When it comes to travel nursing the resume is King!!! I think we can all agree that travel nursing is all about landing the perfect job, or jobs, in the perfect locations. The first step to making this happen is your resume. Before you land the big interview that leads to the greatest job of all time, you need to figure out how to get there. This is where the travel nursing resume comes into play. This is where you can highlight your abilities as a professional. Help someone else understand all that you have to offer. Whether you have one year of experience, or 10, there’s something in here for everybody.

Step 1: What Does Your Travel Nursing Resume Say About You

There are all types of travel nursing resumes. Do you have 10 years of experience or one? This will let you know what you need to highlight. If you only have one year of experience, highlight what you can do well.

  • Have you been in a specialized unit?
  • Have you been trained on a valuable type of skill?
  • Have you been floated to another unit that you have an aptitude for?

If you have 10 year’s experience highlight your length in the industry. Hospitals are always more likely to take an RN with multiple year’s of experience with similar qualifications than a traveler that is brand new (sorry newbies, but that’s how it is). You want to pay very close attention to what your resume says about you. Ask yourself, “Am I really highlighting how my experience and showing my true value?”

Need additional help? Download our sample travel nurse resume template here

Step 2: Keep It Simple

So many times, travel nurses get bogged down in the details. Most hospitals I know are not interested in the fact that you were a barista five years ago. Hospitals want to see as many relevant details as possible. Highlight relevant experience! Too many good travelers miss out on a job because their resume gets thrown in the trash by a Unit Manager because they don’t want to read about all the jobs you had before you started your actual career. Just make sure that you aren’t selling yourself short. For example, if you are applying for an RN job and had three years of LPN experience that’s a great selling point. While it may not be exactly the same, there are many skills that still apply.

Step 3: Highlight Your Strengths

Anybody in the travel industry can tell you that they love specialization. This will also help you find a position that fits you to a tee. Let me give you a couple of examples to illustrate my point:

First, let’s say you’re an RN that is a Med/Surg travel nurse. If you have experience that is specialized in an ortho unit or you have chemo experience add that to your resume. Nurse Managers love to see this type of specialization. This could be the difference between you getting an interview or getting politely worded rejection letter.

Second, let’s say you are an ER nurse that has 1 year of experience. However, you have obtained your CEN certification. Highlight this all day long!!! This will help set you apart from other candidates. Most facilities will make special exceptions for a CEN even if they don’t have other required certifications like a TNCC or ENPC. Also, years of experience is always a great trump card to play in any scenario.

Step 4: Apply for the Job You Want

Why would anyone apply for a job they didn’t want? You would be surprised at how many people do just that. Look at the actual job you are applying for. Whether it’s a permanent position or a travel position, it should be a position that you are a good fit for. Pay attention to what things are listed in the job description. During the interview process don’t be afraid to ask questions that will help you make an informed decision.

The fact of the matter is that Travelers are in high demand currently and there are plenty of opportunities for everyone. Landing a job at a place you do not want and in a facility that is a bad fit is not going to be good for you or for the facility. Just remember that no question is a bad question, this is a big decision for anyone.

Step 5: Sell to the Job

There’s nothing more frustrating than missing out on an opportunity that you want and know you could have done a great job. People naturally want candidates to match certain criteria. Whether we know it or not, we always like when what we think is validated. When a nurse manager, for example, sets certain criteria for a job, they have a certain expectation of what the ideal candidate would look like. If you are applying for a general ICU job put that on your resume. Don’t put that you’re a CVICU nurse. While most CVICU RN’s can do general ICU, the nurse manager is expecting a general ICU nurse and might pick a candidate that matches what he or she is expecting. Long story short, match your resume to the desired job as much as possible.

Step 6: Details, Details, Details

Pay attention! Small things can make a major difference. Look at things like dates, typos, etc. While some people will glance at a resume to get a general idea of a candidate, others will read and reread every single detail in a resume.

You want to make sure that you are including all pertinent information. Be careful not to leave anything out and be sure that all aspects of your experience, no matter how long, are highlighted. These small details can sometimes be the most important.

Resumes are a big deal. The better yours is, the more likely you are to get an interview. The more interviews you get…well you know where this is going. Just remember that in order to land a great job you need to make sure you are letting the employer know who you are what you want to accomplish. Be sure to highlight what makes you a great candidate for any position. This includes mentioning things like certifications, years of experience, specialized training, and more. Apply and sell to the job you really want. Having your resume matchup with as many criteria as you can for the job is key. This will always lead to more opportunities. Last but not least, the difference is in the details. Be sure to go through your resume thoroughly to double check for any mistakes. Happy Travels!