How To Write a Medical Resume
To craft an eye-catching medical resume that resonates with hiring managers, highlight your most compelling achievements and qualifications within the health care field. Demonstrate your ability to interface with patients, enhance clinical workflows, and increase positive patient outcomes.
In this guide, we’ll provide valuable tips and insights to help build an accomplishment-driven resume and land your next big job opportunity.
1. Write a dynamic profile summarizing your medical qualifications
The profile section of your medical resume is your opportunity to make a strong first impression on prospective employers. Hiring managers often review hundreds of resumes for a single job opening, so make every word count. Open with a sentence that lists your title, years of experience, and three to four clinical specializations that align with the hospital’s needs.
In the subsequent sentences, highlight unique aspects of your background within the medical field. For example, you might emphasize your commitment to patient-centered care, health care equity, and patient advocacy. Also, consider including one powerful achievement with a strong metric to demonstrate your proven track record of success within the health care industry.
Senior-Level Profile Example
A nurse manager with over 10 years of professional experience specializing in clinical operations, case management, acute care, and people management. A proven track record of leading diverse nursing teams to achieve positive outcomes and improve patient care. Adept at identifying opportunities to reduce operational costs and enhance organizational effectiveness.
Entry-Level Profile Example
A registered nurse (RN) with entry-level experience providing direct patient care as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and nurse extern. Achieved recognition from physicians and RNs during clinical evaluations for delivering patient-centered care and communicating with empathy and compassion.
2. Add an accomplishment-driven professional experience section
As you build your professional experience section, focus on crafting bullet points that detail your accomplishments rather than job responsibilities. Draw attention to the positive impact you’ve had on patients, medical teams, and health care organizations throughout your career.
Incorporate clinical data, hard numbers, and monetary figures to establish a sense of scope for your achievements. For instance, say you’ve achieved a 93% patient satisfaction rating. Including the nurse-to-patient ratio or number of beds could help bolster this bullet point, as it’s much more difficult to maintain a 93% satisfaction score in a high-volume hospital.
Senior-Level Professional Experience
Nurse Manager, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY | February 2017 – present
- Oversee clinical operations for a 440-bed hospital, built and managed a team of over 25 RNs, and coordinated 24-hour operations for seven patient care units, including Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICUs), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICUs), Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICUs), ambulatory care, and neonatal intensive care
- Drive change management initiatives to improve nursing metrics, utilization, patient flow, and operating room (OR) staffing to reduce average length of stay from four days to three
- Improve patient room turnover rate by 10% during periods of over 90% occupancy and ensure compliance with infection prevention and COVID-19 safety protocols
Entry-Level Professional Experience
Nurse Extern, Ardmore Hospital, Boston, MA | May 2023 – June 2023
- Provided direct care to an average of five patients per shift under the supervision of the charge nurse and clinical preceptor
- Administered medications using the oral, topical, and subcutaneous routes
- Performed patient assessments and coordinated with RNs to develop comprehensive care plans based on symptoms and individual needs
- Monitored patients following surgical procedures, provided wound care, changed dressings, and updated the nurse manager on changes in patient condition
3. Include relevant education and certifications
In addition to your degrees and licenses, consider pursuing additional credentials to bolster your application. Certifications within the health care space are more important than in most industries, as they’re often required for specialized roles. Obtaining other certifications will also show hiring managers you’re committed to furthering your medical knowledge and are passionate about delivering the highest quality of patient care.
