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Laura Palmer, CRNA, MNEd Assistant Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.

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Presentation on theme: "Laura Palmer, CRNA, MNEd Assistant Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Laura Palmer, CRNA, MNEd Assistant Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

2 So what is a “Professional Portfolio”? CV Cover Letter Thank You Letter References

3 CV vs. Resum é CV Used in PROFESSIONAL positions Comprehensive and complete collection of ALL your education, work, and scholarly activities……. MUST include a cover letter Resume A selling or screening tool Highlights of your attributes Usually one page and creative and “eye catching” Used for work experiences in NON professional jobs

4 Do I need a Resume ? You probably won’t…..UNLESS You are inquiring to MANY places as a screening tool “Professional Resume” is sometimes used to refer to a CV...

5 What if the Ad asks for one? Send a CV – that is what they mean for a professional position Many Human Resource personnel use the terms interchangeably REMEMBER…your resume is a one page synopsis of your best attributes to interest someone in knowing more about you. Your CV is a comprehensive all inclusive summary of everything you have ever done professionally. Unless you are mass screening possible positions, you will need only a CV.

6 Goals of your CV….. Comprehensive Organized Visually attractive Accurate Reflect your best characteristics and assets – not the program’s They are not hiring the program reputation, although it helps….

7 Now to the Nuts and Bolts…. Gather your information Compile READ YOUR CV AS SOMEONE WHO KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT YOU OR OUR PROGRAM Then get someone else to PROOFREAD

8 Organizing the Information Common sections on a CV include: TITLE (Curriculum Vitae) Personal Info Education Professional Experience (Work) Licensure/Certification Honors and Awards Professional Organizations Scholarly work (Publications, Presentations, Research, etc.) Service or Volunteer activities

9 Formats…. Academic vs. employment type Academic (University) format highlights Scholarly Work as the primary focus and employment is just a minor section…… Can be modified to use when seeking employment in a non-University setting Some of the elements can be adapted Use as an example of how to present scholarly work.

10 Formatting Issues in the Technology Age Having a CV that prints OK no longer works – many employers are moving to placing your CV on-line in some way. Setting up your CV using tabs and columns will not transfer to Web language (HTML) and will place info scattered on the screen. An easy way to accomplish this and make your CV print easier is to use tables. A template using tables will be provided for your assistance – see the information at the end for more tips…….

11 What to put in each section… Or what NOT to put…

12 Personal Information Full Name with credentials RN, BSN (not SRNA) Not CRNA yet…… Home Address Phone (home or cell) Pager or Fax Social Security Number Citizenship Birthplace Marital status Religion, race, sex, etc.. Birthdate (your choice)

13 Do I need an “Objective” or “Professional Goal”? Debated issue…. On a professional CV, probably not… Use your judgment If you choose to include a goal, make it intelligent, attainable, articulate and appropriate to where you apply……

14 Samples A position as CRNA at a reputable hospital committed to excellence, professionalism and quality holistic care. To obtain a position as a CRNA that will allow me to utilize my clinical and educational experience while actively gaining new knowledge. To obtain a position as a CRNA using my expertise in anesthesia to provide high-quality, cost-conscience care to clients served. Professional growth in a challenging environment. To seek employment in an entry level position as a staff CRNA and to become an integral part of the anesthesia care team. Use something like this ONLY if it truly reflects your goals and beliefs – and says something new. If your reaction to any of these is “DUH...obviously”, then it is not appropriate to use. Also be sure it matches with the philosophy of the organization you are applying to.

15 What NOT to include…. Objective: "I am seeking a second job to supplement my income and support my shopping habit.“ Responsibilities: "Performed all screening, interviewing, and executing of candidates." Gives new meaning to the phrase, "aggressive recruiting." Visit for some fun stuff…..www.resumania.com

16 Education ALL Schools attended (after high school) Complete Address Don’t assume anyone knows where the institution is located! Degree received Date (full with month and year) “Expected graduation” is acceptable

17 Now lets talk about order… BE CONSISTANT Order all information in each section from current to past People want to see what you just did first, memories are short…… Put general categories in a logical order with the same strategy. Education first for now, in the future you may want to put work experience as the first category.

18 Should I say anything about my Anesthesia School experiences? CERTAINLY, but they are Education, not “Professional Experience”. That category is for employment only

19 What should I include? That’s up to you…. Suggestions: Decide what makes you a good choice for a position (or the better candidate) by your experiences in the program. What sets you apart? DO NOT PROMOTE ONLY THE PROGRAM, sell your assets – They are hiring YOU, not us. A BRIEF statement about the program quality is acceptable, but keep to YOUR experiences.

20 Assume no one knows anything about our program or what we offered you educationally – because they may not, even if they are in our backyard. Speak in generalities, not specifics They can backfire – how much is enough? Include information about your clinical experiences with your education as a subsection, not as it’s own category.

