The Art of Creating a Winning Resume

The job market can be a competitive landscape, and the first step towards standing out is creating an impressive resume. This guide aims to provide a detailed overview of crafting a winning resume, focusing on the inclusion of a photo, resume tips, and strategies to create a positive impression.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction #intro
  2. Understanding the Importance of a Resume #importance
  3. The Debate: To Include a Photo or Not #photo
  4. The Role of Personal Bias in Hiring #bias
  5. Catering Your Resume to the Job #job-specific
  6. The Importance of a Cover Letter #cover-letter
  7. Resume Tips for Nurses #nurses
  8. Dressing for Success #dress
  9. Preparing for the Interview #prepare
  10. Researching the Company #research
  11. Asking the Right Questions #questions
  12. Being Authentic #authenticity


In the age where digital presence is increasingly significant in job hunting, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of a traditional resume. A well-crafted resume can be the key to unlock doors to opportunities and make a lasting impression on the hiring manager.

Understanding the Importance of a Resume

A solid resume serves as a snapshot of your professional life. It’s an opportunity to showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements in a format that’s easy for potential employers to digest. In essence, it’s your professional story, told neatly and concisely.

The Debate: To Include a Photo or Not

There’s a long-standing debate about whether or not to include a photo in your resume. While some argue that a photo can detract from the focus on your skills, others believe it adds a personal touch, providing a complete representation of who you are.

For certain customer service jobs where interpersonal interaction is crucial, a photo can be beneficial in demonstrating a warm and friendly demeanor. However, for more serious or straightforward positions, a photo might not be necessary.

The Role of Personal Bias in Hiring

It’s essential to acknowledge that personal bias plays a role in hiring. Often, people tend to hire those who resemble them, either in appearance or values. While this can be seen as a negative aspect, it can also work in your favor if you align with the hiring manager’s preferences.

Catering Your Resume to the Job

Having variations of your resume tailored to specific job applications can be beneficial. It allows you to highlight the most relevant skills and experiences for each role, increasing your chances of making a positive impression.

The Importance of a Cover Letter

A cover letter is another crucial component of your job application. It’s a chance to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and its culture, and to articulate how your skills align with its mission. When crafting your cover letter, remember to include a personal anecdote that showcases why you’re interested in the role.

Resume Tips for Nurses

For healthcare professionals such as nurses, it’s beneficial to focus on your clinical skills, volunteering experiences, and affiliations with professional organizations. Use a chronological format for your work experience, starting with the most recent.

Dressing for Success

Dressing appropriately for an interview is vital. Your outfit can boost your confidence and set the tone for the interaction. Opt for business formal attire for initial interviews, but ensure you’re comfortable.

Preparing for the Interview

Before the interview, familiarize yourself with your resume and prepare answers for common questions. This will help you appear calm and collected during the interview.

Researching the Company

Researching the company before the interview is essential. It demonstrates your interest in the role and helps you formulate informed questions about the company and the position.

Asking the Right Questions

Asking questions during the interview is crucial, as it allows you to learn more about the role and the company. It’s also a chance to demonstrate your interest and engagement in the process.

Being Authentic

Above all, be yourself during the interview process. Authenticity shines through, and it’s what ultimately makes you memorable. Remember, you entered your profession because of your passion and skills, not because you’re an expert in interviewing.

In conclusion, crafting a winning resume involves a deep understanding of the role, the company, and yourself. By incorporating these tips into your job application process, you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

The journey to your ideal job might seem daunting, but with preparation and authenticity, you can navigate the process with confidence.

How to Highlight your Resume During a Job Interview and Nail it!

In one of my last blog posts I wrote about how to nail a virtual interview. As we approach the end of this month and hopefully soon, the end of this pandemic, I wanted to give some tips for nurses to nail their next in person interview. I’ll also go over some great resume resources, this will help put your best foot forward and stand apart from the competition.  

1. Study Common Healthcare Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you’re applying for a job at a hospital or clinic, chances are management will be asking you similar questions in the interview.

One of the best interviewing tips for nurses is to study these questions in advance and prepare your answers. Some questions that might come your way include:

  • What is the most difficult part of being in healthcare?
  • Do you like working alone or with a team?
  • What would you do if a patient was constantly complaining about pain?
  • What are your top skills/weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why do you want this job?

2. Dress the Part

Always, always, make sure you dress the part. Clothing plays a big role in your confidence and self-esteem, meaning that one of the biggest interview tips for nurses is taking your outfit seriously.

I am all for personal style and expression. For the initial interview it is best to wear something more business formal. Make sure you feel comfortable. When you feel good about how you look it’ll boost your confidence and you will be ready to take on anything that comes your way. 

3. Know your resume front and back!

If you don’t know what is on your resume , you may become nervous and tend to glance down at your resume to verify your job history and education when they ask. The interviewer will pick up on your nervousness if you keep glancing down to verify your job history and education. Its always best to memorize all the details so you come off as cool and collected when asked about yourself.

Its best to walk into the interview with both your cover letter and resume. When writing your cover letter, try to remember the following :

  • Avoid “To whom it may concern.” Know the name of the person who does the hiring.
  • Tailor your letter to the employer. Mention their mission statement and how your goals match. Tell a brief personal story that illustrates why you want to work in a particular area, and list any unique skills pertinent to the position.
  • Thank the reader for his/her time, and include your phone number.

Your success will largely depend on how you present yourself in your nursing resume. Listed below are a few pointers to remember: 

  • DO use the chronological format for your work experience. List jobs starting with the most recent. If experience is limited, focus on skills, special activities, volunteering and association with professional organizations.
  • DO use good quality paper without designs or borders. Use 1-inch margins, 12-point type, and an uncluttered look. Use bullet points.
  • DON’T include a photo or list health, hobbies, marital status, family information or your GPA. “Recruiters tell us that …you can have a high GPA, but that doesn’t make you a good clinical nurse,” Cardillo says.
  • DON’T list references or say “References available upon request.” This is understood.
  • Always bring a hard copy

4. Ask Questions

Never feel uncomfortable about asking questions. Always remember to ask questions. The interview isn’t just for the interviewee to learn more about you. 

Asking questions will put you in a position to learn more about the position, where you will be working, and whether or not it’s right for your personal and professional needs. By all means ask whatever you think will help you, such as the work culture, job responsibilities and overtime pay.

5. Research the Facility

Always research the facility ahead of time. This will eliminate a potentially embarrassing situation of asking a question in the interview that could have easily been looked up online. This potentially could come off as not being prepared. 

6.  Be Yourself

Everything above is crucial, but at the end of the day, its important to be yourself. If you get hired, the persona presented during the interview. As a nurse you already possess such great qualities. Allow that to come through during the interview, if you are authentic, it will come off as such. 

You got into nursing because you love helping people – not because you love interviewing.

Even for the most experienced nurses, Interviews can be tough. Try to keep these points in mind when you go for your next interview. The goal is to help you calm your nerves, play it cool, and walk away with your ideal nursing job.

By Julia Samaniego.