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Break tradition, be unique

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Modified: February 15, 2013 at 11:36 am •  Published: February 15, 2013
Meet Bailey! Bailey came to me—seeking résumé assistance—as a new nurse wanting to advance her career and gain entry into a graduate nursing program.

The challenge… Bailey’s original résumé looked likes thousands of others I have seen throughout my career. Instead of showcasing her experience, Bailey’s original résumé hid her differentiating factors in a sea of black and white text. With a lackluster format, no appropriate prioritization of the most important elements of her candidacy, and a focus on what Bailey wanted in the next stage of her career—instead of how she could add value to an employer or graduate school cohort—her résumé fell short of helping her stand out.

The turnaround… Key to differentiating your candidacy is creating a unique picture of your background. As you will see from Bailey’s new résumé (view on, focus was paid to creating a unique picture full of personality.

Qualifications summary… Instead of opening Bailey’s résumé with a self-serving objective statement, a qualifications summary leads the résumé. This section allows the prioritization of the most important aspects of Bailey’s candidacy, providing recruiters with a quick overview to facilitate their ever-so-brief screening process. An extension of the qualifications summary, a slightly more detailed overview was presented on the right side of the résumé. This section was designed to create visual interest, engage the reader, and extend the screening process.

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