5 Tips for Writing a Killer Healthcare Resume

When it comes to resume writing, healthcare professionals have their work cut out for them. As a professional field that changes constantly, it’s very important for individuals seeking a healthcare career to roll with the changes and adapt accordingly. Here are five killer resume writing tips to keep in mind for healthcare professionals.

Pick a Format


Healthcare professionals tend to use one of two formats: a standard resume or a CV (which stands for curriculum vitae).

If you’re seeking a management position or administrative work, the standard resume will suffice. Hospitals and healthcare centers are always in need of professionals in the areas of accounting, purchasing, information technology, and operations. All of these job seekers will benefit from a standard resume.

Candidates seeking academic or scientific positions such as doctors, nurses, scientists, and researchers should include a CV, rather than a resume. While a resume is a one to two page presentation of a candidate’s general qualifications, a CV is much different. CVs highlight specific technical experience, including educational qualifications and certifications, research experience, published works, as well as any applicable honors, awards, or affiliations you may have.

Be Truthful and Positive

As with any kind of resume or CV, yours should be completely truthful. Given that, it’s important to highlight all experiences in the most positive way possible, within the parameters of honesty. List every aspect of your career and your personality that shines a positive light on you professionally. Carefully read the job posting, and tailor your documents to reflect the qualities the potential employer is looking for in candidates.

Distinguish Yourself

Professionals charged with hiring new employees sort through dozens or even hundreds of applications, resumes, and CVs in their search. Many healthcare professionals have similar backgrounds. Look at your professional experience and decide what sets you apart from the rest.

Your resume should distinguish you from other applicants. Whether you achieve this through highlighting your qualifications and skill sets, or your specific achievements, make sure the person reading your resume or CV knows exactly what it is that makes you you, as far as your career is concerned.

Be sure to zero in on any leadership roles you may have filled in the past. For example, healthcare professionals are affiliated with labor unions. If you had a role in any negotiations or held any other leadership or mentoring roles, don’t leave it out of your resume.

Use Buzz Words

Healthcare resumes and CVs should highlight specific buzz words or keywords to capture the hiring professional’s attention. Additionally, many healthcare agencies use recruiting software to sort through potential new hires. This software often searches resumes and CVs for keywords according to desirable traits of the position.

For example, use the word “caseload” if you have experience serving patients or clients directly. Include “grant writing” or “fundraising” if your experience includes management or business development. “Quality control” is another key term expected for most healthcare professionals’ resume. The word “training” is key too, so include it if you have trained individuals, or even better if you have developed any training programs. This skill shows potential employers that you have adequate confidence when it comes to public speaking, which is a huge plus for this field.

Other buzz words to include if they relate to your background are “operating revenue,” “program-development” or “service-development,” “research,” and “publications.” These buzz words indicate that you have the ability to expand the business, and are an active member of the educational community.

Remain Relevant and Reflect it on Your Resume

As with any science-related professions, it’s necessary for healthcare professionals to stay abreast on the newest research developments and treatment options. Similarly, be sure to highlight these components of your resume. This will show potential healthcare employers from dental practices like Kool Smiles or other general practice offices that you’re an active learner, and that you have the drive to be at the top of your field.

Design your resume or CV with healthcare trends in mind. If you’ve participated in any recent studies, don’t leave them out either. If you have certain skill sets that qualify you to care for chronic illnesses or certain mental conditions that are of special importance as of late, don’t neglect them. Other relevant areas of note are health informatics, health care privacy, and health care management systems.

All resumes and CVs have similar guidelines: use action words, positive adjectives, highlight strengths, and downplay weaknesses. Healthcare professionals are members of an elite field of professionals that are constantly changing their career paths and job requirements, as advances in research continually change the field of medicine itself.

Keep these five tips in mind the next time you update your resume, which ought to be sooner rather than later.