LNCtips.com: Resumes for LNCs
Independent and in-house legal nurse consultants use resumes to outline their credentials instead of CVs. What's the difference between a CV and a Resume? A resume not only lists recent jobs but also describes the responsibilities of the jobs. Unlike a CV, it's not necessary to list every single position since nursing school, just the most current ones. In addition to describing current job responsibilities, a resume identifies formal education and certifications. If the LNC wants to also identify a career objective, membership in professional organizations, applicable continuing education programs, and unique traits that make her or him a desirable candidate for the position, it's perfectly acceptable to do so. The content of a resume is much more flexible than a CV.
The resume should not look like the candidate is applying for a traditional nursing position. It needs to be tailored to the particular Legal Nurse Consultant position. For example, when applying for a staff nurse position, the candidate might identify unit dynamics, the number of assigned patients, and supervisory responsibilities. However, if applying for work as a Legal Nurse Consultant, it's not important to identify that the candidate had preceptor responsibilities or worked on a fast-paced unit with a high patient to nurse ratio. Instead, candidates need to identify their expertise with certain patient populations and relate how that experience and their personal traits could benefit the attorney or firm. For example, the LNC might identify experience in reviewing documentation of cardiovascular patients or a personal trait that indicated analytical ability.
There are certain characteristics that make some LNC resumes stand out. If you are getting all the LNC work that you can handle with your current resume, do not change it. But if you want to increase your chance of getting LNC work, consider the following:
People who review resumes often concentrate on the top half of the first page of the resume so the information on the top half of the first page of your resume should compel the reader to review the rest of the resume. If the information isn't compelling, the rest of the resume may not be reviewed.
For that reason, if you have any LNC experience place it in the top half of the first page if you are seeking inhouse or independent work in a law firm. Your experience puts you way ahead of others seeking LNC work because it implies that you can analyze cases and are familiar with different types of work product.
If you have NO LNC experience, consider identifying a career objective followed by a list of professional traits or types of patients that you have worked with.
Recognize that if you have ANY experience with quality improvement studies or reviewing charts for quality assurance, peer review, case management, risk management, or quality improvement, this experience will help you as an LNC. Your resume should emphasize this ability to review cases. Attorneys value organizational and research abilities, attention to detail, and analytical abilities. If you have any of these traits, call attention to them in your resume.
The use of words such as "expertise," "analyze," "medically complex care," "critical thinking," "organized," and "effective" are strong, positive terms to use in a resume.
Your resume should be visually appealing. If you aren't sure how to format a resume, Microsoft Word has different formats to choose from.
Be aware that if you electronically submit your resume to a company that uses scanning software, certain formatting (such as bullets, unusual fonts, underlining, italics and bolding) does not scan well.
Your resume should be no longer than two pages.
Use your spell checker or have someone else read your resume prior to submission. Misspelled words show inattention to detail and can result in the resume being thrown away.
There are many websites that offer great tips for formatting and creating resumes.
Sample Resume: Experienced Legal Nurse Consultant
This sample resume is for an RN who has in-house LNC experience. Note that she places information about her current LNC position where it will be seen quickly if the reader just scans the resume. Even though she has managerial and staff nurse experience, she identifies and focuses on the aspects of those jobs that relate to traits that potential law firm employers desire. See the sample resume here.
Sample Resume: RN With No Legal Nurse Consultant Experience
This sample resume is for an RN who has no formal LNC experience. Note that the first thing he lists is a career objective that clearly identifies that he wants to work as an independent LNC. After that, he identifies some key attributes and experiences that will enhance his ability to function as an independent LNC. Even though he has no LNC experience, the resume is compelling because it uses key words that demonstrate knowledge of legal nurse consulting. Click here to view the sample....Katy Jones