The Association of Registered Nurses of BC

Career Assistance: Résumés

What is a Résumé?

A résumé is typically a one to two page document that provides a high level summary of your education, work experience, volunteer experience, certifications, continuing education/professional development and notable skills.

General Tips for Writing a Résumé

  • Be succinct!
  • Make sure your headers, fonts and spacing is consistent.
  • Ensure that you use lower and upper case letters appropriately.
  • Proofread! You only have one chance to make a good first impression, don't ruin it with grammatical errors.
  • Read the job posting carefully, and target your language to match the skills needed as posted.

Ways to Organize a Résumé

  1. Chronological
    • A chronological résumé lists your work history in reverse chronical order. This means your most recent experiences are listed first.
    • Many employers prefer this style as it clearly lays out your work history.
    • Useful in emphasizing a steady employment record.
    • May not be as conducive in emphasizing transferable skills as a functional résumé.
    • If you have a solid work history, it can be used to illustrate career growth.
  2. Functional
    • A functional résumé focuses on your skills and experience, rather than employment dates.
    • Not favored by many employers.
    • An advantage of this types of résumé includes the ability to place less emphasis on large gaps in work history.
    • Highlights skills more easily compared to a chronological résumé.
    • This type of résumé is beneficial if you have little or no work experience, in the middle of a career transition, or if there is a large gap in employment.
  3. Combination
    • A combination résumé uses both characteristic of a chronological and functional résumé.
    • Useful in illustrating your work history along with the skills you have developed.

What Should You Include in Your Résumé?

  • Header: This includes your identifying information (name, address, contact information)
  • Objective: An objective can be used to make a statement that can be used to support the rest of your résumé. If you already have a cover letter, an objective may not be necessary.
  • Work and Clinical Experience: Include your job title, name of employer, city, start and end dates, and brief summary of skills, responsibilities and accomplishments.
       *Students: Include your clinical placements and experiences as an ESN if applicable.
  • Education: List your degree, name of educational institution, city, month and year of graduation. List degrees in reverse chronological order (most recent first), if you have more than one degree
  • Honours and Awards: Highlight your awards achieved through academics, your workplace, volunteer work or professional association/college/union.
  • Volunteer experiences: Highlight volunteer experiences that relate to nursing and the speciality area you are applying for.
  • Certifications: This may include speciality nursing certification, BCLS, ACLS, TNCC, PALS, NRP.
  • Professional Membership and Affiliations: This includes your memberships in professional associations like ARNBC, CNA, networks, speciality groups

Helpful Resources