reading. The details tend to become a negative and the reader, in trying to interpret the underlying message, assumes that there is a certain irresponsibility in that the writer is unable to write concise and brief descriptions of performed activities. The more likely direct answer or quick provision of information is diluted by the failure to be precise and exacting in the presentation. Further the reader is confused by the pontification involved and might assume that the writer is less talented and more prone to puffery than to directing with simple and easy to understand language. The ultimate result is that the candidate is not looked at with more than a quickly assumed and potentially incorrect assumption of incompetence. This is of course not the impression that any good writer wishes to convey. Eventually there will be considerable frustration and the result will be that neither the writer or reader will achieve what they are seeking, primarily that another interview takes place or ultimately that there will be a job offer extended. We hope that the lesson learned here is that too much writing and too many details will interrupt the legitimate job seeker and may reflect poorly on the other graduates of the Marriott School. We want to avoid this potential disaster by having you all write more easily and precisely to the point without overly exhausting the recruiter or the HR staff with the enormous detail that you would like them to know. Save it for the twenty interviews you will get from a well written resume and for the technical assessment that may come. It is then that you will have to produce the details that you feel are so important to write about, but that are just exercises in jargon and excess verbiage. If you do not follow this wise advice you may never get a chance to tell all of these things because the interviewer and resume reviewer have already discarded your wonderful treatise. When you feel that you just need to get something off your chest use it to impress your professors and hope that they grade by volume and not by content. Excess in almost anything is very annoying and will again possibly result in a negative reaction. Save yourself some grief and considerable pain by making a smart and short duty of writing for the points in your resume. There is even very little opportunity to be verbose in scanned and computer written resumes. While having more key words in the resume is an attempt to have the scanner read something that it is searching, at some point someone will have to read the resume and the end result will likely be the same disappointed turndown and rejection. Write well. Don’t Language Bloat!!
Remember the Reader
You Must Get Attention In Seconds (Try the friend test. See what is read in 20 seconds.)
Recruiter Eye Scan Name Current Employer Current Title Past Employer Past Titles Dates Education (BusinessInsider.com April 9, 2012)
What Makes The Reader Want To See More?
Target Reader’s Needs! Key Words Key Knowledge Key Skills
Lead With What Appeals To Them Write From the Employer’s Perspective –Reflect the job posting Show Experience Benefits for Them Help Them Want Your Brand
Build Your Resume Help Matrix PositionResponsibilityActionResult XYZ Hospital OR Shift Lead Patient & physician satisfaction Developed system to monitor patient progress and satisfaction; gave provider assistance and diagnostics including discharge plans Anxious patients helped before complications became serious Service quality increased two fold as measured in satisfaction surveys. Physicians focus preserved for.specialty actions Hired 20 new RN and LPN staff Sourced, screened, interviewed, and hired critical staff Prepared 20 page recruiting proposal Presented plan to HR management & hospital directors Successfully Implemented plan Nursing Supervisor Trained team members and developed procedures trained and led 12 nursing staff Team hired and trained. Reduced number of required supervisor interventions
The Appearance Attracts The Content Holds
A Good Resume Has some white space Is readable ( font size) This is just too small to read. Avoids unusual or exotic fonts (use standard font) Targets the reader Communicates Concisely & Clearly
Three Things to Remember Be consistent –Same abbreviations, same formatting Exercise restraint –Avoid multiple fonts, heavy italics, all capital letters, bright colored paper –Use high-quality wording more than creative design. Great design is still important! Limit the length –One page most of the time
My Resume Anywhere, State Education BYU School of Nursing MS - Family Nurse Practitioner Apr 2013 BS - Nursing Apr major GPA/3.93 cumulative GPA Great Classes and Scholarships; Italian BAP, Finance Club Experience Super Employer Orem, UT RN Jan 2012-Present Good stuff about this experience Major accomplishment One; Major accomplishment Two; Major result Super Employer Phoenix, AZ Clerk Sep 2009-Dec 2011 More good stuff about the experience Skills gained from job $000,000 generated from special effort Other Mission, Italy Missionary May Jan 2008 Clinic volunteer, teacher, trainer Ski, Volleyball, Read, Study Hard Format Consistency Style Consistency Abbreviation Consistency
