Nursing is one of the most dynamic job market sectors in Australia, and the large number of agencies dedicated to nurses confirms this fact. Competition in the Australian healthcare industry is intense, and job candidates are increasingly better prepared to compete against other applicants who are interested in the same positions.

The good news for you and any other nurse with a top-notch resume is that employers are still overwhelmed by the large number of resumes displaying spelling mistakes, crossed words, redundant information and unattractive layouts. Having a well-structured resume can bring you significant advantages and help you land your dream nursing job:

Your job application will stand out from the crowd
We live in a visual world, and hiring managers make a quick first impression after just watching your nursing resume for 30 seconds, skimming it contents, and deciding whether they like the layout or not. A resume with a professional, impressive look, will increase your chances of being selected for the interview phase compared to a plain, boring interview created in Word.

You can negotiate a higher salary
When you make a great impression on people, they are unconsciously willing to give your more attention, more credit, and in the end, more money. A well-written resume will recommend you as a valuable candidate and employers will be more likely to offer more benefits and a higher pay.

Recruiters can get an instant grasp of your qualifications
Do you enjoy reading long one-paragraph texts with poorly-structured content or do you prefer having information organised by using headings, numbered lists, and bullets? Hiring managers expect the same thing. In addition, here’s what they think while grabbing your resume: “Let’s see who this person is, what his or her qualifications are, and if they can bring any value to our team.” There are endless formatting options that can help you get a well-structured resume that reads easily and makes recruiters say “Aha! This may be the person we are looking for!”

Writing an executive summary lets recruiters know what you can bring to the table
Aside from organising your resume into sections, you should also write an executive summary that you’ll place in the beginning, right after your name. This 3-4 phrases paragraph should represent a picture of your goal, qualifications, specialty area and experience. This is a proven method for making your resume highly competitive.

Listing your roles instead of your workplaces draws attention to your experience
A great tip for making the most from your resume is focusing on achievements and responsibilities instead of using workplaces as headers. For instance, if you have been fulfilling two roles at the same hospital, such as Nurse Practitioner and Chief Nursing Officer, create two different entries based on the two titles instead of placing both roles under the same workplace. Structure and emphasis on achievements are what makes the difference between an ordinary and an impressive resume!

Top performers mention their contributions to each employer
Don’t let recruiters just guess the value you have provided to other employers or hope you might discuss the topic during the interview. For each past work experience, you should list the type of unit you’ve worked in, your responsibilities, and your contributions (such as “taking measures to stop an epidemic in the South hospital wing” or “proposing to the hospital board measures for improving the well-being of intensive care patients”)

Last, but not the least, a well-structured nursing resume suggests you are a reliable worker, who can become a valuable asset to any healthcare unit; recruiters will expect the organisation and rigour you’re displaying in your resume to reflect in your work as well.