Stand Out with your
Competitive Nursing Resume
& Cover Letter!

Looking for an example of a competitive nursing resume?
You've come to the right spot.

Your nursing resume can either build or destroy you. (This is not to scare you but a gentle friendly reminder!) So be prepared and do it right.

Are you a recent nursing graduate? or did you just passed your nursing board exam? Congratulations! (welcome to the world of the unemployed). Or maybe you are applying for (UNE) Undergraduate Nursing Emloyee (give yourself a tap in the shoulder - you're rare!). I don't know about in the U.S. but in North America, third year and or fourth year student nurses can apply for an employment. There are definitely some restrictions on scope of practice and minimal patient workload but you have a salary. You do not belong to the world of ever increasing number of "volunteer" RNs who doesn't get paid.

Now where were we? Nursing Resume is your ticket to the world of the professionals. Preparing nursing cover letter, nursing resume and facing job interview is a process that you need to endure with patience, persistence and confidence. According to my years of experience and based on extensive research the following nursing resume tips are vital for your job application.

ABC’s of a Nursing Cover Letter

A. Don’t SKIP your cover letter!

People always have an excuse of not including a nursing cover letter with their nursing resume. Hiring managers receives tons and tons of resumes every single day, just imagine how many resumes they need to scrutinize by the end of the month.

According to survey cover letter and resume get only a 15-second glare, so you need to STAND OUT and be unique. A cover page tells the hiring manager that you’re a serious candidate and qualified for the job.

B. FOCUS on the job listing

Included in the job listing are the qualifications of an employee the company is looking for. Examine each item and explain why you’re qualified.

C. SHOW OFF your skills

Use powerful, short words pointing out past achievements, skills, experiences and results you achieved (Don’t be too detail)in your nursing cover letter.

D. EASY on the Eyes Please!

Everybody hates typos and spelling mistakes, especially hiring managers, so MIND your grammar. Don’t give them a burden of reading your document, instead give them a pleasure of reading your material and they will love you!

Use Microsoft Word automatic spelling check for your words. Arial is a good font choice - size 12 pt. Single spacing. Black ink written in a white bond paper. Good presentation and layout are important. Have it proof read by another person for review. Most of all 1 page is ideal – 2nd page and your out!


Personalize your content. Managers knows the in and out of their job and they know which document is authentic and which one is just copied from a pattern and they are not impressed. Other applicants even forget to erase the company name in the default cover letter samples. Be your self, use your own words and ideas.


Cover letters can be separated from resumes, so include your name, address, cell phone number and e-mail. It is very important that after submitting your application with the nursing cover letter don’t forget to follow-up.

Sample Nursing Cover Letter

(Legend at the bottom)

YOUR Home Address
City, Province (Postal Code)
Cell phone: (area code) number
E-mail: ____________

ATTENTION: HR REQUISITION NUMBER __(A)__ (same as competition #) I am an __(your title)__ experienced in Psychiatric-Mental Health, General Medical, Gerontological Nursing, Out-Patient Department and Medical Cardiology __(mention your areas of exposure)__. My clinical background trained me to work both independently and interdependently with people and health care team members in a hospital, community and long-term care setting __(choose which setting)__.

In __(month)__, __(year)__ I acquired my __(name of country)__ License as a ___(B) (your profession)___. The experiences I had in ___(mention previous work exposures even volunteering related to profession)___ gave me essential knowledge, leadership; technical, analytical, good teamwork and clinical skills that help me become a great asset to nursing profession.

The staff development programs that I participated in while working as a ___(your position)___ ex. Staff Nurse in ___(place or country)___ broadened my awareness of current trends and breakthroughs in the field of medicine and nursing.

I am able to perform consistently in a highly organized manner, __(C)__ (Be honest). I usually devise my own ways __(D)__ to keep things in priority and systematic. I always try my best to collaborate within the expectations of a highly complex integrated team. I am able to execute problem-solving skills integrating critical thinking and good judgment. I value communication skills in promoting respect and team spirit as a foundation of a good teamwork.

I attended ___(mention computer system you know and trainings attended, most of the hospitals and care center facilities are already paper-less or aiming to be)___ plus the basic computer skills I know.

