If variety is the spice of life, get ready for a hot career as a clinical nurse specialist. Here’s how to write your CNS resume to gain access to a wide range of opportunities.
The role of a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) varies from hospital to hospital. Whether your passion is research, education, leadership, or management, the right job is out there for you. And, our CNS resume writing tips will help you get hired!
Tip 1: Take Time to Evaluate the Job Description
Because the CNS role is different at each organization, take time to evaluate the job description. Not only will this pay off when you write your resume, it will also help you decide if this is a job you’re really interested in.
Most CNS job descriptions are focused on a few key skills: management, leadership, research, and education. Ask yourself which of these skills seems to be the highest priority for this role. For example, is it focused on staff education to improve quality of care? How about seeing patients directly? Does this position work hospital-wide, or is it dedicated to a particular unit?
With so much variation in the CNS role, begin with a clear understanding of the job description and the confidence that this is the job for you.
Tip 2: Write Your Resume Specifically for the Job
Because there are many different CNS roles, you may need several different versions of your resume. Fortunately, we have some advice to make this easy to do.
Advice for New CNS Graduates
If you’re a new graduate clinical nurse specialist, hiring managers will evaluate you based on your experience in as an RN. In my experience, there isn’t a single CNS job that doesn’t require least 3 years of RN experience. Employers want to see unit experience that aligns with the role.
For example, if you are applying for a CNS job in hematology/oncology, and a portion of your RN work experience was in this specialty, lead with it and make that very clear on your resume.
In addition to your work experience, you’ll want to demonstrate your experience in education or research. Maybe you put together education modules for the nursing staff. If you’ve done any research, you would want to include details about that too.
And then, finally, include a bullet for any leadership roles, formal or informal. Identify the committees you were on, or your experience as a charge nurse. Follow these steps for each position you’ve held as an RN.
Advice for Experienced Clinical Nurse Specialists
If you’re an experienced clinical nurse specialist, you’re in a great position! In today’s job market, CNS’s are in high demand. However, you will still need to align your resume to the job description and show the full breadth of your experience.
Tip #3: Make Your CNS Resume Clear, Well Organized, and Scannable
The order and organization of your resume say a lot about your priorities as a candidate. Make sure that your resume is visually-appealing, easy to read, and focused. By doing this, you communicate that you are a detail-oriented professional who takes pride in your work.
Use bullets, headings, and formatting to create a visual hierarchy of topics. Hiring managers are short on time and prefer resumes they can quickly scan to find key information. Which leads to our next tip…
Tip #4: Follow a Proven Clinical Nurse Specialist Resume Template
With so much information available online, there’s no reason to start writing your resume from scratch. We’ve developed a free resume template for clinical nurse specialists based on our years of experience and research in Advanced Practice Staffing.
Try a Google Images search for “clinical nurse specialist resume sample” and you may be surprised by the wide variety of resumes that are publicly available. Compare several examples and assess them for their professionalism, comprehensiveness, and writing style. Take note of what works and doesn’t work in each, then use this knowledge to make your own resume better.
Bonus Tip: Get a Free Resume Review
The average hiring manager spends less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume. At Melnic, we want to make sure you stand out for all the right reasons. That’s why we offer a free resume review to current and aspiring clinical nurse specialists, based on a sound understanding of hiring managers’ needs and preferences.
This resume review service is free—whether or not we currently have the perfect job for you! To get started, create your Melnic profile and upload your resume.
This Week’s Top Clinical Nurse Specialist Jobs
Our Melnic jobs board has CNS positions at some the country’s leading hospitals. If you are considering a change, take a look at some of these great job openings!
- Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has a great CNS Hematology Oncology opportunity in Minneapolis. Work with a leader in pediatric cancer and blood disorders in the Upper Midwest.
- In Palo Alto, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital has a CNS Cardiac position. Assess, diagnose, evaluate, triage, and treat pediatric cardiac patients at this leading academic children’s hospital.
- An experienced CNS is needed in Las Vegas for a Hospitalwide position at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. Provide care for adult patients with a variety of acute, critical, and complex illnesses and conditions.
- The San Mateo Medical Center is seeking a Perioperative CNS with surgical nursing experience to be responsible for the pre-op, surgical and post-op management of surgical patients.
- In San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital has a great job for a PICU CNS to provide complex care and monitoring for the most critically ill and injured pediatric patients.
Review our entire list of Clinical Nurse Specialist jobs, then contact us today!
Jill Gilliland is President of Melnic an APRN and PA national recruiting company. Jill is a speaker and publicist on areas such as job strategies, branding and marketing, pediatric critical care needs, and additional topics relevant to pediatric nursing and the recruitment business. She has over 12 years of experience in the recruiting industry coupled with a strong sales, healthcare, and technology background. Jill holds a BS degree in Business from the University of Southern California and an MBA from The University of Virginia, Darden Business School. Connect with Jill Gilliland on LinkedIn.