Write Your Amazing CNA Resume

Your resume is a representation of your background and the skills that you possess. It is the document that will get you that interview and possibly that certified nursing assistant job. A typical certified nursing assistant resume will contain a summary of relevant job experience and your education background. All these are crucial aspects in determining your suitability for the job you are applying for.

A poor resume will not help your cause as you seek that dream job. Therefore, it is important that you make it as best as it can be. The article will explore a few tips which will guide you writing that perfect CNA resume.

A Certified Nursing Assistant Resume’s Purpose

A Certified Nursing Assistant’s work is to assist patients of all ages in performing basic tasks. They can work in any health institution. They are mostly found in nursing homes, assisted living, Hospice, hospitals, community based long-term care, correctional institutions, and other long-term care settings.

Your Certified Nursing Assistant resume is your marketing tool. It should show that you are capable of performing all the tasks required. Be sure to include your educational background, experience, skills and other qualifications. All these are necessary to proving your employability.

How Long Should My CNA Resume Be?

Typically your resume should be one page long. It should only include the information relevant to your potential employer. Such information includes your training background, a link to your certification on the nurse aid registry online, your certification number and your previous work experience.

A brief, well presented resume gives the impression that you are a professional. Long resumes are perceived to contain unnecessary information. Keep it short, simple and straight to the point.

How Should I Order My Nursing Assistant Resume?

A good resume will be presented in the following order:

  • Contact Details.
  • Your Objective/Employment Goals.
  • List of key CNA related skills (things learned in classes).
  • List of other skills (computer skills, personal skills, etc.).
  • Education History (Your CNA Training Classes, GED, HS, College, etc.).
  • Employment History (including volunteering, clinical experience, etc.).
  • References (if you have room).

Such order will ensure that all the useful information that will get you employed is included. In each of the sections ensure that the most relevant information with regards to the CNA job is listed first. Other information that may not be directly related to the job should come later.

 Do I Need To Change My CNA Resume For Each Application?

The answer is a resounding yes. This is a mistake most applicants make. One cannot have a “one-size-fits-all” kind of resume. Your resume should be tailored to ensure that it covers the specific requirements required for you to get that job you are applying for.

The basic structure may remain the same. However, make sure the objective section, your key skills, your work experience and personal attributes are in line with the job requirements specified.

This can be achieved by;

  • Showing through your objective section that your experience and education are in tandem to the job requirements.
  • Relating your key skills with those required for the job you are applying for.
  • Mentioning some of your accomplishments that could give you that extra edge over your competition.

What Your CNA Resume Should Include

Contact Details

Your resume should always include your name, email address and a contact phone number. All the contact information should be active such that the recruiters can easily get a hold of you should the need arise. The email address should also look professional, preferably using your official names.

Avoid including your contact details in the header area of the resume. Some recruitment software have difficulty reading information in headers or footers.

Your Objective/Employment Goals

This should include a brief explanation of who you are and what skill set you will be bringing to the job. Again, tailor this section to include attributes and qualities that would make you suitable for this specific job.


List of Key CNA Related Skills

This section should consist of a good number of skills that link your experience to the job you are applying for. This may include skills and attributes gained during training or during past job experiences. These may also include work placements and any volunteering work that you have done.

Usually, when a job is being advertised, the position description may provide the desired qualities, skills and experiences that are essential for doing the job. You should include a good number of the desired skills from the job advertisement in your resume. This is one of the sections that make your resume relevant to the job you are applying for.

As a CNA, there are specific job objectives that you will be expected to accomplish:

  • Feed, bathe and dress patients.
  • Take patient vital signs.
  • Serve meals, make beds and keep rooms clean.
  • Set up medical equipment and assist with some medical procedures.
  • Answer calls for help and observe changes in a patient’s condition or behavior.

Ensure that you mention in your resume that you are quite adept at performing these functions.

Generally, there are a number of employability skills that a CNA should have that would increase their chances of being employed. Some of these include; communication, teamwork, problem-solving, initiative, planning and organizational skills. Mentioning such skills in your resume could boost your suitability for the job being advertised.

List of Other Skills

This is a set of the names of software and various technologies that you know how to use. They should be relevant to CAN jobs.

