How to Write an LPN Resume and Apply for a Job?
Once you have obtained your LPN license or maybe even before that, you must start hunting for a job that meets your level of satisfaction. The one tool that will aid you the most in this process is your resume. You can consider a resume as your one-page biography, listing every significant aspect of your life- from personal details and education to experience and aspirations. You can find many templates online for writing a LPN resume, choose the one you like and tweak it to better reflect you as a professional. A resume creates the first impression of you before the employer. Once completed, do not forget to double or triple check it for any errors, take a second opinion if you want so. Try to make this one-page document as close to perfection as possible because even the slightest mistake can turn out to be the difference between it landing you on a job or itself making way to a dustbin. A resume consists of many parts- some compulsory and others optional. There are, however, some of the information that you must mention in a clear and precise manner.
Any resume starts with a description of your contact information, including name, telephone number, email id, address, etc. These are, of course, the easiest part of a resume to write, but ensure that you fill out the correct details. Also, depending upon the job profile you are applying for, you should also consider mentioning age and sex to bring in more clarity.
This is practically the starting section of any resume, and you must put some effort to make it more appealing and convey your message clearly. What it requires is; your clear explanation of the reason why you are interested in the job and what you intend to achieve in a short-term. Link the statement you make about the work and culture of the institution to your individual experiences and interests, to sound genuinely sincere and interested. Also, mentioning a short-term goal you have in mind reflects you as a progressive person and indicates your professional enthusiasm. However, do not over-sell yourself and a few crisp sentences are suffice to make your point. A sample objective below will give you some idea about the things you should include in your resume.
"A highly dynamic, freshly graduated Licensed Practical Nurse looking to expand my skills and experience while helping others in the process. A responsible job at [insert the institution’s name here] will help me harness my full potential further contributing towards the overall progress and efficiency of the institution."
This section contains a description of your academic background. The information provided is listed in reverse chronological order with the latest degree mentioned first. The name of the institution, its location, course title, and date of completion are some of the things you are expected to mention for each degree you have completed.
One common dilemma that many candidates face is whether to mention the GPA or not, as it carries large moral weight on the employer and is capable of swinging their decision in either direction. One general rule of thumb is that if you have a good GPA, you must mention it in bold; otherwise, not.
Also, if you have just completed your education and have no prior work experience, a detailed mention of completed degrees all the way to the high school is acceptable, but for professionals with work experience, this information is considered rudimentary and is not expected. Take a look at the sample educational qualification section below:
Heartland Community College, Normal, Illinois - 2006
Licensed Practice Nurse Certification
Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, Illinois - 2005
Bachelor of Science in Practical Nursing
This is possibly the most relevant part of your resume that can highly influence the employer’s decision. Give a detailed account of your previous works related to nursing with the names of companies you have worked for, city and state for each, positions held, employment dates, and duties performed. Any duties relevant to the post you have applied should be highlighted. Any major achievements during your previous employments are also expected to be mentioned.
For applicants who are freshers, this section is a little tricky to complete. You can choose to eliminate the section, but a wiser approach would be to replace it with a section of ‘Work Related Experience' or simply ‘Work Skills'. All the relevant experiences like seminars or workshops, which you have attended, should be mentioned in this section along with the individual skills that you think make you better suited for the job. Overall, the information and your approach in this section tell a lot about you as a professional and will certainly affect the outcome.
The below-mentioned sections are not a norm for the LPN resume and should be mentioned only if there is something relevant to offer. These are, however, recommended for freshers with zero work experience or bad GPA to compensate for the shortcomings in the previous sections. Pick any/all sections to better suit your needs:
- Honors and Awards- If you have received any honor or award, this is a good place to impress the employer. However, avoid mentioning something from distant past that isn’t related to the job; you have applied for.
- Languages Spoken- If you are a polyglot and expect it to come handy in your future job role, mentioning it will definitely give you an upper hand.
- Certifications- These are actually one of the best ways to overcome bad GPA and take the lead over candidates with other similar qualifications. Again, mentioning some certifications that are not relevant to the job are not going to help.
- Volunteer Experiences- For freshers, who have no work experience, this section will help you show your competence in work.
- Professional Memberships- Though not necessary, if you are a member of any society or club relevant to your job profile, you should not hesitate to mention it.
Formatting Your Resume
Though you are free to choose any of the thousands of templates, there are certain conventional rules of resume formatting that you should try to follow. Some of the things you should keep in mind are:
- Contact Information- Conventionally, your contact information goes at the top of the resume with your name and email id. The logic behind this is that out of many applications, you need to stand out, and the employer should not have to work to find the information required. There is also a smaller section of people who recommend mentioning this information at last. Pick whatever suits you.
- Accuracy- Never mention something incorrect in your resume, for it may turn out to be the deciding factor. Be it a factual error, a typo, or outdated information, be sure to rectify it before submission.
- Proper Formatting- Try to make your resume as presentable as possible. Keeping an elegant format with a consistent borderline, line spacing, margins, font size, etc., gives it a professional look, and is easy for the employer to go through.
- Length- There are several opinions over the length of an ideal resume with most inclinations towards one page. So, try to keep everything short and crisp so as to fit in a single page. But, if you have relevant information to share, you can prepare a two-page resume.
Sample LPN Resume
Your address, city, state, zipcode
A passionate and experienced Licensed Practical Nurse with core expertise in treatment planning and patient care. A very effective and dedicated individual who caters the needs of the patients and monitors them regularly. I am a very well-organized person who will add value to the organization with my knowledge in the field of nursing.