- [Degree Name]
- [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] | [Graduation Year]
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Nursing
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA | 2018
- [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]
- Medical Surgical Nurse – Board Certified (MEDSURG-BC™) | April 2018
- Certified Psychiatric Technician, American Association of Psychiatric Technicians | June 2016
4. List pertinent key skills in medicine
Most organizations utilize some form of applicant tracking system (ATS) to identify qualified candidates for job openings. If your medical resume lacks a certain number of keywords, your application may be rejected before it reaches the hiring manager. To mitigate this risk, incorporate clinical terms and key skills from the job description into your profile, professional experience, and skills sections. Below are potential keywords you may encounter while applying for health care-related positions:
|Key Skills and Proficiencies
|Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
|Health care leadership
|Health care management
How To Pick the Best Medical Resume Template
When selecting your medical resume template, look for a design that organizes your content effectively but also fits with your personal brand. Limited visual elements are acceptable, but be sure these design elements don’t distract the reader from your qualifications and achievements. Avoid graphics, overly decorative fonts, and flashy colors. Opt for an elegant, single-column layout that allows you to control the flow of information.
Medical Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples
Pittsburgh, PA 12345
LinkedIn | Portfolio
A licensed psychologist with five years of experience specializing in patient advocacy, behavioral interventions, evidence-based therapy, and case management. A strong history of developing clinical models to improve patient care and drive positive clinical outcomes. Adept at coordinating with multidisciplinary teams to guide treatment plans and administer assessments.
Psychologist, Lifestance Health, Pittsburgh, PA | October 2020 – present
- Perform over 15 interviews and patient assessments weekly, diagnose mental disorders, and identify appropriate treatment plans using behavioral cognitive and evidence-based therapy approaches
- Tailor treatment methods according to multicultural needs and interface with patients diagnosed with disabilities and genetic disorders
- Develop evidence-based clinical models in compliance with ethical standards to enhance the quality of patient care across the organization
CNA, Kindred Medical Center, Boston, MA | June 2018 – October 2020
- Delivered mental health services and treatments to patients, led one-on-one and group therapy sessions, provided couples counseling, and conducted patient intake
- Evaluated patient progress, developed long-term treatment goals, and conducted patient assessments to diagnose mental illness and create treatment plans
- Behavioral analysis
- Case management
- Clinical psychology
- Group therapy
- Patient assessment
- Board Certified Professional Counselor, (LCP), State of Pennsylvania | June 2018
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) Clinical Psychology
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | May 2011 – May 2016
Master of Science (M.S.) Psychology
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | May 2009 – May 2011
Frequently Asked Questions: Medical Resume Examples and Advice
What are common action verbs for medical resumes?-
Action verbs help hiring managers visualize your contributions, but it’s easy to run short on these words during the resume-building process. Differentiating your word choice can enhance the quality of your bullet points and eliminate redundancy. Also, avoid passive language that may inadvertently frame an accomplishment as a mundane job duty.
For example, saying you were “responsible for treating patients and working with various medical teams” doesn’t have the same impact as “delivered patient-centered care to over 15 adults and children per day and collaborated with multi-disciplinary teams to enhance clinical operations.”
Below are action verbs to craft your professional experience section and bolster the impact of your bullet points:
How do you align your resume with a medical job description?-
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1.8 million new jobs are projected each year within the health care field. Despite the need for trained medical professionals, it’s still important to align your resume with the job description to secure the most lucrative opportunities. Carefully research the hospital’s mission statement, needs, and values before submitting your application.
For instance, if a hospital heavily emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), you might emphasize your background treating patients across various cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. If a health care organization is focused on patient advocacy, feature your background in delivering empathetic care based on your patients' emotional, cultural, physical, and spiritual needs.
What is the best medical resume format?-
Reverse chronological is the ideal format for medical resumes. This approach ensures your most recent and relevant experience is featured towards the top of your document while also demonstrating your career progression over time. Hiring managers will always be more invested in your work history than your skill sets, so it’s best to avoid functional resumes in almost every instance. That being said, a combination approach may be more suitable at the entry level, as it allows you to feature your certifications and skills above your professional experience.
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Craft a matching cover letter to bolster your chances of landing the interview. Be sure to customize your document for each position you apply for. Mention something specific about the organization’s mission statement, reputation, and values in your middle paragraphs and why this draws you to apply for the position. For more insights, view our medical cover letter guides.