21 Paragraph, Bullet or Combination Style? To follow are examples – verbiage is purposely old so you can revise as appropriate based on what you did in the program……

22 Bullet style….

23 Combination Style

24 Try to strike a balance between too much and too little…. Omit the obvious! i.e. Children’s “Pediatric anesthesia experience” Better: What makes the Children’s rotation unique? If your work experience is described in bullet or paragraph format, you may want to be consistent.

25 Why include anything? Because you are seeking employment in a new field where you do not have work experience. When you apply for subsequent jobs, you will include similar info about your past employment and trim your educational info the further away from it you get. It shows what makes you different from any other anesthesia student (this program or any other….)

26 What about… Honors and Awards (usually a separate category) Activities during school (professional that is) Committees – can group with activities if all from NAP stuff GPA – not necessary but since grad school here doesn’t give “honors” designations, you may want to include it if good– your preference… Additional coursework if any while in the program, like Independent Studies and what they included.

27 Employment (or “Professional Experience”) List ALL employers (remember order – current first) Must have complete info Date should include month and year, not just year Not i.e. 12/99 – 1/00, or 1/99 to 12/00 ( one month vs 23) Address and positions Don’t assume everyone knows you worked as an RN! You may have been the housekeeper….. SHORT description of the role – trim it to key elements You are not being hired as a nurse now, so it is not the focus but can showcase what you brought to the anesthesia profession Include other employment as relevant to your professional information Past professions can be helpful, especially if there is a gap in your information.

28 Licensure and Certification List all states you are licensed in as a nurse, exp date, and status of license. License number – not required but can help you to have them on record ACLS, BLS, PALS, CCRN, etc… (Spell out…….do not abbreviate) Can do expiration date or from original certification to “present”

29 Professional Organizations or Membership in Professional and Scientific Societies Full names (can put initials in parenthesis if re-using throughout) Dates Member or offices held AANA implies PANA (although you can include it if your want more “stuff”) Students are “associate member”

30 Awards and Honors Be complete – some of these need explanations to make any sense to others Include institution or organization giving the award “2007 – Mary Smith Award”…..means nothing – was the award given by your classmates, hospital, school, regional, national, other organization………. If it is a prestigious award – SAY SO i.e. Nurses Education Funds Scholarship (one of 8 awarded nationally to master’s and doctoral students)

31 Scholarly Work (Publications, Presentations, Research, etc.) You may not have much at this point, but try to make more of less….. BUT…..Don’t over-stretch the truth….

32 Separate or Sub-groups? Up to you…. Suggest combining categories if there is only one thing in each Can use “Graduate Program Activities” as a heading for presentations to peers, research endeavors, committees, tutoring, etc. See the academic CV format for how to organize this section if you have different types of publications, etc. It is very explicit. Summarized to follow…..

33 Publications as per academic format Refereed articles Refereed articles – accepted for publication Proceedings or conferences Other publications (include master thesis and doctoral dissertation, editorials in professional journals, etc.) Books Chapters in Books/Monographs Book Reviews Audio-Visual materials (do not include materials developed for classroom teaching) Do not include articles SUBMITTED but not yet accepted.

34 Research as per academic format Research grants Date Principal Investigator Title Funding agency Amount Approved Funded-unfunded (If you are not the principal investigator, state your position on the grant – do not include small grant requests that were unfunded.)

35 What about my Research Practicum? Include YOUR role in the project but be certain that you do not misrepresent yourself as one of the PI’s (unless you are….) What about Research Assistant positions? They are probably employment (as are Graduate Assistants and TA’s), but a grey area

36 Presentations Group by National, Regional, Local Title, Date, Organization, Location Peer (also could be grouped as “Teaching” and included with graduate activities) In a true academic CV, peer presentations don’t get included, but when applying for employment as a CRNA it is helpful to accentuate that you have presented materials to a group, rather than only absorbed them as a spectator….. Don’t be repetitive – “Presented to … then group the subjects with dates and courses.

37 Other Scholarly “Stuff” Workshops/Seminars TV or Radio appearances Panel Presentations

38 Service or Volunteer Activities Can be separate or together depending on amount May want to include in the category of “graduate activities” if there are many from school, which saves you repeating information and separates it from volunteer activities outside of the profession Include: committees, recruitment events, community outreach projects, etc. NEED EXPLANATIONS…..

39 Examples “SAS Volunteer” What does this mean to anyone outside of your class? What is the SAS and what was your role? “Interview Participant” Role??? Be sure you don’t make it sound like you helped select the applicants for our program…..

