For caregivers looking to change jobs, or for those seeking to enter the caregiving field, strong resumes are vitally necessary. However, resumes for caregiver positions are not necessarily the same as those for other jobs. Thus, there are a few things that need particular attention when putting together a caregiver resume.
Here are some tips for a prospective caregiver to keep in mind to prepare a resume that stands out.
Tips for the skill components of a caregiver resume
Crafting a resume for a caregiver position is different from making one for an office position. Caregivers are responsible for providing care to elderly patients, many of whom are almost helpless. To this end, prospective caregivers should emphasize those skills that show the ability to provide this care.
For example, instead of wasting space listing MS Office certifications, a prospective caregiver should list industry certifications. Industry certifications are those relevant to the job applied for. Examples in the caregiving field would be a CPR certificate or other health certifications.
Another thing to be included is a discussion of any specific areas of expertise. Caregiving is a broad field. Some caregivers’ strengths may be better suited to providing a specific type of care, or caring for a specific type of patient. If that’s the case, prospective caregivers should note it on their resumes.
Finally, any additional skills should be described. These are miscellaneous skills that are relevant to the position sought but which don’t fit into other categories on the resume. This catch-all section can provide valuable information about the prospective caregiver’s value.
Summing it up–at the beginning
The summary statement of a resume goes at the very top. It’s essentially a short statement that encompasses who the applicant is, what he or she is uniquely capable of, and his or her special attributes. This summary statement showcases the applicant’s knowledge, ability, special qualities, and aptitude for caregiving.
As in all employment situations, a potential employer is reviewing a resume because he or she needs something and is pondering whether the applicant can provide it. The summary statement highlights the applicant’s ability and readiness to solve the employer’s problem. It should be short, to the point, and relevant to the position at hand, with a hint of a unique personality shining through.
Tips for the education/certification section of a caregiver resume
The education section is another chance for applicants to show their accomplishments to a prospective employer. While degrees, certificates, and formal training are highly important, so are relevant school activities or volunteer work that show potential for the kind of position being sought.
In an education section, lower levels of education can be trimmed so as to showcase higher levels of achievement. For example, if the applicant has a college degree, there is no need to list one’s high school education. Likewise, credits transferred from a two-year community college to a four-year university need not be listed separately. Only the degree-conferring institution needs to be listed.
Good looks and action verbs: Overall format for caregivers resumes
A resume is basically a sales sheet of the applicant. To this end, it needs to contain all the relevant information about skills, education, and abilities. At the same time, it must be sharp in appearance.
A good resume should not be just a big block of text mashed together. Headings, spaces, and bullet points break up the text, add to reading ease, and emphasize important things. Employers are quite busy, and they view many resumes. A concise, one page resume is best. Emphasizing strong points first, before reader impatience or fatigue sets in, makes the strongest impression.
Action words convey a sense of achievement and urgency, so they are best to use when describing responsibilities. For example, instead of stating that one’s duties were to take care of a senior, it is better to say that the applicant provided home care for the senior. It’s the same information, but conveyed in such a way as to make the reader feel more excited about the applicant’s achievements.
Getting professional tips is an option for caregivers resumes
There are many services available that can help with resume crafting efforts. Some charge a fee, but there are many job-search assistance services that will help for free. A little aid might be just the thing needed to phrase and format an outstanding caregiver’s resume.
This kind of help may be especially valuable to caregivers from foreign countries. For example, a study of caregivers in Canada noted that foreign education and work experience, unfortunately, adversely affected employment prospects in Canada. Caregivers from other countries should make sure their resumes are meticulously proofread and that any experience/skills/certifications in the new country are showcased up front in the resume.
Looking for a new job or entering a new field is exciting. Yet it is not without its challenges. These tips will help caregivers put their best foot forward when tendering their resumes.
Livecareer.com (website). Caregiver Resume Samples. Available at https://www.livecareer.com/resume-samples/caregiver-resumes. Last visited November 8, 2016.
Tungohan, E., Banerjee, R., Chu, W., Cleto, P., de Leon, C., Garcia, M., Kelly, P., et al. (2015). After the Live-in Care Program: Filipina Caregivers’ Experiences of Graduated and Uneven Citizienship. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 47(1): 87-105. DOI: 10.1353/ces.2015.000. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Philip_Kelly5/publication/277656624_After_the_Live-In_Caregiver_Program_Filipina_Caregivers’_Experiences_of_Graduated_and_Uneven_Citizenship/links/5628e8d208aef25a243d26eb.pdf. Last visited November 18, 2016