There is no “one size fits all” for CNA resumes

We are only a few weeks into our series designed to help CNA’s create great resumes and cover letters that will help get them interviews, but the feedback and responses we have gotten has been awesome! Thank you to everyone that has told us how much the information has helped.

We have also appreciated the messages from nursing assistants asking us to cover a specific topic they would like covered. We are in the process of writing articles on some of these topics right now, but if you have any specific questions you’d like answered, please leave a comment below or email us at!

One question we have gotten from a few nursing assistants though is the following: why don’t we just post a few sample CNA resumes so nursing assistant job candidates can just use these as a template? It would speed up the process and it’s less work for CNA’s that are looking for jobs.

Essentially, they want to be able to complete their resume without having to put any time, effort or thought into it. They just want to get their resume completed so they can move on and start applying for CNA jobs. And honestly, we completely understand their urgency, frustration and where their priorities should be focused: getting interviews so they can land that coveted nursing assistant job.

But there’s a reason we haven’t posted any sample CNA resumes yet though. We think there are a few problems with this approach.

Resumes need to be unique to the job candidate

If we post a few sample CNA resumes, some nursing assistant job-seekers will blindly use them without even thinking of whether or not a similar strategy or wording should be used during their unique job search.

Think of it like buying a suit or dress: you can buy a suit or dress off the rack and it probably will get the job done. However, there’s still going to be some areas that just don’t quite fit right. The suit or dress was not designed to fit your specific dimensions.

It was designed to fit a lot of people within that generic size range so the company can sell that one size garment to a lot of people, not just to someone of your specific dimensions. There can be two people that are the same height and weight, but have very different body measurement and the same size clothing will fit them very differently.

Instead of buying off the rack though, another option would be to buy a custom suit or dress. This option is definitely going to cost more money upfront, but it will fit you perfectly and will be made from better quality materials. The attention to detail is apparent in the custom suit or dress when compared to a similar off the rack option.

Copying a sample resume is similar to buying a suit or dress off the rack. The sample resume probably doesn’t apply to your unique dimensions/situation. You are going to have very different work experience, training experience and educational background than the hypothetical person in the sample resume. If you go through and try to apply the sample resume to your situation, it’s not going to work. It might fit you just good enough, but copying a sample resume will never provide the perfect fit you need for your unique background.

3 reasons using a sample CNA resume isn’t the best option

Using a sample resume and essentially “copying” it might help land you some interviews. But we have found that it is not very effective for a few reasons.

1) It is pretty obvious that you copied a sample resume!

Are you ever in a situation where your sixth sense kicks in and something just doesn’t feel right? Well that is usually what happens when you try to quickly apply a sample resume to your resume. You tend to unknowingly use some of the wording/adjectives that was used in the sample resume because it sounds good, but it just doesn’t fit when you try to apply the same wording to your past experience. Hiring managers can spot a quickly thrown together resume that just doesn’t “fit” the candidates profile.

2) You are less prepared for the interview

When you write your own resume, it is like studying for a test (the interview). When you have to think about what, and more importantly why, certain experiences and words should be on your resume, it really helps you prepare for the interview. Instead of just mindlessly putting information or wording on your resume because you saw it somewhere else, putting time and effort into writing your resume will really pay dividends during your interview prep and the actual interview.

3) Not copying a sample resume saves you time in the long run

When copying a sample resume, you are typically just trying to get it done ASAP. But guess what? It shows in the quality of the content. It’s like trying to write a research paper the night before it’s due. You might be able to pull an all-nighter and get it done, but it’s not going to be as good as if you had time to really think about the content and make revisions.

And like we just talked about in point #2, you will have to do separate work to prep for the interview if you just quickly copy a sample resume. Many people that quickly throw their resumes together forget what they even put on it. The last thing you want is to forget what you put on your resume during the interview! Save yourself time and work in the long run and don’t just copy a sample resume.

Use sample resumes for help on resume layout, not for copying content

Although we just got done telling you a few reasons as to why not to use sample resumes, we actually think they do serve a good purpose. CNA sample resumes can absolutely be used for getting an idea of what your layout and formatting should look like. If you haven’t checked it out, we recommend reading our post on the basic structure of a CNA resume. In the article we discuss all the fundamentals of what a resume (specifically a CNA resume) should look like.

Many of you have asked for an update on when we are releasing our workbook that will walk you through how to write your CNA resume. We are happy to say that lots of progress has been made and we hope to release it within the next several weeks. You will also be happy to know that we have included several sample CNA resumes in it. After all, we think sample resumes are a great tool for you to utilize in your nursing assistant job search. But you need to understand when and what to use them for.