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In today’s healthcare job market, the competition is fierce. With the job market improving, the competition for top talent has intensified. That’s why it’s important that your resume is the best it can possibly be.


November 17, 2017

Potential employers review your resume for a snapshot of your education, employment history, skills, and achievements. It’s best to think of it as a way to market yourself in your job search, which is particularly important in healthcare as competition for the best-of-the-best continues to grow.  

Do you find yourself sending out endless applications and not seeing much interest? It may be time to take a closer look at your resume. Whether you are just getting started on your job search or looking to spruce your resume up a bit, here are five quick tips to build and strengthen your healthcare resume and help you stand out.  

Tip #1 – Tailor the content of your resume to the job you’re applying for.  

To start, take a look at the job duties and requirements listed in the job description. Compare that with your current and past responsibilities and see where you can demonstrate meaningful, applicable experience. 

Did you know? Recruiters often use the job description as a reference tool for reviewing incoming applicants. When they see common keyword matches between a resume and the job description, they often flag the applicant for consideration. While this can be time consuming if you’re juggling multiple applications in your job search, it is well worth the effort if it lands you your dream job.  

MedExpress Pro Tip: Our healthcare recruiters always recommend using your resume to highlight your most applicable skills in relation to the job you are applying to. Customizing your resume for each opportunity can potentially give you a boost in the applicant pool.

Tip #2 – Length isn’t a big deal, as long as you keep it relevant.

This challenge arises often for candidates – you have so much experience, but how do you include it all? What if your resume runs onto multiple pages? Is that okay?

Although limiting your resume to one to two pages is ideal, sometimes it may not be feasible. This limitation can make it tough to fit everything you want, especially if you have extensive work experience, medical degrees, research positions, or other notable achievements. Often it can leave you wondering “how do I decide what to leave in and what to take out?”

When considering what to include and what to take out, it’s important to think like a recruiter. What type of information would they want to see that is most relevant to the role? Look over your resume and ask yourself if each piece of content demonstrates why you are qualified to fulfill the responsibilities.  You can ask yourself questions like, does the work experience I had in retail really relate to the nursing position I’m applying for? Should I include a job from 15 years ago? Can I replace that section with more relevant roles or content? If not, omit the most common job duties you had – i.e. organized team meetings, completed necessary documentation, etc. Instead, include specific projects you worked on, software or tools you have experience using, volunteer work, or the leadership experience you gained through certain aspects of a job. 

smiling woman shaking hands with another woman

Tip #3 – Your content should be organized in an efficient and effective way.

According to one study, recruiters, on average, spend only six seconds reviewing an individual resume. This means that the information on your resume needs to be easy to follow. At the top, list all of your contact information alongside your name and maybe even a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile. More often than not, our recruiters find that a candidate does not have their most recent contact information listed. This can make it difficult or impossible to contact them for next steps in the process.

For content, make sure to include your education history or work experience next, whichever is greater. A good rule of thumb is if you have a master’s degree or higher to put your education history at the top.

Lastly, it’s important to list your experience in chronological order, starting from most current and working your way back. Avoid describing the details of your roles in large paragraphs. Remember, recruiters spend six seconds or less looking this over, so you’ll want the information to be organized in the most efficient way possible. Instead, include short, detailed bullet points that get right to the point. This will make it easy for them to gather the information they need. 

Tip #4 – Proofread, proofread, proofread!

There is nothing worse than when all of that hard work goes down the drain because of a typo or bad font selection. Grammatical errors, even if they are accidental, can lead recruiters to believe that you don’t have a strong attention to detail or that you were careless with your job application.

Before you hit ‘submit’ on your application, read over your resume a few times to make sure you didn’t miss anything.  

MedExpress Pro Tip: Auto-correct doesn’t always catch contextual or syntax errors, so it’s helpful to have a fresh set of eyes look it over too. It’s worth the effort to ask a peer, relative, or friend to read through once or twice.  

Another big mistake our recruiters see is improper use of fonts. You don’t want them to have difficulty reading because you chose an extremely light color for your font. Keep it simple – black, Times New Roman, 12 point font. If you want to make your resume easier to look at aesthetically, try using bold and italics for certain aspects of your resume. 

Bold and italicized fonts help easily identify the company and job title in your work experience column and separate them effectively. Not only does this add a more professional look to your resume, but it allows individuals to easily identify the experience they want to take a further look at. 

person proofreading a resume at their computer

Tip #5 – Lead with verbs when writing the bullets for your experience.  

When we asked our recruiters about this, they recommended to start with a verb when describing what you did at current and previous roles. If you’re describing a job that you are no longer employed at, use past tense verbs, such as managed, created, assisted, etc. This can also be a good opportunity to include any results that you may have achieved with that job. Remember, recruiters not only want to see that you can do the job, but they love to see that you delivered impact and results for the overall business or patients. 

When listing out the responsibilities of your current role, start all of the bullet points start with a present tense verb. For past jobs, start bullets with all past tense verbs. By doing this, it will create consistency in your resume and appear professional when being reviewed.

Now that we’ve shared some great insights, it’s time to put them to good use on your resume. Hopefully it helps you stand out and land an interview for that next big opportunity! Speaking of opportunities – if you’re interested in a fulfilling career with rewarding work, our recruiters at MedExpress would love to review your resume. For more information about our available career opportunities, click here.

These are recommendations only and present the opinions of the author, which may differ from those of other employment recruiters and/or organizations posting job openings. As such, reliance upon suggestions contained herein does not, in any way, guarantee enhancement of the chances of securing an interview and/or position with MedExpress and/or any potential employer. Accordingly, reliance upon the opinions set forth herein is at the sole risk and discretion of the given applicant.

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