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Table with resume printed in blue next to laptop and document with graph on it.

How to Write the Perfect Travel Nurse Resume

Author:
Rayne Winters
Published:
November 4, 2021

How to Write the Perfect Travel Nurse Resume

One of the things that gives nurses anxiety is writing an epic healthcare resume. After all, perfecting a resume isn't something that was focused on in nursing school. Due to the nature of travel nursing, it isn't easy to structure experience like a typical resume/CV. Nursing experience can occur in various environments and, though there seems to be a nursing shortage in many states, the most desirable positions are challenging to get.

So how can you capture your value as a nurse when you're looking for a job? In this article, we will explain how to write the perfect travel nurse resume. If you need extra help, you can always find a travel nurse resume sample or a travel nurse template.

7 Important Travel Nurse Resume Tips

Blue resume with tips for a good travel nurse resume in blue circles.
1. Customize Summary

Keep in mind; travel nursing positions are unique. Therefore, your healthcare resume should also be. Your resume should be tailored to the position you are applying to. The best way to customize your resume for the job listing is to study the listing.

Be sure to pay attention to any buzzwords used by the facility to indicate the skills/qualities they seek. Be sure to use those buzzwords in your resume. You may even find these buzzwords in the interview questions.

You may already do this. However, take some time to research the hospital and the unit that is related to the assignment. You can do this by visiting the website, finding Facebook groups or communities at the facility when appropriate, asking your recruiter, or calling the facility if you have specific questions.

By taking extra time to research the facility, you learn information that may not be included in the job listing. Additionally, it will help you understand your potential future job environment, which can be useful and something only the best resumes do.

2. Conquer Applicant Tracking System

Typically, travel nurse resumes that are submitted online go through an automated Applicant Tracking System. This system analyzes each resume before a human ever sees it. This is used by recruiters and hiring managers to streamline the hiring process.

The system will itemize your resume based on your skills and even rank you against other applicants. Therefore, you must make sure that the computer puts yours at the top. You can do that by following these tips:

  • Mirror job description, when possible
  • Focus on relevant experience
  • Follow appropriate format: professional, but common
3. Include ALL licenses/certifications

You should include every single one of your licenses and certifications. You can find a list in our new grad nurse tips post here.

Tips on adequately listing nursing licenses:

  • Include complete title and license or certification
  • List name of certifying body
  • List license or certification number, when applicable
  • List date the license or certification was obtained
  • List expiration date, if applicable
  • Include proper significations and state if it is a compact nursing license
4. Use Spelling/Grammar Checker

While the automated system may not knock you for a few mistakes, according to CareerBuilder.com, 58% of hiring managers will dismiss resumes that include spelling/grammar errors.

The good thing is, you no longer must rely on a friend to double-check. There are plenty of online tools that will provide you with instant feedback. These small details can set you up for success, or they can keep you from getting your dream job as a travel nurse. Therefore, pay close attention when building your travel nurse resume.

Another valuable resource for polishing your resume is a staffing agency. They will be able to provide you with a variety of travel nurse resume examples and even retype your resume for you in their standard format.

Luckily, Advantis Medical Staffing has a job portal, AdvantisConnect, where all you need to do is plug in your information to review and apply for jobs. The helps streamline the process and gives you access to all the information you need about available positions across the United States.

5. Choose Resume Writing Vocabulary Wisely

You may not realize this, but swapping certain words on your resume can dramatically increase your chances of getting an interview. Using action words can be a simple way to make your resume impactful. They help the hiring manager picture you in action and visualize your work ethic.

Consider the feelings that are conveyed by words such as "spearheaded," "managed," and "executed." These words ensure that your resume stands out. When proofreading, be sure to use the thesaurus function to find related resume writing vocabulary.

6. Ideal Resume Length: Concise, but Detailed

When it comes to travel nursing resumes, there's no such thing as "too long." After all, these jobs are not like anything else you'll ever come across. Short-term positions are not a bad thing, it's just the nature of the industry. Short-term jobs prove your dedication and willingness to work when needed.

