Resume writing is a daunting task. This is especially true for nurses. They must contend with all of the standard challenges plus additional challenges that are unique to nursing careers. Fortunately, there are many resume builders designed to simplify the process. However, it can be difficult for nurses to determine which are best suited to meet their unique needs. So in this article, we’ll take a look at the various options available in order to help you find a nursing resume builder that’s perfect for you.
What is a Nursing Resume Builder?
First, it’s important to define the term “resume builder”. In our view, a service must offer two fundamental features in order to be considered a resume builder. They are as follows:
The service must provide features that simplify resume formatting.
The service must provide features that help the user recognize and record essential resume details.
Also, it’s important to note that a resume builder is different than a resume writing service. A resume builder provides you with tools that make it simpler for you to write your own resume. By contrast, a resume writing service collects pertinent career related information and writes the resume for you.
Truth be told, there are not a lot of nursing resume builders available. That is, there are not many resume builders designed specifically for nurses. We’ll cover the ones we know about. In addition, we’ll provide information on general resume builders and how nurses can put them to use if they decide against using a nursing resume builder.
How Are Nursing Resume Builders Useful?
There’s a very good reason there are so many resume builders and resume writing services. Writing resumes without them can be a total nightmare! With that in mind, let’s take a look at how a resume builder can help.
Nursing Resume Builders Help With Formatting
Formatting a resume is extremely time consuming if you start with a blank word processing document. First, you need to determine how the resume is going to look. This can take a while in and of itself.
At a minimum, the design typically involves the use of page-wide horizontal lines, tables, and text that is both left and right justified on the same line. It’s difficult to get these formatting options to look uniform across the entire document even for those with intermediate and advanced word-processing skills. As a result, you could spend hours simply formatting your resume.
Super fancy resumes with unconventional designs are not necessary! Having a nursing resume that’s easy for the human eye to scan is an advantage. Traditional resume formats are easy to scan and hiring managers are used to reviewing them. If you do opt for an unconventional resume format, then please make sure the pertinent information can be easily viewed with a quick scan of the document.
Nursing Resume Builders Help With Details
Of course, you also need to determine what you’re going to include on your resume. Here again, this can prove difficult without the help of a resume builder. In our view, there are three distinct types of information to include on nursing resumes.
First, there are the basic details. These are found on all resumes. They include things like your name, your contact information, the names of your employers, their locations, dates of employment, etc. We can all agree that the basic details are common sense. However, it can be easy to miss some of them occasionally. Using a resume builder will help you remember them all.
Next, there are the descriptors. Again, these details are found on all resumes. They include things like your Summary, your job descriptions, your education description, etc. These are essentially the meat of your resume.
Many online resume builders provide canned descriptions. They claim these canned descriptions simplify the process and make your resume stand out from the crowd. They certainly simplify the process. However, our experience indicates that the use of canned resume descriptors results in weak and unsuccessful resumes.
We strongly recommend against the use of canned resume descriptors, especially for nursing resumes. While canned descriptors can be helpful for getting a general overview of sentence structure and buzz-words, they lack the specificity required to create a winning nursing resume.
Instead, we recommend tailoring your resume descriptors to the job you’re applying for. For further information on how to do that, please check out this article on what details to include on your nursing resume.
Nursing Specific Details
In addition to the basic details and descriptors all of us must include on our resumes, nurses must also include various details specific to nursing. As former nursing recruiters, my colleagues and I reviewed thousands of nursing resumes. Unfortunately, a strong majority of these resumes did not include nursing-specific details that hiring managers commonly required.
In fact, it’s rare for nursing resumes to include all of these details. Put yourself at an advantage by following industry resume guidelines and keeping your credentials organized. A great nursing resume builder should help nurses recognize and record these vital nursing-specific details.
The Nurse Backpack Nursing Resume Builder
That’s one of the many reasons we created the Nurse Backpack App for Mobile Credential Management. Obviously, we’re biased when we say Nurse Backpack is the best resume builder for nurses. But don’t worry, in this article, we’ll cover all the alternatives we could find so you can decide for yourself. Let’s take a look at what Nurse Backpack has to offer.
