Resume Writing Tips for Licensed Practical Nurses
Just because Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, jobs are plentiful in most parts of the country, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't put plenty of effort into your resume. All too often, job-hunting LPNs make the mistake of thinking that they are shoo-ins and therefore don't need to put much effort into their resumes. In reality, however, the better your LPN resume is, the likelier you are to be offered the best positions and the most competitive compensation. Pick up some useful tips for creating an excellent LPN resume by reading on below.
Seven Tips for Creating an Effective LPN Resume
You can't apply for LPN jobs without a valid resume. If you're going to go through the trouble of creating a resume for your job search, shouldn't you make it the best one possible? There are plenty of ways to tweak and modify an LPN resume to make it more appealing and effective. Here are seven tips to get you started:
- Include a Unique Cover Letter - This might be the least popular piece of advice of all: For every resume that you send, you should create a customized cover letter that is tailored to the employer in question. More than anything, this will help your resume stand out from the crowd. With so many LPN jobs in most markets, applicants are often lazy. They usually don't bother to create cover letters. Even if they do, they use generic ones that are clearly copy and pasted several times over. Buck this trend by sitting down and crafting a unique cover letter that explains why you want to work there for every job that you apply to. The extra work is well worth it.
- Keep it Simple - While the content of your resume is important, the way in which it is formatted is too. Ideally, your resume should be as concise and easy to digest as possible. It should be easy to scan through quickly, so it should be broken up into logical sections with clearly defined subheadings. The most important information, including your LPN license information, should be prominently displayed and easy to locate. The combination of a powerful cover letter and a succinct yet informative resume is a one-two punch that is sure to get you plenty of calls.
- Don't Worry About a Lack of Experience - The vast majority of new LPNs have little or no previous work experience. Fortunately, this is expected by most employers because they understand that being an LPN is an entry-level position. Still, this doesn't mean that you should just have big, gaping holes in your resume where you'd normally list your work experience. Instead, use that space to highlight your LPN training, including any clinical training that you completed. If you have ever volunteered, include that information. Include a list of on-the-job skills that you have honed through your training and education. Above all, show employers that although you have no prior healthcare experience, you are properly trained and ready to be an effective LPN.
- State Your Objective - A great way to flesh out an LPN resume and to make it more personal and appealing is by starting it out with a stated objective. Obviously, you want to find employment as an LPN. Don't just state that simple fact, then. Expand upon it by stating why you want to work for this particular employer. Do a little research to sound informed. Explain why working as an LPN is so important for you and your career.
- Don't Exaggerate or Embellish - It is normal to feel self-conscious about having little or no actual work experience to report on a resume. In fact, you may be tempted to embellish your experience a little to make yourself look more qualified. This is a recipe for disaster, as it is easy for prospective employers to confirm your information. Instead, find other ways on your resume to show that you have the necessary skills. If you have held jobs outside the healthcare field, find a way to relate those experiences to working as an LPN. It is easier than you probably think.
- Highlight Your Achievements - Even if you have no prior healthcare experience, you have completed your LPN training and, presumably, had to undergo clinical training at local healthcare facilities. Therefore, you have relevant experience, and you have achievements that you can highlight on your resume. For example, if you maintained a high GPA during your training, go ahead and make a note of it. If you had to go above and beyond the call of duty during your training, share that experience. If you scored exceptionally well on the NCLEX-PN, include your score. These things may seem small, but they add up and can do a lot to help you stand out.
- Optional Tips to Consider - If you still find yourself with a lot of blank space on your resume, don't worry. There are lots of ways to flesh it out. Some optional but nice things that you can put on your LPN license include any honors or awards that you have received through the years; any languages that you speak in addition to English; any volunteer experiences that you have completed; any professional memberships that you currently hold; and any specialty certifications that you have earned. Include a brief description of each item and dates, if relevant. Avoid cramming in too much information, as it can make your resume too difficult to digest and more likely to be passed over.
Now that you have completed your LPN training, passed the NCLEX-PN, and obtained your LPN license, you have one last hurdle to overcome before applying for jobs: creating a great LPN resume. Put plenty of time and effort into yours to give yourself the best odds of success.