They include:

  • Email Skills.
  • Word Processing.
  • Phone Skills.
  • Record Keeping skills.
  • Driving Ability (for home health care).
  • Personal skills

Education History

To qualify to be a CNA, you need to have at least a high school, or GED. You should also have undergone some form of post-secondary nursing instruction. Your resume should include all your educational experience and the school at which you trained to qualify as a CNA. The grades are not necessary unless they are really exceptional.

It would also help if you included your academic achievements. One can mention extra-curricular achievements, awards won, extra responsibilities held, etc.

Employment History

In this section be sure to start with the most recent job and go backwards from there. Include the job title, duration of employment, who you reported, and the duties and responsibilities of that job.

It is not only regular jobs that you can include here. One can also mention any other work experience that they may have gained. This could be in school, work placements or internships as well as any volunteer work done.

Be sure to mention your achievements while in that job and significant contributions you made to the entity you worked for. All such achievements should be in line with the key skills and attributes that you mentioned in previous sections of the resume.

References (optional)

If you have some extra room on your resume, you can fill the space with information about references.  Your references should be respectable members of the society/profession who can positively recommend you as an employee. Ideally, this should be people you have worked with before and, therefore, can vouch for your strengths, attributes and skills as an employee. They can include doctors, nurses and other health professionals who know what a CNA does.

Provide their name, position title and contact details.

If you haven’t worked as a CNA before, your references can be your lecturers or principal in your training school, mentors and other notable people in the community who can vouch for you as a person. Anyone who knows what you are like to work with and who is willing to speak in your favor would make a good referee.

The rule for people to include as your references is generally people who have distinguished careers and more experience in the field than you do. Do not use family members or friends as references because the credibility of their statements will be put into question. You should have two or three references at most. If you have more pick those who best match the job you are going for.

What NOT To Put On Your Nursing Assistant Resume

Personal Information

There is something known as too much information when it comes to the ideal CNA resume. Personal information in the resume does not look professional and the recruiter may be tempted to stereotype you even before you two have met.

Some information such as your birthdate, gender, address, ailments/disabilities and health status does not need to be in your resume.

However, if you feel that such information will help your cause in gaining that job or it will prove that you are a good candidate for the position then, by all means, include that information. In certain instances the employer may be looking for a young or a female applicant or an individual from a certain location. If you fit into the requirements then it would be a good idea to mention such information.

Typos or Factual Errors

A resume filled with grammatical and spelling mistakes will definitely not get you an interview. It will give the employer the impression that you do not pay attention to detail. It is crucial to grammar-check and spell-check your resume before you send it. An even better idea would be to give it to a person you trust to go through it and that person can check for mistakes and even offer useful advice.

Images and Graphics

Images, photos and any form of graphics are a definite no-no. They look unprofessional and are disliked by recruiters. In addition, they can create problems for recruitment software.

Content in Headers

As mentioned earlier, avoid including information in headers and footers of your resume. Some recruitment software may have problems retrieving the information in the headers and footers of the document. Should you include information in the header and footer of your resume, make sure you include it in the body of the document too.

Fancy Formatting

For that professional image, stick to easy-to-read fonts and formats. The recruitment software will easily read the information and the recruiter will also find it easy to go through your resume. Fonts to use include: verdana, Arial, century gothic and Calibri.

The appropriate font to use is 10/11 for the body and 12/14 for the headers.

Information in Tables

For an easy layout on the document, you may be tempted to present some information in tables. This is not advisable since some recruitment software may be unable to read the content in the tables. The layout should consist of simple formatting such as line breaks and setting multiple columns across the page.

PDF Versions of Your Resume

It is advisable to send your resume in word format unless stated otherwise.

Reviewing Your CNA Resume

As mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to have someone else go through you resume before you send it over. However, do not just give it to anybody; rather give it to people you can trust and people who can offer good advice on how you can improve your resume. Such people who can help and correct your resume include:

  • Co-workers
  • Former employers
  • Teachers
  • Career guidance counselors
  • Your parents or guardians

There are also a number of professional organizations and consultants who can review your resume at a fee. They have also come up with a resume review checklist which you can use to make sure that you have included all the relevant information in the resume.

Remember, you do not have to wait for a job opening for them to apply. You can also be proactive and ask a particular institution if there are positions available.

Certified Nursing Assistant Resume Templates

To ensure that you follow all the tips and advice in the article supply your email address in the form below. You will get a free CNA Job Kit, including a resume template delivered directly into your inbox.


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