Write a Great NP Resume: Essential Tips for Professionals

A few easy changes can help you get noticed.

NP Resume vs. CV
For most nurse practitioner jobs, a resume is preferred to a CV.

Your resume is the first way you brand yourself as a nurse practitioner (NP). It’s critical to get it right! At Melnic, we see NP resumes every day. The ones that catch our eyes are focused, concise, and well-organized. Read on for a few secrets to a great NP resume. Also, be sure to check out our sample resumes!

In most cases, you can stick with a resume over a CV. Both documents outline your professional qualifications and experiences. But, a CV is generally longer than a resume. This means that important details about your clinical abilities, experience, and leadership skills can be overlooked by employers. That’s why we recommend using a resume, unless you’re looking for a job in academia or research. This will help you—and the employer—focus on your qualifying skills and experience.

Tip 1: Organize Your Skills and Experiences

Hiring managers spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume! They scan for key phrases that indicate an NP applicant is qualified. Make your resume easy to read by carefully organizing your information.

To begin, think about the position you’re applying for and what relevant qualifications you have. This is the key to organizing your resume. Each section of your resume should focus the reader on your key attributes that fit the position.

Tip 2: Focus on the Sections of a Successful Resume

An effective resume is structured under headings and provides a logical flow of information. When in doubt, strive for clarity and simplicity. We give our job seekers the following pointers:

Contact Information

  • List your full name, followed by degree and credential abbreviations (degree, license, and professional certifications).
  • When you list contact information, include a phone number and a professional email address.
  • Avoid nick-names in your email address and don’t use a school email, which will expire.

Objective

  • The objective provides a short, targeted statement about your career goals, including the role and clinical environment you desire.

Summary

  • The summary includes the skills and experience from your work and student clinicals that fit the position. Help the reviewer quickly assess fit and what you bring to the role. Try to add-up your experiences from a variety of work and educational settings to give the big picture of your qualifications.
  • For example, you may have worked in three different places, but your summary will say you have a combined 5 years of experience in a level 3 NICU.

Education, Professional Experience, Clinical Rotations

  • Each of these sections will outline the institutions, locations, areas of specialty, and years of service that make up your career history.
  • How you order the professional experience and clinical rotation sections depends on what is most applicable to the job you’re applying for. If your clinicals most closely align to the area of practice you seek, put them first, followed by your professional experiences (positions held).
  • For a recent graduate, it might make sense to put education first, to demonstrate your newly-acquired professional degree.

Certifications & Licensure

List your license and certifications toward the bottom of your resume. While necessary, this information is not a differentiating factor for employers who are quickly scanning resumes.

Tip 3: Use Layout Tools

If your resume is messy, cluttered, or littered with spelling errors, hiring managers might question your professionalism. Don’t let simple clerical errors bring you down!

Make good use of headings, bullets, page indents, and line justification. You’d be surprised how these little changes will boost the attention your resume receives.

For more, see our sample resumes or visit the NAPNAP Career Guide. Want an expert opinion? Submit your resume and our resume reviewers will give you personalized feedback at no charge.