40 Other ESSENTIAL Information Revised date – otherwise no one including you knows when you last updated the document. Suggest NOT using the automatic date field – it will change each time the document is printed, not revised! You can put this at the end, in the personal information, or on each page except the first…… PAGE NUMBERS and Header with Name If you don’t know how to use “Headers and Footers” in documents, now is the time to learn. Use “different first page” so that you can avoid having a header or footer on the main page, but just on subsequent pages. Pages get disconnected when copying or faxing and information can be lost May want to use “page x of y” so that it is apparent that the CV has all the pages

41 Non-professional activities or interests i.e. hobbies Unless they include skills that are transferable or marketable in your position, such as specific computer skills, then explain them and include. Unessential Information…

42 Think about these statements… Active in all types of sports Enjoys hunting and fishing Employers can view “hobbies” as liabilities because some require scheduling issues for the time commitments and demands, or put you as risk for injury and loss of work time. Also your activities may not be in line with the mindset of the one hiring you……

43 Unessential Information… “References Available on Request” Controversial…..means little You are better off preparing a list of references with complete contact information as a separate document so if you are asked for references, you can simply produce the list. You will be asked for them when you apply anyway.

44 About References YOU MUST ASK SOMEONE TO BE A REFERENCE FIRST, don’t assume they will – very poor form. Select those who will be prompt, professional and reflect well upon you. Ask what address/phone they want you to use, work or home and be sure it is correct. Some want a phone number because phone references are sometimes used. Remember, you are not privy to what is sent to the institution by your selected reference. You may want to select different references specific to the clinical environment you are applying for….i.e peds, cardiac, OB – you may want a clinical person who can speak to your abilities in that area.

45 FORMATTING and LAYOUT If it looks good, you look good. A sloppy CV will portray a careless CRNA……. Typoos stand out (yes this was purposeful) – use both spell and grammar checkers. Get someone else to read it. Example…… “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store” It should look professional – get help if you need it CVs for …. Use “custom” formatting, don’t try to make it look good only on your computer. If you do, it will look like garbage on someone else's…… Suggest converting to PDF to avoid these formatting issues Need a full Acrobat program or another PDF converter Software is free from Pitt – suggest you get it while a student – it is very pricy from retail.

46 Formatting Suggestions “White Space” Use 1 inch margins and do not squash things in, but don’t sprawl them either Font choice Keep to one font (or maybe 2 if you want one just for main headings) Accentuate the look by changing size, using bold or italics, and block indenting and/or using bullets, just don’t get carried away with them (don’t bullet a bullet with a different one!). Use point font for main information and shrink to 9-10 point for accessory info Smaller fonts look more professional but don’t get too small to read Keep to standard serif (curly) or san-serif (block), especially if you are going to print it from different printers that may not have the same font packages installed.

47 Color Use sparingly or not at all Paper Good quality white or off-white (but be sure you have matching envelopes) Formatting Suggestions

48 Layout As many styles as there are people Look at some samples Templates can be helpful

49 Table Layout Much easier to put info in tables within each section than to try to line stuff up “on screen”. When you change fonts, everything re-aligns out of place. Webs use only table formatting for layout placement. A template is provided with basic table structures. Use the help within word for tips for working with tables.

50 What NOT to DO… CVs are available from prior classes They are with Cyndi at the front desk area Removal of personal information was requested but optional, so you will know who some of them are and others may have no information, or dummy info…. Use these as samples to help you design yours DO NOT COPY DIRECTLY ANYONE ELSES DESCRIPTIONS OR STATEMENTS It is simply rude and unprofessional

51 Misspell the Hospitals…… Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Magee-Womens Hospital no ‘ despite your spell check UPMC uses the full information in their formal title, but you probably should put (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) once with UPMC in parenthesis and use UPMC after that. Check the handbook or the hospital website if unsure DON’T

52 Clarifications You are graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Nurse Anesthesia Program. Use that full name, don’t create your own….. “University of Pittsburgh – MSN” doesn’t even indicate that you are prepared as an anesthetist! Use “expected” or “anticipated” graduation date Your degree is not “anticipated”, only your graduation date Your degree is: MSN with an anesthesia specialization

53 Reminders for the future When you graduate, change your CV to GRNA, or CRNA when it occurs Keep your information current, you will need a CV every time you apply for credentialing Keep continuing ed records Back up your CV – it is amazing how many I’ve scanned to word for people!

54 CV Cover Letter Keep it short Do not include the same information as the CV This may be where you want to express your “objective” or “goal”, rather than on the CV itself

55 Interview Thank you Letter Absolute must! Be prompt Short, polite, add something distinguishable from the interview

56 Letter Writing 101 Learning to write a business letter was probably taught to you a LONG time ago so here is a review: Must be dated! Your full address goes at the top, but not your name unless you are using a designed letterhead. You need to include the name and full address of who is to receive this letter. Space the letter on the page so it is not all clumped at the top Your signature should be followed by a printed signature and include your full credentials on the same line. Use RN, BSN since SRNA is not an accepted professionally recognized abbreviation. If you are attaching a CV, then on the bottom include the following… attachment: CV, or enclosure Website for assistance and sample templates:

57 Websites about CV’s and tips General Info with links Links to some samples and other sites Fun site: What NOT to say!


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