Two independent events inspired this article. First, I received an email from a potential client who wanted a résumé as she will soon be graduating as a nurse. And she will be looking for an entry level position. She wanted to know whether I had any samples she could follow.

I have a policy against samples for three reasons. First, I want to preserve client confidentiality. My résumés are so personal that even with the name blocked out, they could be recognized by my original client. Secondly, I know that people like to cut and paste resumes, and I don’t want to be responsible for a client in an interview explaining how she went to high school in Jakarta when she never left Vancouver. Finally, I know myself. I know I’d screw up the saving of the sample and the original client might call me back for an update, and I would need to start from scratch.

The second event was an article by Avadhut Nigudkar I found on LinkedIn today entitled “Resume Tips Tor Entry Level Professionals” at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Resume-Writing-Tips-Entry-Level-3320539.S.95870506?view=&gid=3320539&type=member&item=95870506&trk=eml-anet_dig-b_nd-pst_ttle-cn

I thought the article concentrated more on the mechanics of resume writing than the real meat – the words and ideas about the story one would want to tell on a resume. Perhaps I can add to it.

Let’s stay with the nurses, and suppose the nurse is getting a Bachelor of Nursing from a university (as opposed to a RN or LPN) This degree could have taken anywhere from 3 – 5 years depending on the types of courses. There was life before that, and there was life during that. The problem is to design a resume that can reach into the past to dig out some skills. Here’s how.

As an archaeologist, I’m trained to dig into the past for clues. The same goes for new nurses. I ask questions like:
• What made you decide to go into nursing? (I was always interested in helping people. I am very mathematically oriented. I have a keen sense for detail. I like to solve problems. I like job security.)
• What did you for work while at university? (I worked in retail. I worked as a waitress
• Have you ever supervised anyone? (I was an assistant manager at McDonalds. On two of my rotations I supervised care aides.)
• What was your leadership style?
Suddenly, we have enough information for a profile, and therefore a point of departure:

A newly graduated BN with a good training and experience in the up-to-date Operating Room procedures eager to begin a career as an operating room nurse. Possess a good deal of customer service experience which transfers to excellent patient care. Supervisory experience, with a hands-on and mentoring leadership style.
Key Strengths:
• Eager to help patients through surgery and in recovery
• Keen attention to detail, and an affinity for mathematical problems
• Strong supervisory and communication skills
• Possess the skills necessary to be a team member: listening, problem solving and negotiation
The next steps are easy.
Put all your course work by the year, then include all Rotations and Preceptorships under subheadings under education. Mention your accomplishments as you go. I know the nursing programs. You kept a diary and/or wrote essays on all your accomplishments. Use them.

It may seem irrelevant after all the work you just completed, but it’s not. Some of the skills you learned on your first positions stay with you.
After you get your first nursing position, add it to your resume. Use the new skills you are using to buttress your strengths.

It’s usually difficult for people to maintain a perspective when talking or writing about themselves. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help if you need it. This can strengthen your resume and make you more competitive in the labour market. As it stands now, though, you have the makings of a good story about yourself.

Mike Broderick WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he FOUND employment for people with physical disabilities.
He remains an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105.
If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a résumé makeover at competitive rates .
Happy New Year! Apparently 22% of companies in the Greater Vancouver area will be hiring within the next month. Get your résumés ready.



  1. Sharon Says:

    Great article, Mike. Good luck with your own job hunt.

  2. Russel Goldner Says:

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any solutions to help stop content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

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