Your resume is a representation of your knowledge, skills, education, and experiences, so you really want to shine through and set yourself apart from the hundreds of other job candidates. Your resume is likely to be the first line of communication that you will have with your potential employer, so you need to effectively detail your abilities that meet (and exceed) their standards of care.
At NPPA Recruiters, we understand that creating the perfect resume takes effort and a keen awareness of how to communicate vital content. While spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and formatting issues will definitely hinder your job hunt, irrelevant information and a lack of customization to your resume can have just as a disastrous effect.
You’ll need to be exceedingly conscious of your writing, your resume’s visual appeal, and the message you are setting forth. Consider the following guideline as a tool to get your a clean and modern resume that will help you land at least an interview—and hopefully that dream job.
Every industry has a unique set of resume requirements and a PA resume is no different. These essentials should convey your abilities (and specialities when proper) as well as provide relevant information about who you are as a professional. Make sure that your resume has the following info:
- Header—With your name followed by your address, phone number(s), and a professional e-mail address. Don’t forget to list your credentials behind your name.
- Education—Your “Education” section should start with the last institution you attended (where you received your PA degree) and then followed by any undergraduate schools in descending chronological order. Include major and/or specialties include graduation dates. DO NOT include high school information.
- Clinical employment history—Keep this information concise and relevant. Only list jobs that have been related to healthcare and avoiding noting down any position that draws attention away from you healthcare aspirations.
- State licenses and certifications with expiration date(s)—PAs must be credentialed in order to practice and every state has their own system of licenses and certifications, so list those down. Even if you aren’t fully certified, you can note that you have applied for a specific credential that is only “pending” approval, or include it as “anticipated” and the expected date. Considering including basics like ACLS or BLS.
- Relevant professional memberships—Adding relevant memberships to professional organizations are a great way to showcase your dedication to the profession and your interest in developing your experiences within the healthcare community. If you aren’t a member yet, then consider the benefits of joining a professional organization.
- References—Depending on the position you are applying for, most job post generally require 2-4 professional references. Anticipate the employer by providing them beforehand. The best practice is to include references from physicians, but if you are a new graduate, a faculty member is fine, as long as you include other references from physicians.
Keywords and Job Posts
In today’s tech driven world, you can guarantee that recruiters and HR directors are utilizing software and databases to scan through resumes, looking for keywords that indicate a candidate has the right skill set to move forward in the interviewing process.
Rather than using the same general language as everyone else, pay close attention to the language utilized in the job posting. By keeping a close eye on the job description terms, and echoing those in your own resume, the software (or resume reader) can easily pinpoint phrases that match up directly with those they are looking for.
If there are certain words utilized in the job description that contain specific skills or qualities the hospital/clinic/company is looking for, then include those in your resume, assuming of course that you have the experience. If for example, the job post has the terms “managerial experience”, but you have “supervisor” in yours, change it.
If you are able to emphasize these skills in your resume, then you have a higher likelihood of drawing attention, and being invited to an interview.
It’s Not Only About What You Say
The format of your resume definitely matters. While you don’t want to create anything outlandish, there are a few design tips to help you stand out, including but not limited to:
- Consider using a small burst of color to highlight important information.
- Headers such as education, work experience, and specialized skills should be bold.
- Education and job history should be in chronological order.
- Utilize the right font; Times New Roman is a thing of the past.
- HR managers and recruiters naturally focus on the top ⅓ of your resume. Make sure the most important information is on this portion of your resume.
Remember that the visual appearance of your resume plays just a prominent role as the content held within.
What Not to Include
As a recent graduate or practicing PA, you may be tempted to include as much information on your resume as possible to pad your resume and make them longer. This is totally unnecessary and can ultimately hurt you in the long run.
Forego irrelevant information such us:
- Unrelated job experiences—If it is not a recent position that is medical related then it is best to keep it off of your job history.
- High school information—You’ve already attended years of undergrad and graduate school, high school information is not longer relevant.
- Objective—Writing an objective at the beginning of your resume is quickly becoming a thing of the past. The employer already knows you want the job; if you decide to go this route, though, be passionate and bold to showcase you really are leagues ahead of other applicants.
- One-off volunteer activities—While illustrating your volunteer experience can showcase your healthcare knowledge, adding the one event you did years ago as an undergraduate is only drawing attention away from what matters most. Unless it’s a substantial amount of time, leave it out.
- The basics—Employers will assume that you have a certain level of proficiency with medical-related skills such as suturing, splinting, wound care, treatment plans, and the likes. Don’t waste valuable space on your resume my including skills that are expected for a qualified PA.
Developing the ideal resume is a process. Alongside the essentials, there’s always the opportunity to include additional information that can help you shine through, but it’s vital that it remains relevant and to the point.
Some of the optional information that might enhance your resume includes:
- Meaningful trainings, CE, and volunteer work—Any experiences outside of employment that are directly related to the position you are applying for can enhance your resume. If, for example, you are applying for positions in geriatrics, and you have extensively volunteered to work at nurse homes, this would be a positive addition to include.
- Unique skill set—Basic hobbies should not be listed, but relevant specific skills should be, such as speaking another language or technical proficiency with machines and tests can be.
- Summary paragraph—A brief, 3 to 5 sentence paragraph, that highlights your education, career, and accomplishments can help to make your resume standout. Use concise and passionate language to effectively communicate your rapport with patients and ability to collaborate with an interdisciplinary medical team.
- Formal recognitions/awards—If you have received any recognitions from nationally/state recognized organizations, then don’t forget to include those in your resume. This will help to validate your experience and qualifications.
Refrain from including every single experience you have had and attempt to keep your resume to 1 or 2 page, three tops. The interview is the perfect time for you to get into greater depth about your qualifications and abilities to meet the potential employer’s needs.
Let NP PA Recruiters Be Your #1 Source for Job Guidance
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants in search of the ideal employer can rely on NP PA Recruiters to help them through the job searching process and to ultimately guide them in finding the perfect career match.
We offer a personal consultant to aid you in your search and will even provide you with the resources you need to impress your future employer during an interview.
Contact us today at 956-772-1400 or 214-351-3880 to get started on your successful career in the medical industry.
You can also visit our job listings to see what positions are available to you nationwide.