PNP Resume Organization

Making a Case for Yourself

Putting together a PNP resume helps you organize your thoughts and establishes a road map for your professional development. Your NP or PNP resume provides you with a document that prepares you for completing applications or for answering the inevitable “Tell me about yourself” question all interviewers will ask.  Resume readers are usually strangers, so you need to make a case for yourself quickly. Keep in mind, if you are applying to a large hospital, your resume will likely be read by human resource professionals, employment firm recruiters, hiring managers, and personal contacts, who may have been instructed to look only for keywords such as specific experience (or, as noted above, they may be fed into a machine that scans your information into a database).

If you are applying to a small practice, your PNP resume may go right to the practice owner, physicians and nurse practitioners for their review.  All resume readers scan a resume initially for a quick orientation, but each has different objectives.  These objectives could be to screen resumes, review them for discussion points, or to identify your credentials and qualifications to refer your resume to a third party. Your success in moving from this initial review to the next step in the hiring process depends on the organization and clarity of your resume. Your resume must attract attention, create interest, and achieve the ultimate objective — get you an interview.  

No matter what format your resume takes, your message must have:

  • Clarity: Create a clear and understandable message using simple, precise language.  A resume is often initially viewed for 30 seconds or less; if it is confusing, the reader may discard it immediately. Please see our font suggestions below.
  • Consistency: An inconsistent format or poor appearance sends a message of carelessness.   If the resume does not utilize a consistent font, font size, indent and bolding framework, the reader may expect you will be disorganized and inconsistent in the workplace.
  • Conciseness: The resume needs to communicate that you are a nurse practitioner who writes in an organized, accurate and explicit manner. Concise statements give the reader an immediate orientation to your qualifications.

We recommend saving your PNP resume with the following file name:  Your Name, PNP, followed by PC or Unit Name or clinical role for which you are applying.  Many people title their resume “Resume” without thinking that a recruiter or manager may have several PNP resumes in a file or folder.  Would you like for them to notice your resume first?

Formats that include well thought out boxes, bold, and bullets appear clean and neat. Click here (Appendix B) to see a sample resume.  Bold, centered, capital text can be used to start a new section such as:



This format can be used effectively as well.  Lines or text used as separators help your reader navigate your resume:

PNP resume

PNP resume format example

Suggestions for a well-organized and clear resume:

  • No italics or use them carefully
  • Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Veranda, and Calibri are good fonts – only use one font in a resume
  • Bold headers
  • Bullet skills, experience, and accomplishments in work experience
  • Summarize your educational clinical training  below work experience – for PNPs with less than two years of experience
  • Before you list your experience, summarize your organization and unit in terms of number of beds, patients seen, or other salient attributes if you work at a hospital or large clinic
  • Align text on the left side of the page; do not indent more than 1.5 inches for any of the content
  • For new grads, when developing your work experience section, focus on your registered nursing experience, list procedural competencies, leadership skills, presentations, patient satisfaction impact, project design, creation, or implementation
  • List work experience and academic teaching separately with headings of Clinical Experience, Academic Experience