- Monitor and keep record of the clinical information
- Make suitable strategy and planning for the patient’s care
- Observe patient’s condition
- Communicate compassionately, professionally with staff, patients and their family
- Knowledge of medications used for the patient’s treatment
- TB and CPR Certified
- Knowledge of working in various departments such as ICU, med surge departments, PACU, POHU, ER, OHU, CVU, Orthopedics, Oncology, and Neurology
- Ability to supervise, prescribe and train staff nurses
- Geriatic care
- Catheter care
- Record maintaining
- Patient diagnosis and medication
- wound dressing and care
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Specimen collection
- Medicine administration
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Patient bathing and maintaining hygiene
Licensed Practical Nurse: March 2013- Present, XYZ Hospital, NY
- Health Monitoring of residents
- Insert catheters and change dressings
- Visit and round allotted units
- Report patient’s status to physician s and registered nurses
- Interview and examine residents
- Maintain record of patient’s health
Certified Nursing Assistant: February 2010- February 2013
- Changed beds and maintained hygiene
- Assisted patients in feeding and grooming
- Examined patients vital signs
- Executed personal care services to patients like batching, haircare, shaving, bandage, and oral cleanliness
- Assisted doctors with medical rounds
EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Houston, TX - 2008
Associate of Science in Nursing
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), State of Texas - 2010
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), State of Texas - 2008
American Nurses’ Association
Apply for the Job
Once you have prepared your resume, it’s time to start looking for potential employers. One of the most popular ways of hunting jobs is online portals. There are many sites which can find you dozens of jobs right at your fingertips. However, the traditional ways of job searching, i.e., references and face-to-face meetings, still carry considerable relevance. Choosing the online or offline route to find a job is entirely your decision. Take a look below at the fair comparison of perks; you get by taking either route:
- Online- Like it or not, this is going to be the future of job applications which already has been adopted by many institutions for their hiring purposes. Even if you don't prefer to use it as your primary route to job searching, it is strongly suggested that you familiarize yourself with the process. Some of the highlights that make it so popular and preferential to many include:
- Convenience- You can submit online applications via the Internet in the comfort of your home. Furthermore, you are not required to rush to different offices at their working hours; you can submit the application form anytime.
- Unlimited Trials- If you make any mistake in the paper application, you have no option other than asking for a new application form. The online applications have no such issue, and you are free to make unlimited edits before submitting the form. Also, online applications are made error-proof to common mistakes and incomplete submission.
- Speed- Online applications, owing to their automation and high speed, have dual benefits. While the employers can save a lot of time which would otherwise be spent sorting and filtering through a large number of applications, the applicants also have a benefit of getting a much quicker response.
Despite all the above benefits, there is one flaw that can turn out to be the deciding factor for many applicants. Institutions receiving a large number of applications often apply algorithms that filter applications based on certain criteria. This process often results in discarding many applications even before an actual person looks at them. So, if your application turns out to be one of them, you will never know you were rejected by a machine.
- Offline- Instead of the current shift towards the digital realm, there is still plenty of scope for applying in-person; especially, if you are applying in the same city where you live. People who cling to paper application despite the option of applying online, believe the following factors work in their favor:
- Personal Touch- Contrary to the online application, applying in-person has the personal feel to it. You have a better chance of convincing the employer on-spot or at least grabbing a larger mind space than others.
- Better Feedback- Unlike online applications, visiting the institution to apply in-person gives you a more live response, and you can deduce a lot about what is expected from you.
If online applications suffer from automation flaws, the offline application is prone to human errors and inefficiencies. Besides the obvious mistakes like incomplete information, overlooked information, etc., security also remains one of the major drawbacks of offline applications. Since any application form contains many confidential information and passes through many hands, leakage and tampering of personal information are more of a reality than a mere possibility.
Filling Out the Nursing Application Form
Be it online or on paper, filling out an application is often a tedious task. The first rule is to collect all the information, you think, will be required before starting. For a sensitive job role such as LPN, this list can get quite long as besides academic and other general information; you will have to mention a lot about your background. One thing you must always keep in mind is to abstain from providing false information. Even if you get a job for the time being by providing fake information, there is always a chance of it creeping up in the future, putting you in legal troubles.
Some of the general information you will be required to provide in every application are:
- Personal Information- Unlike your resume where you provide just your name and contact information, the application requires you to list some other information as well, like if you have ever been convicted of any crime, whether you have a work permit for foreign nations, social security number, etc.
- Academics- The job applications require you to list your entire academic career- from high school to the current qualification. Fill out the asked information carefully and correctly as these credentials are often verified.
- Licensure- Fill out your licensing information, including certifying board, license number, validity, etc.
- Employment History- If you have an experience in the field, list out the details of previous employments with the name of employers, job roles, and the reasons you left. Freshers can leave this section blank.
- References- Here you are required to provide a list of people with considerable credibility, who can vouch for your academic and professional competence. Freshers can ask their professors while previous bosses turn out to be excellent references for applicants with experience. Fill the complete details like name, contact information, job title, etc.
- Availability- Fill out the details of how much time you are willing to give or if any shifts you would prefer.
At the end of the application, you will be required to testify that all of the information you have provided is true and best of your knowledge. After putting your signature on this statement, you can be held legally accountable for any information you have provided. Along with the application form, there are two other things your should provide:
- Cover Letter- For professional jobs like that of an LPN, a cover letter is a way for you to convince the employer or at least create some interest. Without using too many words, describe why you wish to work for that specific employer and what value you will bring to the institution.
- Resume- Your resume shortly describes your academic, professional, and personal background.