Writing a good caregiver resume is very important and goes beyond listing all the schools you attended. You need to be able to stand out – in a good way. When someone sees your caregiver resume, they should say to themselves, “This is someone that I want to meet!”. Because the jobs caregivers apply for are demanding and personal they require carefully crafted resumes that display compassion and expertise. Keeping the following priorities in mind when drafting your caregiving resume will help land an interview for your next position.
The best caregiver resume will:
Emphasize training and experience
Your unique experience and training must have the starring role of your caregiver resume. While you may have had jobs doing other things, that experience matters only if it supports your skills as a caregiver. When possible, obtain additional training and certifications in fields related to caregiving and add them to your resume. A long list of training, education, and experience, even in a volunteer setting, shows your dedication and savvy and what your strengths will be on the job.
In addition to highlighting relevant experience and training, veteran caregivers should consider what each caregiving role demands and adjust their resumes accordingly. Identify what meets the needs of a given reader and highlight that by providing more detail or eliminating smaller items. Someone with 30 years of caregiving experience must make hard choices about what to include in a caregiver resume, but make sure the decisions are sound. For example, someone with experience in memory care facilities might provide more effective care to seniors with dementia, so memory-care experience should be discussed where possible.
Caregivers give care. That simple statement is sometimes overlooked when the day-to-day of caregiving and job-hunting combine. Readers, especially those looking for a caregiver outside an existing facility, look for people who care deeply about seniors. Highlight what you love about caregiving. This might include focusing on the social aspects of care such as creating activities for seniors or seeking training on reminiscence therapy. If you show love through food, give examples of delicious meals you provide for seniors in your care. Homemade souffles and pies are sure to catch the eye of a discerning family member or recruiter who recognize your skill and dedication to making older people happy and safe.
Note the details
Format, readability, and precision help readers see what matters most about your application. If your resume is difficult to read because of a small font, inconsistent format, or grammatical or spelling errors, readers will get lost or turned off. Focusing on the finishing touches of creating a resume, especially enlisting the help of others to identify errors you may not see, makes a final product that reflects your best writing and formatting. This makes the information clear and easy to see and allow the readers to focus on your experience and qualifications rather than on errors.
Using explicit, clear, direct and concise language when describing your caregiver duties helps readers identify what you do and how often you do it. It helps them translate your experience and training into the personal aspects of caregiving. Consider the following entry on a resume:
Sunshine Senior Care Facility, Overnight Resident Caregiver. 2011-present. Worked overnight to ensure the safety of seniors.
There are some good things about this entry. This person has experience working overnight, which can be difficult for new caregivers. He or she also stayed at the current position for several years, displaying loyalty and reliability. However, the description of duties is not good. Instead of vague, bland descriptions of job responsibilities, be specific and emphasize what part you played. This same entry, when revised in the following way, would look like this:
Sunshine Senior Care Facility, Overnight Resident Caregiver. 2011-present.
- Coordinated with three team members to ensure safety of all seniors
- Completed nightly care checklists for more than thirty seniors, including bathing, feeding, socializing, and physically assisting in nighttime rituals
- Documented nightly routines and events for coordination with staff and family members of seniors in care
- Improved care regimens based on doctor recommendations, family member concerns, and senior needs
Now, the entry is robust, specific and shows that this caregiver did complex jobs well. As often as possible, elaborate your responsibilities and emphasize your work in this manner.
Connect everything to caregiving
Especially for caregiving newcomers, work experience might seem sparse and unrelated to caregiving. Combating this perception can cause anxiety when applying for jobs. When possible, connect past work, volunteer and education experience with aspects of caregiving. Did you work at a steady customer service job through college? Discuss the skills in active listening, teamwork and problem-solving you gained on the job. Did you volunteer at a hospital? Mention how that experience helps you understand health care providers and insurance claims. Trying items on your resume to a skill caregivers need helps readers see why you are the best candidate for the position.
Many persons have an underdeveloped or problematic part of their resume. Whether you were fired from a prior job, have little experience or a gap in work time, be ready to discuss it in a positive framework. If appropriate, address this on your resume, such as “Spent five years as a homemaker in order to raise my three children” or “Worked in the restaurant industry, gaining valuable experience in customer service.” Some readers may want more information. That is what interviews are for, but ignoring gaps may cause suspicions. Worse is lying about duties or experience, which can disqualify you. Better to be honest and deemed to be in need of training than to be dishonest and found untrustworthy.
More from Seasons on caregiver careers:
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DeJesus, Neidy, Leslee Lacey, editor. Healthcare Recruiters Show Top Resume Tips within Senior Care. MedBest. Available at http://www.medbest.com/1433-2/. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
Episcopo, Erik. Caregiver Resume Sample. ResumeGenius.com. Available at https://resumegenius.com/resume-samples/caregiver-resume-example. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
Isaacs, Kim. Caregivers: How to Handle a Gap on Your Resume. ResumePower.com, March 19, 2016. Available at http://resumepower.com/caregivers-how-to-handle-a-gap-on-your-resume/. Retrieved February 16, 2017.