You will need to provide the hiring manager a comprehensive view of your skills/capabilities, therefore, make sure to include every detail about past experiences. You should include things like:

  • Qualifications/awards
  • Managerial experience/style (when applicable)
  • Licensing/certifications
  • Stats that quantify success

If there's something relevant to the position you're applying for, be sure to include it. Of course, be concise, but don’t leave any important information out.

7. Always Include the “Big 6” in Your Resume Structure

A good travel nurse's resume includes six sections. Those sections are:

  • Summary
  • Specialty
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Professional experience
  • Computer/EMR skills and competencies
  • Education

While this is the way these sections are typically ordered, you can change it up based on the job listing.

For example, if certain licenses/certifications are required for the position, you might want to start with that one. Another option would be to list them in your summary.

Travel Nurse Resume Template

Nurse resume template
Summary

While you might be tempted to jot down a short, sweet objective like in a standard resume - avoid doing that! You want to put in some effort and write a summary. An employer wants to know what makes you the best candidate, so use your summary to tell them.

Specialty

This section will state your specialty and the number of years you have been in that area. In addition, you can include your nursing philosophy here.

Licenses/Certifications

As mentioned earlier, make sure that you include all your licenses/certifications. Don't leave anything out. The most effective travel nurse resume showcases the hard work you have put into getting to where you are now. Don't be shy.

Professional Experience

According to the experts, this section of your resume will determine whether or not you land an interview. This is where you will include your travel nurse resume skills. For each position you have held, you need to include the following:

  • Positions you have held with the most current one first
  • Employers’ names
  • City/State of employers
  • Employment periods for each position
  • Brief description of responsibilities
Computer Skills

As the healthcare system utilizes advancements in technology, technical skills are in high demand. Therefore, you want to make sure to include any relevant computer/EMR skills and competencies that you have. You will want to list the following information:

  • Name of system you have experience with
  • Amount of time spent with each system
  • Specific training with each system
  • If you performed any key functions, you need to mention that here
Education

In this section, you will include information regarding your formal education.

  • Name of institution
  • Dates attended
  • Title of degree earned
  • Honors specific/relevant to the position you are applying for

Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid

When applying for nursing jobs, especially travel nursing, some mistakes are entirely too common. You want to make sure that you avoid them, so we have outlined them below.

You’re Too Modest

Hiring managers/recruiters can see the difference between confidence and cockiness and the Applicant Tracker System can't. A resume is one of the few places where you can brag about yourself and your skills. This means that there is very little you can do that will make you sound arrogant. Make sure that you assert yourself and proudly display the work that you have done.

As long as you only include actual achievements, there shouldn't be any issues. You have most likely done some outstanding things as a nurse - show them off here!

You Don’t Proofread

We've already mentioned before that you should use a spelling/grammar checker. If you don't use proper grammar, spelling, etc., you may lose out on the job that is perfect for you.

Yes, building your resume is going to take some time and the last thing you want to do is go back through it to ensure it’s perfect. Mistakes made on a resume can be costly. Not only does it make you look unprofessional and careless to a human reviewer, but it may also not even make it that far because the Applicant Tracker System gets confused.

Once you have written and taken the time to proofread your resume and put together your list of references, send it out to the agencies you are interested in. This brings you even closer to your dream of becoming a travel nurse.

Resume Writing Checklist

These tips will help your resume get past the Applicant Tracker System and into the hands of the hiring manager. From there, they will make your resume stand out above the hundreds of other applicants. You will be well on your way to getting your dream travel nursing job. Advantis Medical makes it easy with a 1-minute application and AdvantisConnect Portal.

Don’t forget to:
  • Customize summary
  • Conquer ATS
  • Include all licenses/certifications
  • Use spelling/grammar checker
  • Choose words wisely
  • Be concise, but detailed
  • Include the “Big 6” sections

Blue resume with tips for a good travel nurse resume in blue circles.
1. Customize Summary

Keep in mind; travel nursing positions are unique. Therefore, your healthcare resume should also be. Your resume should be tailored to the position you are applying to. The best way to customize your resume for the job listing is to study the listing.