Missionary Experience Format Change My Resume Anywhere, State Education BYU School of Nursing MS - Family Nurse Practitioner Apr 2013 BS - Nursing Apr major GPA/3.93 cumulative GPA Great Classes and Scholarships; Italian BAP, Finance Club Experience Super Employer Orem, UT RN Jan 2012-Present Good stuff about this experience Major accomplishment One; Major accomplishment Two; Major result Super Employer Phoenix, AZ Clerk Sep 2009-Dec 2011 More good stuff about the experience Skills gained from job $000,000 generated from special effort Other Mission, Italy Missionary May Jan 2008 Clinic volunteer, teacher, trainer Ski, Volleyball, Read, Study Hard Education BYU School of Nursing MS - Family Nurse Practitioner Apr 2013 BS - Nursing Apr major GPA/3.93 cumulative GPA Great Classes and Scholarships; Italian BAP, Finance Club Experience Super Employer Orem, UT RN Jan 2012-Present Good stuff about this experience Major accomplishment One; Major accomplishment Two; Major result Super Employer Phoenix, AZ Clerk Sep 2009-Dec 2011 More good stuff about the experience Skills gained from job $000,000 generated from special effort Mission, Italy Missionary May Jan 2008 Clinic volunteer, teacher, trainer Other Ski, Volleyball, Read, Study Hard
Success Characteristics You Want to Demonstrate Working in a Diverse Environment Managing Time and Priorities Acquiring Knowledge Thinking Critically Communicating Effectively Solving Problems Contributing to a Team Navigating Across Boundaries Performing with Integrity Developing Professional Competencies Balancing Work and Life Embracing Change MSU 2010 Employer Survey
Objectives are Objectionable Without Meaning
Seeking a job that allows me to utilize the knowledge gained in my studies and pays well. Objective Example Who doesn’t? Tell me something I don’t already know! Get specific! Bad You want to be a “fast match”, not a “Jack of all trades.”
If You Use an Objective Focus on the Employer’s Needs Position on the surgical support team where my knowledge of advanced Perioperative Nursing practices in planning, intervention, and evaluation can improve patient care and surgery outcome success. Use your cover letter to present a better objective.
Use Summaries Wisely The summary better sizzle For low experience candidates, keep short May be better to link experience and skills together. Include soft skills with the rest of your employment history. Technical skills may be grouped Skills Summary Able to work small miracles applying education and experience to problems. Understand the value of effective and efficient therapy applications. Can motivate teams and build strong patient rapport. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. More powerful than an Intel Itanium 9000 processor. Faster than a SR71 Blackbird.
Sample Summary Statement Professional Summary Nursing experience including clinical rotations in episodic areas: maternal and newborn, pediatrics, medical/surgical, psychiatric, community health Extensive experience with children and adolescents as school teacher and youth group leader Managerial experience including small business ownership specializing in customer service
Education is What You are Selling
EDUCATION Normally highest degree first Bachelor of... (no “s”) Show graduation date, April 2013, don’t need to say “anticipated,” “projected,” “expected” or “planned” “hoped,” “maybe,” “if I’m lucky”
Education Sample Education Brigham Young University School of Nursing Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner April 2013 GPA 4.0 Magna Cum Laude Nursing Partner’s Scholarship – full academic costs Student Nursing Association – President Bachelor of Science, Nursing April 2012 GPA 3.85 Dean’s List President, RN Achievers Association Kennedy International Center January – April 2010 Three Month Study Abroad – Kiev, Ukraine
Experience Sells You
Relate Your Experience To: Employer’s Key Job Skills –(Shows You Know the Job) Attributes the Employer Seeks –(Shows You Know the Organization) Articulating Your Skills –(Shows You Know Yourself)
Your Experience Advantage: Who You Worked For What You Accomplished
Let Big Brands Speak for You
What Was Your Position? Intern Staff Case Mgr Educator Director/CEO Specialist Practitioner Cert. Midwife Clinical Dtr CNO
Largest area medical center supporting 55 doctors in 10 practice offices including Family Medicine, OB/GYN, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Oncology, Urology, Laboratory, and Sports Medicine Developed unique web tool for consolidating nursing staff schedules to accommodate absences and PTO Awarded Top Staff award over each of past three years Promoted to Nurses Supervisor, supervising activities and needs of 20 nurses and assistants after six months Assessed cost factors and identified $80,000 annual saving through inventory process reorganization Super Care Clinic, RN/Nursing Director
Focus On Accomplishments, Results, and Impact
Does the information support your candidacy? If not, eliminate it!
They Should Say, How did you do that? Not, So What?