Nurse Backpack makes it easy to make your nursing resume. Simply complete your profile and select the “share” option on your home page. The system will generate a PDF document that you can send to your email for use at your convenience.
Your Nurse Backpack profile is designed to help you recognize and record all the vital details hiring managers and employers typically require. It has several built-in contingencies to account for the unique aspects of nursing careers. For example, the system will present differing options based on employment types (Permanent, Travel, or PRN) and employer types (Acute Care Hospitals, Long Term Care, etc). All told, the profile will help nurses recognize and record nearly 40 different career details.
In addition to the nursing resume builder, Nurse Backpack credential management app also includes the following features:
License and Credential Alerts: Upload copies of licenses, certifications, clinical records, and CEU confirmations in order to centrally manage all your career documentation on one platform. You can tag the documents with content titles and expiration dates to simplify your document management. Set your own custom alerts and reminders within the app per document.
Integrated Skills Checklists: Nurse Backpack hosts comprehensive skills checklists that you can complete and save at your convenience. You can download or email the skills checklists as PDF documents. They’re great for showcasing your entire skill set for hiring managers.
Job Availability Updates: Update your job availability and save it for future job listing updates and travel housing recommendations. Coming Fall 2020!
The StaffGarden Nursing Resume Builder
According to its website, StaffGarden is focused on career development for nurses with innovative institutions. The company works with hospitals to help them fill permanent nursing positions.
StaffGarden charges hospitals a flat fee per placement. Therefore, it would appear as though they provide recruiting services. However, StaffGarden isn’t your normal run-of-the-mill staffing company. They have a robust website with some powerful features for nurses.
StaffGarden refers to their flagship service for nurses as an “ePortfolio”. As it pertains to the nursing resume builder, the ePortfolio includes a fairly detailed profile. Similar to Nurse Backpack, a resume is generated off the profile. Simply complete your profile and select “Generate Resume” on the profile page.
The resume can be downloaded as a Word Document or a PDF. The design looks nice in both formats.
The profile helps nurses recognize and record many important career details. However, it’s missing many critical details. Additionally, many of the details the profile does collect, are left off of the resume. Moreover, neither the resume nor the profile include a “Summary”, which we view as a required component on any resume.
The website does not include a Rich Text Editor. As a result, job descriptions cannot make use of common resume formatting options like unordered lists, bold text or italics.
In addition to the nursing resume builder, StaffGarden includes the following features:
Document Storage: StaffGarden allows you to upload copies of licenses, certifications, clinical records, CEU confirmations or anything else. You can tag the documents with content titles and expiration dates.
Profile Share: You can share your profile and documents by entering an email address. The system will send a link to your ePortfolio. Each section of your ePortfolio and every document you upload has its own privacy setting. When you share your profile, the recipient is able to view all documents with the appropriate privacy setting. This makes it impossible to share single documents or only a selected few documents. Therefore, the system is quite restrictive.
Recruiting Services: StaffGarden displays the various employers they work with. Nurses are able to express interest in employers. After doing so, a StaffGarden representative will contact the nurse to discuss the position. Alternatively, you can conveniently schedule a call with a StaffGarden representative.
Resume Templates as Nursing Resume Builders
Pre-formatted resume templates are another option for building a nursing resume. Essentially, pre-formatted resume templates are word processing documents that have been formatted as resumes with dummy content. You simply replace the dummy content with your own details and save the document.
There are literally thousands of different resume templates available across the web. Some are free, but many more are for sale. The great thing about these templates is that they will all save you from spending a ton of time trying to format a resume on your own.
Resume templates also help you recognize and record the basic details required for your resume. Unfortunately, they do not help you recognize and record the nursing-specific details. Therefore, we recommend using the Nurse Backpack nursing resume builder to identify and record all the details. You can then use your Nurse Backpack documents to help you complete your resume template.
Where To Get Nursing Resume Templates
You don’t want to use a resume builder, that’s fine! Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Google Docs all come with pre-formatted resume templates. Word is a premium software service for Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Pages is Apple’s word processing software and typically comes pre-installed on Apple’s Mac devices.