Be sure to pay attention to any buzzwords used by the facility to indicate the skills/qualities they seek. Be sure to use those buzzwords in your resume. You may even find these buzzwords in the interview questions.

You may already do this. However, take some time to research the hospital and the unit that is related to the assignment. You can do this by visiting the website, finding Facebook groups or communities at the facility when appropriate, asking your recruiter, or calling the facility if you have specific questions.

By taking extra time to research the facility, you learn information that may not be included in the job listing. Additionally, it will help you understand your potential future job environment, which can be useful and something only the best resumes do.

2. Conquer Applicant Tracking System

Typically, travel nurse resumes that are submitted online go through an automated Applicant Tracking System. This system analyzes each resume before a human ever sees it. This is used by recruiters and hiring managers to streamline the hiring process.

The system will itemize your resume based on your skills and even rank you against other applicants. Therefore, you must make sure that the computer puts yours at the top. You can do that by following these tips:

  • Mirror job description, when possible
  • Focus on relevant experience
  • Follow appropriate format: professional, but common
3. Include ALL licenses/certifications

You should include every single one of your licenses and certifications. You can find a list in our new grad nurse tips post here.

Tips on adequately listing nursing licenses:

  • Include complete title and license or certification
  • List name of certifying body
  • List license or certification number, when applicable
  • List date the license or certification was obtained
  • List expiration date, if applicable
  • Include proper significations and state if it is a compact nursing license
4. Use Spelling/Grammar Checker

While the automated system may not knock you for a few mistakes, according to CareerBuilder.com, 58% of hiring managers will dismiss resumes that include spelling/grammar errors.

The good thing is, you no longer must rely on a friend to double-check. There are plenty of online tools that will provide you with instant feedback. These small details can set you up for success, or they can keep you from getting your dream job as a travel nurse. Therefore, pay close attention when building your travel nurse resume.

Another valuable resource for polishing your resume is a staffing agency. They will be able to provide you with a variety of travel nurse resume examples and even retype your resume for you in their standard format.

Luckily, Advantis Medical Staffing has a job portal, AdvantisConnect, where all you need to do is plug in your information to review and apply for jobs. The helps streamline the process and gives you access to all the information you need about available positions across the United States.

5. Choose Resume Writing Vocabulary Wisely

You may not realize this, but swapping certain words on your resume can dramatically increase your chances of getting an interview. Using action words can be a simple way to make your resume impactful. They help the hiring manager picture you in action and visualize your work ethic.

Consider the feelings that are conveyed by words such as "spearheaded," "managed," and "executed." These words ensure that your resume stands out. When proofreading, be sure to use the thesaurus function to find related resume writing vocabulary.

6. Ideal Resume Length: Concise, but Detailed

When it comes to travel nursing resumes, there's no such thing as "too long." After all, these jobs are not like anything else you'll ever come across. Short-term positions are not a bad thing, it's just the nature of the industry. Short-term jobs prove your dedication and willingness to work when needed.

You will need to provide the hiring manager a comprehensive view of your skills/capabilities, therefore, make sure to include every detail about past experiences. You should include things like:

  • Qualifications/awards
  • Managerial experience/style (when applicable)
  • Licensing/certifications
  • Stats that quantify success

If there's something relevant to the position you're applying for, be sure to include it. Of course, be concise, but don’t leave any important information out.

7. Always Include the “Big 6” in Your Resume Structure

A good travel nurse's resume includes six sections. Those sections are:

  • Summary
  • Specialty
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Professional experience
  • Computer/EMR skills and competencies
  • Education

While this is the way these sections are typically ordered, you can change it up based on the job listing.

For example, if certain licenses/certifications are required for the position, you might want to start with that one. Another option would be to list them in your summary.

Table with resume printed in blue next to laptop and document with graph on it.
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