Use Action to get ACTION
Accomplished Administered Advanced Built Broadened Coached Created Developed Directed Expanded Forecasted Generated Hired Implemented Increased Launched Maintained Negotiated Performed Projected Quantified Resolved Revised Structured Simplified Trained Updated Use An Action Verb List Avoid weak verbs: assisted, helped, participated
Avoid “Responsible For” It’s Your Resume and Responsibility Is Assumed
Avoid Declarative Sentences I developed... I led... leave out the “I, Me & My”
Include Community Involvement Community service and contribution (Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother/Sister, Red Cross, etc.) Don’t forget RS/EQ presidencies, Home and Visiting teaching, Scouting/YW/YM, Bishoprics
Mission Experience Example : Volunteer Representative, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Tokyo, Japan Rendered welfare service and taught principles of faith and responsibility to several hundred people Managed the activities of 135 representatives and cultivated language, cultural, & teaching skills Appointed Assistant to the President, provided leadership support, organization development, and training Don’t misrepresent responsibilities – Mission finance clerk ≠ Mission CFO Missionary
Activity Get up and Knock Doors Teaching Training Other Missionaries Companionships Language Capabilities Live in Foreign Culture Long Hours Business Skill Self Motivation, Discipline, Cold Call Techniques Training & Interpersonal Skills, Self-confidence Time Management, Strategic Planning, Communications Flexibility, Patience, Understanding Others’ View Learning Capacity, Adaptability to New Concepts Cultural Understanding, Work with Others, Lack of Prejudice Dedication, Hard Work, Perseverance Strengths From Mission Experience
Consider Using Professional Language Elder’s Quorum/Relief Society Presidency: President (Leader) of Men’s/Women’s Service Organization Jun 2011-Present Direct 80 home visits per month monitoring and assisting physically, emotionally, financially, etc. Improved visit consistency by 25% for the highest regularity in my region Led weekly instruction and monthly social/service activities for 40 to 80 people
No Formatting Option Is Any Better Than Another – Use the Best For the Job
Left Aligned Is Easier To Read Jane Doe Address Education: FNPBYU April 2013 BSU of UJune 2011 Experience: Intermountain HC RN Sutter MedicalSummer 2009 Nurse Intern LDS Church Missionary Denny’s2006 Server Skills: Many, Multi-talented Technical Expertise:
The Golden Triangle Use a golden triangle to guide the reader down the page. Name Address Education Practical Educational Experience and On-campus work Internships, Clubs, GPA Employer One, job one, 201x-Pres. Accomplishment employer wants Big employer skill number one Special work award Employer Two, job two, 200x-200x Important skill number two Accomplishment two Promotion Other Mission, Special Skills Spare time hobbies
Experience In Reverse Chronological Order Is Preferred
Most Recent At Top IHCSummer 2012 BYU Health Center (part- time) LDS Mission Yellowstone ParkSummers 2007, 2008 Pizza Hut
Bullets Are Helpful Read Easily Target Points Complete Thoughts Not Sentences Most Important to Reader First Use Standard Bullet Style $
Be Concise Wordiness on account of the fact that through the use of a lot of later on in view of the fact that regardless of the fact prior to make a decision Concise because through many later because although before decide
Use the Right Word Affect vs. effect –Affect is normally a verb (Poor sales will affect the bottom line.) –Effect is normally a noun (The effect of the layoff is more work.) You’re vs. your; it’s vs. its –You’re is contraction you are; your is possessive pronoun –It’s is contraction it is; its is possessive pronoun i.e. vs. e.g. –i.e. means in other words; e.g. means for example Hone vs. home in –Hone means to sharpen or make effective –Home in means to direct attention to an objective
Use Present Tense For Current Experience, Past Tense For Past Experience Mixed Tense Is Ok!
No Spelling Errors No Address Errors NO TPYOS!!
Watch Your Graphics
Abbreviations Must Be Universally Understood FCCS NCLEX-RN BYU UT Assoc IOM ACCMACCM SCCM FNP NLC MS/Ms SNA
When In Doubt Spell It OUT!!
One Page Is GOOD!
Two Pages: Minimal Need 8 + years work experience Technical field needing more space to list and prove knowledge Two Page Rule If you have two pages the writing should cover at least half of the second page. You need more than a few lines on the second page.
FNP Sample Two-Page Resume
After Your Draft Ask? Can I cut out any paragraphs? Can I cut out any sentences? Can I cut out any superfluous words? Are there any repetitions?
Print On High Grade White or Ivory Paper Expensive “Resume” Paper Isn’t Necessary (Please, no newsprint!)
References Available Upon Request Not Necessary. Have Them Ready No Tag Lines
Some Actual Resume Errors Proven ability to track down and correct erors. My ruthlessness terrorized the competition and can sometimes offend. Skills: Proofreadning Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year. Bi-lingual in three languages. I often use a laptap. Perfectionist and rarely if if ever miss details. Please call after 5:30, I am self-employed and my employer does not know I am looking for another job.
Actual Resume Errors Here are my qualifications for you to overlook. Seeking to expose myself to business leaders. Exposure to German for two years, but many words are not appropriate for business. Responsibilities included checking customers out Service for old man to check they are alive or not. Applicant for nursing position noted, “don’t like dealing with blood or needles.” Seeking a party-time position with potential for advancement