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healthcare resume tips

Secure a Senior Living Job With the Right Healthcare Resumé

As 2024 unfolds, the senior healthcare industry in Virginia is experiencing a significant surge in demand for nurses. 

The senior living job demand also includes nursing aides such as registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), home health aids (HHAs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and personal care assistants (PCAs).

Driven by an aging population of baby boomers, it’s projected the United States will experience a significant shortfall of nurses and nursing assistants in the following years.

Luckily, senior living communities such as The Kensington Falls Church are at the forefront of addressing this need.

In this article, we’ll help you craft a compelling resumé and prepare for the interview process in this growing and exciting field!

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

Writing the perfect resumé: What interviewers are looking for

Your resumé is a snapshot of who you are professionally and even personally. 

Here’s a rundown of what to include and what to skip, along with some resumé do’s and don’ts.

Resumé “do’s”

  • Keep your resumé to one page, two pages maximum if you have extensive experience.
  • Add your name, email address, and phone number at the top.
  • Focus on relevant experience. Think of past jobs, volunteer roles, internships, and other experiences that showcase your skills and work ethic.
  • Highlight specific skills and qualifications that align with the specific job you’re applying for. When possible, rewrite your resumé to match the language on the job listing.
  • Include educational background, in reverse chronological order, including any relevant or required certifications, especially for nursing and care partner roles.
  • Add achievements. These go beyond job duties and focus on what you accomplished in these roles, such as improving patient satisfaction, reducing the budget, receiving awards, etc.

Resumé “don’ts”

  • Don’t include experience that doesn’t relate to the position you’re applying for. Keep your resumé focused on the job you’re applying for.
  • Skip adding your birthday, social security number, marital status, and physical mailing address. These are unnecessary and can lead to unconscious bias in the hiring process.
  • Don’t write long paragraphs. Write in short, action-oriented sentences. Remember, recruiters skim resumés, and big blocks of text will likely get skipped over. You can leave this for the cover page if one is required.
  • Don’t exaggerate or lie about your experience of skills.
  • Don’t include references on a resumé. These can be printed out on another piece of paper if the employer asks for them.

Resumé-building tools

Crafting a winning resumé design from scratch can be difficult without graphic design experience. But don’t worry, there are many free tools and resources online that make the process much easier. 

Tools include:

  • Online templates such as Canva, Google Docs, and Microsoft offer free resumé templates.
  • Resumé builder platforms such as Zety, resuméGenius, and MyPerfectresumé guide you through creating a resumé step-by-step.
  • Use resources such as Grammarly for grammar and spelling checks.

Healthcare-specific resumé advice: important keywords and phrases 

In the senior healthcare industry and other industries, your resumé needs to speak the language of the field. 

Let’s dive into how to effectively showcase your expertise and use the right terminology to stand out, no matter what position you’re applying for.

How to highlight clinical experience and skills using the right language

When applying for a healthcare position, your clinical experiences, skills, and certifications need to take center stage.

Be very clear about your clinical skills. For example, instead of saying “patient care,” be more specific and say “Administered IV medication and monitored post-surgical ICU patients.”

Be sure to highlight specialized medical knowledge or techniques you’re proficient in, such as “experience in diabetes management and wound care.”

Detail your hands-on experience with patients by saying “Provided compassionate hospice care for patients and their families.”

List relevant certifications with their acronyms spelled out, such as: 

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) 
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

If you have experience in specific areas, such as “Wound care management for chronic conditions” or “Expertise for Alzheimer’s and dementia patient care” make sure these are prominently featured, especially when applying to a memory care community.

How to showcase achievements, accomplishments, and “soft skills” in healthcare resumés

When working in a senior living community, effectively presenting your measurable achievements and soft skills, or people skills, is necessary.

How to quantify accomplishments

Using specific numbers, percentages, and outcomes can make your accomplishments more tangible and impressive.

For example, consider using these types of phrases:

  • “Managed a team of 10 nurses, reducing patient wait times by 25%.”
  • “Implemented a new patient record system, increasing efficiency by 30%.”
  • “Led a project that improved patient satisfaction scores from 80% to 95%.”

Showcasing soft skills and positive attributes

Soft skills are incredibly important in healthcare roles, no matter if you’re working as a nurse or as support staff. Each employee will be facing residents and their families daily. 

Show off your human side by highlighting these skills and using this type of language:

  • “Provided compassionate care to over 40 residents daily.”
  • “Collaborated with a team of various healthcare professionals to develop comprehensive patient care plans.”
  • “Quickly adapted to new COVID-19 protocols to reduce infection rates and ensure uninterrupted patient care.”

Interview preparation and follow-up

  • Arrive 10 minutes early for the interview.
  • Dress professionally to make a good first impression.
  • Bring multiple copies of your resumé for different interviewers.
  • Research the company’s history, mission statement, and values to align your responses.
  • Be ready for both in-person and group interview formats.
  • Practice responses to common healthcare interview questions.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer about the role and the facility.

Post-Interview follow-up:

  • Send a thank-you note within 24 hours of the interview.
  • Express your interest and enthusiasm for the role in your follow-up.
  • Avoid following up too quickly, and give the hiring process time to unfold.
  • Stay engaged but patient while waiting for a response.

Read more: From Interview to Hire: Everything You Need to Know About the Onboarding Process in Healthcare at The Kensington Falls Church.

Senior living jobs at The Kensington Falls Church: Now hiring!

Begin a rewarding career at The Kensington Falls Church, an assisted living and memory care community specializing in dementia and Alzheimer’s care.

Our community is an ideal place for starting or continuing your senior living career. We even provide on-the-job training for care partner positions (CNAs, HHAs, and PCAs).

Explore our open senior living job listings and apply today! 

Contact us to learn more about our compassionate team at The Kensington Falls Church.

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