Mistake #1: Trying to fit too much information on your resume
If you’re a nurse who’s got 10 travel assignments under your belt or held a staff position for over 10 years and cycled through a few different departments while mastering them all, it can be tempting to try to include all this information on your resume. However, this will just end up making your resume look cluttered and disorganized. If possible, try to tailor your resume to each job you’re applying to – give employers the highlights and expand on details in your interview, rather than overwhelming your prospective employer with too much information
Mistake #2: Using the same resume for every position
While your resume should not include TOO much information, you also don’t want to be too general. If you’ve been a nurse for a couple years, then you should have enough relevant information to tailor your resume to different roles and facilities. If you’re applying for a Level 1 trauma center, bring in your experience of dealing with acute patient conditions and high-pace environments. If you’re applying for a rural facility, mention your working relationships with others and bedside care, as these will make all the difference to a self-reliant hospital without access to medical facilities nearby.
Mistake #3: Making spelling/grammar mistakes
There’s no worse way to throw away your chances at your dream travel nursing assignment than with a simple spelling mistake. Nurses, as a profession, are detail-oriented and meticulous when it comes to treatment, medication, and check-ins, so a nurse who doesn’t exhibit these behaviors on their resumes will raise a few red flags. Here’s a few ways to make sure that you’re putting your best step forward with your spelling and grammar:
- Read your resume aloud – this is one of the best ways to catch mistakes and awkward grammar.
- Use a grammar and spellcheck tool – Grammarly is a great free online tool, and Microsoft Word’s spellcheck can now catch awkward wording and unnecessary words.
- Send your resume to a few friends to look over. No matter how closely you check your work, there’s always a possibility of missing something. Send your resume to friends to get more eyes on it and catch anything you might have missed!
Mistake #4: Using formatting/fonts that confuse the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
For better or for worse, hiring managers don’t have as much time to screen applicants as they used to. This process is often automated in businesses today, and your resume will probably be screened by an automated system before a pair of human eyes are laid on it. If you’re a great fit for the job, you’ll probably be fine, unless your resume is formatted in a way that makes it hard for the system to understand it. Here’s a few tips on how to make sure you don’t get locked out of the application process by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS):
- Keep your document simple: don’t use any headers or footers, don’t embed any images in your resume, and use basic fonts (nothing fancy or hard to read). Keep your document as simple as possible and try to stick to plain text and bullet points.
- Use keywords from the job description and agency’s website: as you’re tailoring your resume for the specific position, try to mirror some of the terms used in the job description.
- Use common headings: don’t get fancy with the headers of the different sections of your resume. Just use the simple “work history,” “education,” and “relevant skills.”