I would be very enthusiastic to work and be a part of your health care team. Attached herewith is my resume. You can contact me anytime in your own convenient time.

Yours Sincerely,
(first name) (last name), (your title ex. R.N.,B.S.N.)

Letter Legend of Nursing Cover Letter

What does each letter stands for?

A. Competition number(s) are only available if you are applying as an internal applicant, meaning you’re already working inside that company and would like to apply for another position.

- HR stands for Human Resources
- If you are applying as an external applicant check the company’s website, read and understand clearly HOW they want you to apply, some prefers through application form, e-mail or fax.
- In my experience when I applied as an external I filled out their application form, faxed and applied online I also went extra mile by visiting managers personally (if time and distance permits) be creative and persistent. You need to STAND OUT from the rest of the crowd.

B. Your profession:

· Registered Nurse
· Licensed Practical Nurse
· Registered Nursing Assistant
· Registered Psychiatric Nurse
· Registered Nurse Practitioner
· Registered Nurse Educator
· Registered Nursing Assistant
· Registered Nurse Anaesthetist

C. Be Honest!

If you’re a new graduate – don’t say you’re an expert. Tell them that you’re in a transition from student to a professional. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. They need to design an orientation plan suited for YOUR needs.

Tell them that you’re an open-minded, very flexible and very much willing to learn. (They have educators that are being paid to help and guide you so BE HONEST.

D. Your OWN ways to organize your workload

· creating a list of patients
· using tables to organize priorities
· encircling high priority care needs
· using different colors or ink of pen to signify importance

Every person is unique, each one has it’s own creativity that works best for us. For me, I usually encircle high priority needs for my patients. If it’s encircled it means “VERY IMPORTANT!”

(You don’t need to literally write this down in your cover letter, just be prepared to answer this during interview, they will be curious for sure!)

And that is all about Nursing Cover Letter.
Feel free to drop some ideas and suggestions.

ABC’s of a Competitive Nursing Resume

Nursing Resume is a vital tool in job application. It gives an impression to hiring managers and human resources staff before they even laid eyes on you personally. So be thorough – invest your time preparing a competitive resume.

A. Be Smart with your Objectives

Use short and powerful words clearly explains how your skill set and previous experience align with the job requirements. These objectives will serve as a glimpse of what you can offer as an asset to the company.

B. EASY on the Eyes Please!

MIND your spelling and grammar. Use Microsoft Word automatic spelling check for your words. Arial is a good font choice - size 12 pt. Single spacing. Black ink written in a white bond paper. For lists, use bullets to indicate important facts instead of long lines. Have it proof read by another person for review. Most of all, 2 pages are ideal.

Make sure that cover letter and nursing resume are connected, cover letters should prove that you WANT to do the job required and resumes should show that you COULD do the job required. Connecting these two appropriately - shows a notion of professionalism.

C. Don’t Sell Your Self Short

Each one is unique! don’t be afraid to show off your background. Do not include employment more than 16 years old; ideally include the three most recent job experience. Present your work experience in reverse chronological order. Be organized and double the check dates and years.

Include education, work, specific accomplishments, awards and volunteer activities related (or not related) to the job your applying for. You need to be under their asset column not a liability to the company.

D. STAND OUT among the Rest

Say something about your personality, your decision-making strategy, oral and written communication, problem-solving approach, leadership mind set, attitude, passion for learning and work ethics. Be who you are and share what you can contribute.


Over time, honesty is still the best policy. Don’t compromise your integrity by inflating your nursing resume of superior experiences if you’re a beginner just to impress. Excessive bragging is a major turnoff for employers. Hiring managers perform background and reference checks on employees, so be careful! Choose wisely.


This is a very basic common sense that others still overlook. Don’t forget to include your name, phone number, address and e-mail address. DO NOT include personal information such as: Height, Weight, Age, photograph and “in good condition” statement.

Leave out interest and hobbies if unrelated to the job, keep some mystery to your self unless asked during job interview.


After preparing your competitive nursing resume
it's time to polish your Job Interview skills.

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