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10 Travel Nurse Resume Secrets

You want your resume to reflect the dedication and passion that you put into your travel nurse career. You want it to show nurse managers and recruiters the pride you have in your work. Here are 10 travel nurse resume secrets that will help you do just that.


1. Keep it simple.

Today, the majority of resumes will read first and foremost by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). An ATS is a computer program that scans, encodes, and automatically ranks your resume for how well it matches the job description. To get a foot in the door, it’s crucial to format your resume for an automated scanner.

  • Keep your formatting straightforward and consistent.
  • Avoid distracting fonts, images, or decorative items.
  • Use consistent language.

Look at your resume with a computer’s eye. You’ll need to get past the ATS to get your resume on the nurse manager’s desk.

2. Stick with the body.

Avoid headers and footers. They may look elegant to a recruiter, but they will only increase the chances that an ATS will give you a low score or rank you unfavorably compared to other candidates.

Some systems may not even read headers and footers, and crucial info, like your name and email address, may get lost. Give them the boot and focus on resumes that are entirely in the body of the page.

3. Standardize your language.

Computers aren’t known for their creative interpretations. They want everything by the letter. Stick to industry standards when describing your experience, your skills, and your education.

A good place to start when brainstorming what words to use is the job description itself. The ATS will compare your resume to the specific position listing, so borrowing language from the posting is a good way to ensure that the ATS recognizes your skills.

4. Proclaim your travel experience.

No need to be cagey about your travel job background — proclaim it on high! Be sure to consistently and prominently indicate when positions are travel gigs. This will illustrate you have travel nursing experience and that you have what it takes to thrive in the traveler’s life. It also contextualizes shorter stints at each location, so nurse managers will understand that you move around a lot to serve the hospitals that need you most.

5. Let them know you’re available.

Nurse managers and recruiters know that travel nurses have fluctuating availability. By indicating clearly when you will be available, you take an aspect of guesswork out of the hiring. This also saves nurse managers, recruiters, and you time. You’ll never pursue a position that is a mismatch with your timeline.

6. Tell them that you’re certified.

Your certifications and licenses are as essential as your job experience. Don’t neglect to include this integral section. Provide a comprehensive list of your credentials and all of the necessary information — such as precise certifying body and license number — so employers can easily verify your expertise.

7. Don’t forget professional affiliations.

You’ve worked hard to make professional connections. You’ve established memberships, reached out to organizations for your CEUs, and served medical organizations outside of your places of employment. Be sure to highlight these accomplishments, too! Show nurse managers and recruiters that you are committed to professional excellence.

8. Honor yourself.

A resume is not the place to be modest. List your awards, achievements, accomplishments, and honors. These will add an impressive shine to your proficiencies and skills.

9. Brag on your tech knowledge.

As the healthcare field becomes increasingly reliant on technology, nurses need the know-how to thrive. Today, tech knowledge is nearly as important as medical knowledge. Highlight the specific electronic records systems you’ve worked with, the tech trainings you’ve aced, and the computer platforms and applications you are fluent with.

10. Include a cover letter whenever possible.

Don’t skip an opportunity to succinctly and enthusiastically express why you’re interested in a job, what specific talents and proficiencies you have to offer, and what makes you an ideal candidate. The cover letter also gives you an opportunity to articulate your soft skills, your larger goals, and other information that may be outside the scope of the traditional resume. Whenever possible, attach that cover letter before you hit send.

There you have it — 10 secrets to a stellar travel nurse resume. Want more? Check out How to Write the Perfect Travel Nurse Resume to Get the Job You Want.

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