The Relevant Resume


IT'S ALL FREE! The Relevant Resume

What do these phrases mean to you?

*Analysis of complex GUI.

*Design of advanced SQL queries, procedure, cursor, triggers, scripts.

*Extensive troubleshooting of RC/KC/EC-135 machines.

If you're like me, these catchwords sound like gobbledygook because the phrases aren't relevant to me.  Many legal nurse consultant resumes look just as nonsensical to attorneys because they have no frame of reference for some RN responsibilities.  If you want your resume to be understandable to attorneys, there are some phrases to avoid.

Let me stop here to tell you three things.  First, the purpose of a resume is to pique the attorney's interest enough to interview you.  Second, this information doesn't apply to experts, because experts use CVs instead of resumes.  Legal nurse consultants often use the terms "resume" and "CV" interchangeably, but they're two different ways of presenting professional information.  Third, I didn't base my conclusions on a scientific study.  I discussed the phrases below with medical malpractice attorneys who gave me their thoughts.  Since medical malpractice attorneys are the intended recipient of many legal nurse consultant resumes, I think the attorneys' feedback is valid.  Some of the attorneys had a better understanding of the terms than others, but none of them knew what 100% of the terms meant.

Here are some of the phrases to delete from your resume and attorney commments about these phrases.

Phrase in Resume

Attorney Comment

Shared Governance "I have no clue what that means."
Proctor for students "I thought proctors were for standardized testing."
Total patient care "Don't all nurses provide patient care?"
Nurse to patient ratios (e.g., 1:4, 1:8, etc.) "Is that a lot or a little?  I'm not sure what that means."
Foster staff participation in patient care "This is a BS phrase to puff up a resume."
Mentored other nursing staff "This really isn't specific enough.  What do you do when you mentor someone?  But it sounds good, like you're helping other nurses."
Precepted students "I don't know what this means."
Fast-paced "Every unit in every healthcare organization thinks it's fast-paced."
Developed a well-run unit "This sounds good, but if I interviewed them, I'd want to know how they did that.  I don't know if they'd get to the interview stage or not based on this phrase."

If your resume contains any of the phrases above, consider deleting them or explaining them.  I vote for deleting them because most resumes that I review are much too long.  You should also focus on terms that attorneys understand.  There were several terms that all the attorneys liked - charge nurse ("implies leadership"), ICU, CCU, ER, Labor and Delivery, OR, guidelines and other resume terms that indicate legal nurse consulting expertise.

Rightly, we're proud of our accomplishments as RNs.  When we transition our patient care skills to legal nurse consulting, it's natural to use the same resume that has worked for us in the past.  However, it's more important to have a resume that is relevant to the attorneys that hire us.  Take a few minutes to turn yours into a relevant resume.

...Katy Jones