Due to the short term nature of travel nursing jobs, travel nurses change jobs frequently. Meanwhile, travel nurses are told that their resumes must include all pertinent details for each assignment they have completed. So travel nurses often wonder how it’s possible to keep their travel nursing resumes within the one to two page limit recommended by conventional wisdom. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why you don’t need to be concerned with the length of your travel nursing resume. In doing so, we’ll provide some insight on the use of Applicant Tracking Systems in the travel healthcare industry.
How is your travel nursing resume used?
Many travel nurses are under the impression that their own resumes are submitted to hospitals when agencies submit their profiles for jobs. This happens only on rare occasions. These days, most agencies utilize sophisticated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) that include a feature which generates a resume based on the information entered in the database for the candidate in question. Moreover, the ATS is tied into almost every aspect of the agency’s business, from job-order management to billing and payroll.
This is one reason why most agencies are intent on getting travel nurses to complete their online applications and skills checklists. By doing, the traveler is creating a profile within the agency’s ATS. Files and documents can be uploaded and attached to the profile and the profile can be tracked through all aspects of the employment process. Moreover, the profile can then be edited on the back-end by the recruiter. So your travel nursing resume is most often used as a reference that helps recruiters complete your profile in their Applicant Tracking Systems.
It’s important to note that recruiters don’t really need travel nurses to complete online applications. Usually, recruiters are able to create the ATS profile on their own by entering the data included on a resume into the ATS on the travel nurse’s behalf. However, recruiters do need travel nurses to agree to the standard job application signing agreements. These agreements give the agency permission to conduct the necessary background checks, reference checks, and drug screens.
How long are ATS resumes?
Once all the data has been entered into the ATS, the recruiter is able to use the system to submit the traveler for open jobs. In a typical scenario, the recruiter locates a job order in the ATS’s order management module, selects an option to submit a new candidate, selects the documents to generate and transmit for the candidate, and selects an option to finalize the submission. At that point, the ATS bundles all the documents into one PDF file and emails it to the designated party, which is typically one of the agency’s Account Managers. The Account Manager reviews the profile and submits it to the hospital via appropriate channels.
It’s not uncommon for the hospital to receive 30-40 pages of documentation in the initial packet, and that doesn’t include copies of credentials or medical records. The skills checklist is anywhere from 5 to 10 pages. The application is anywhere from 7 to 15 pages or more. And the ATS resume is anywhere from 5 to 10 pages or more.
You maybe wondering why the resume is so long. Sure, many travel nurses have tons of jobs to include on their resumes, but surely it can be accomplished in fewer pages. The reason is that ATSs generate resumes in PDF. Moreover, these documents use large fonts and more spacing than standard word processing documents. They aren’t designed to minimize page length in any way. In fact, they’re designed to be easily and quickly scanned.
Why do agencies use long travel nursing resumes?
One of the main reasons that agencies use ATS resumes is that they’re very convenient to review. Remember, it’s very rare for resumes to be printed out on paper anymore. By and large, they’re reviewed electronically, so hospital staffing representatives and hiring managers can easily scan through multiple pages quickly.
Using the ATS resume feature also provides the agency with the ability to alter the resume when warranted. They can easily fix spelling and grammar errors, word things in a more appealing way, add additional details where necessary, and customize the content for specific clients. This plays a huge role in landing an interview for the candidate.
Finally, the ATS provides the agency with uniformity in the documents they send to their clients. All their resumes look the same. Their clients know exactly where to look for the information that’s most important to them. Agencies may also be able to add their own logo to their candidates’ documentation, including resumes. This expands their brand awareness with their client hospitals.
So, how long should your travel nursing resume be?
As you can see, your travel resume is most likely not used in the way you originally thought it was or would be. Due to the circumstances, the length of your travel nursing resume is not an issue. It could be 10 pages and it wouldn’t really make a difference.
It’s more important to make sure that your travel resume and other supporting documentation you send to agencies includes all the information that hospitals are looking for. Of course, you can rely on your recruiter to fill in the blanks where necessary. However, this can cause delays in the submission process.
BluePipes can help travel nurses make sure all the pertinent details are transmitted to agencies. The BluePipes profile was designed to help you recognize and record all the details that agencies and hospitals need. Your profile can be rendered as a PDF resume which can be saved to your computer and emailed to recruiters at your convenience. What’s more, you can also render your profile as a full job application complete with all the standard signing agreements and background questions. And BluePipes has over 100 comprehensive skills checklists that can also be rendered to PDF. All of these services are free for healthcare professionals.
As always, please share your questions and experiences with this topic by posting in the comments section below!