If you don’t have Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, then Google Docs to the rescue! Docs is Google’s word processing software and it’s free for everyone. Simply create a Google account and you’ll have full use of Docs for free.
Making use of the pre-formatted resume templates is easy in Word, Docs and Pages. For example, select “Template Gallery” from the Google Docs main page to view a list of Google’s templates. Currently, there are 5 resume options. Simply Click on the one you want and Google Docs will open it. Then, you’ll be able to modify the dummy text with your actual information.
For Microsoft Word, simply open Word and type “resume” in the “Search for online templates” field at the top of the first page. If you already have a document open, then select “File”, and then “New” to access the same “Search for online templates” field.
There are currently more than 30 resume layouts available for free through Microsoft. Simply click the one you want and Word will open it. Then, you’ll be able to modify the dummy text with your actual information.
For Apple Pages, you Mac users may already know, you should always save resumes created with Pages as Word Documents by selecting the .docx option when saving the files. This is because Microsoft Word and Google Docs both have a very difficult time opening .pages documents with the same aesthetic layouts. Over 90% of businesses use Microsoft Word and/or Google Docs, so make sure that your resume can even be opened by saving it as Word document, or better yet just export it as a formal PDF so that OCR can pick up the text.
The good news is that Pages and Google Docs can both open Word Documents. Moreover, Google Docs can be saved as Word Documents. Therefore, any Google Doc can be easily converted so that it can be opened by Pages. So, any resume template available in Word or Docs, should be easy to open in Pages.
Additionally, you can download Microsoft’s resume templates from the page linked here. Then, you can open those documents in either Google Docs or Pages. This makes Microsoft’s 30+ resume templates available to everyone for free!
Criticisms of Standard Resume Templates
One of the common criticisms made against the resume templates included with Word, Pages, and Docs is that they’re so widely used that your resume will look like everyone else’s. As mentioned above, our experience indicates this isn’t a problem in the Nursing industry.
In fact, it might even be an advantage. Common resume formats make it easy for reviewers to recognize the important details. Moreover, you can rest assured that common resume formats will be legible by applicant tracking systems.
Finally, you can certainly modify the look and feel of any resume template. Changing certain aspects like colors, bold, italics, fonts and others is very easy. Adding additional layout options might be more difficult, but is still manageable nonetheless. The point is, you can make these resume templates your own with a few simple tweaks.
General Resume Builders vs. Nursing Resume Builders
If, for some reason, you are not able to make use of one of the previously discussed options, then you might consider enlisting the service of an online resume builder. These are internet based software systems designed to generate resumes based on information that you enter into the system. LinkedIn has a built in profile print-to-PDF feature that demonstrates how wide-spread this is.
There are many more general resume builders than nursing resume builders. The obvious reason is that the general job market is much larger and therefore more profitable. The main advantage of the general resume builders is that they offer more in the way of layout options. Some of the services and templates offer visually stunning designs that are truly beautiful.
However, it’s important to remember that we’re not applying for jobs at SpaceX or Uber. In many cases, a nurse’s resume needs to be legible by the legacy applicant tracking systems used by healthcare employers. In all cases, the key details should be easily recognizable during a quick scan by extremely busy hiring managers. Therefore, traditional layouts are recommended for nurses.
The Advantages of Using a Nursing Resume Builder
While nurses can certainly use general resume builders and templates, it’s important to remember that these options will not help nurses recognize and record the vital nursing-specific details that most hiring managers are looking for. This is one of the many advantages of using a nursing resume builder.
The Nurse Backpack nursing resume builder was modeled on experience in the temporary and travel nursing industries. We recommend using it even if you plan to use one of the general resume builders instead. It will help you ensure that your nursing resume has all those vital details unique to the complexity of healthcare. Plus, you can take advantage of all the other amazing features to manage your nursing career more effectively and efficiently.
As always, we hope you found this information useful! Please share your questions and comments with us in the comments section below. And please let us know if you’ve found a great nursing resume builder that we should add to this list.