The Key to Making It Past Your Résumé to the Interview

There is nothing quite as exhilarating as graduating from school with a diploma, certificate or degree in hand. You are ready to hit the road running to land that perfect job. Your grades were exemplary, you perhaps even won departmental awards and were lauded by your instructors as being a great student with tons of potential. It’s time to write your résumé so that you can begin submitting it to the employers you’d like to work for. However, that résumé is only part of what will get you to the interview. It’s how that résumé is written that matters. Here are some tips that will get you past the résumé and to the interview.

Beyond Experience and Education

One of the biggest mistakes many job applicants make is to assume that it will be their experience and education that interests potential employers the most. While that is important, most employers today understand that there are qualities and skills beyond what we can learn in a classroom that will make us a good fit for their organization.

Take for example a nurse freshly graduated with a bachelor in science in nursing. That nurse is an RN and is well qualified and now licensed to work in the field. All this is on her nursing résumé, but that nurse never gets a call back for the interview. Why do you think that would be? Actually, there is something vitally important missing from the résumé that was detailed on others. Do you know what that is? It’s something beyond experience and education, that’s for sure.

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Life Skills Employers Look For

Sometimes called ‘life skills’ and at other times referred to as ‘soft skills,’ these are things today’s employers look for on a résumé. These skills include such things as excellent communication skills, leadership qualities, a team oriented mentality and so forth. In fact, these soft skills are so vitally important when listing nursing résumé skills that the University of Arizona explores what should be on your nursing résumé.

Beyond what they’ve taught on campus or online, they want their nurses to understand how important these soft skill are in today’s culture. If you haven’t listed any on your résumé, it’s time to go back and do a bit of editing! Don’t overdo it. Be subtle, but do list these qualities that make you a good fit with the hospital or doctor you are applying to, as well as what makes you a great patient-centered nurse.

Since so much of our culture today has become entrenched in technology, there are some jobs that need that extra bit of humanity. Nursing careers are the kinds of jobs that can’t be left to a machine. Nurses are the front line of patient care, the ones who deal with the suffering and as such, they need qualities above and beyond what technology or a textbook can offer them. The key to making it past the résumé and to the interview are the life skills, the soft skills, you gently highlight on your résumé. These are the qualities so much in demand and how you will make it past the introduction (résumé) and to the interview.


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