Mistakes to Avoid on your Nursing Resume

by Howard Gerber on January 5, 2017

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travel nursing resumeGreat! You want to work as a travel nurse. But before you can pack your suitcase and hit the road, you have to land a travel assignment. Writing a killer resume is the first step to landing the job you want.

Your resume allows an employer to get to know a little bit about you. It’s a potential employer’s first glimpse at who you are, so, it’s important to make a good first impression. But all too often, a resume is put together too quickly without a lot of thought. Before you write your nursing resume, make sure you avoid the following: 

Adding unnecessary info

Skip unnecessary stuff, such as marital status and hobbies; marital status is actually illegal for an employer to ask about. Unless somehow a hobby is relevant to your nursing career, leave it off your resume. Avoid cliché statements, such as “references available upon request.” This statement goes without saying.

Being generic

General descriptions regarding your job duties may not be your best bet. Stating you “charted on patients” or “passed medication” does not tell your potential employer anything new. Basic nursing duties are a given. Instead of generic descriptions, include information that sets you apart from other nurses. If you have experience inserting arterial lines or working with specific electronic medical records charting systems, these skills on your resume will standout to potential employers.


You want to put your best foot forward when you’re writing your resume, but don’t exaggerate or lie about your accomplishments. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to writing your resume, because the truth will come out in the course of your duties.

Leaving out details about past health care facilities you worked

When you list your past medical experience, don’t forget to include relevant information about the type of medical facility you worked. Was the hospital an acute care or subacute facility? Also, include the number of beds, trauma designation, and anything else that sets the medical center apart.

Burying your best accomplishments

Don’t make it difficult for an employer to find relevant information. Include the most important material first. Recruiters and human resource departments see many applicants and are unlikely to spend a lot of time thoroughly reading all the information on each resume. Consider what a potential employer is looking for. Think about skills you have that go beyond ordinary nursing skills. Use bullet points, active verbs, and short sentences.


Read through your resume to make sure there are not any typos or mistakes. Even though your spell checker may catch many mistakes, it might not spot everything. Do a readthrough out loud to make sure everything is well written and concise.

Not including skills and certifications

Don’t leave out specialty certifications or skills that may give you the edge in landing the job. Consider all the skills and certifications you have and be sure to include them in a bullet-pointed list. Are you certified in advanced cardiac life support or cardiac medicine? Are you bilingual?  Any special certifications that make you stand out should be included.

Writing a novel

A resume should include relevant information, but it should not include your life story. Try to keep your resume to a single page. Some employers use automated scanning equipment to prescreen incoming resumes, and multiple page resumes may be discarded without ever being seen by human eyes.


Have any tips on what worked for you when finding a new travel nursing position? Be sure to include your tips in the comment section below!


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