Travel Nurse Resume Guide

As an experienced travel nurse (or maybe someone just looking to further their career), a professionally formatted resume will ensure you best position yourself to find the perfect job.

This travel nurse resume guide will take you through all aspects of the resume-writing process.

If you are interested in the complete travel nurse resume template that you read, you can purchase it here.

About Travel Nurse Resumes

As an accomplished nursing professional, you recognize the unique value you bring to organizations and the factors that distinguish you from your peers. While you’re well aware of your strengths and can articulate them, composing a concise, well-organized, and compelling resume may pose a challenge. You have a clear vision of your next career move, but you may be uncertain about how to tailor your resume to capture the attention of potential employers.

The initial step in the resume-writing process involves taking an objective view of your career trajectory and crafting a narrative: How did you reach your current position? What key achievements were pivotal in your journey to success? What attributes make you an invaluable asset to an organization’s culture and prosperity? Subsequently, it’s essential to conduct research on current industry trends and the qualities sought after by employers. If you’re contemplating a transition to a different industry, consider how your transferable skills can be effectively showcased when describing your experiences and accomplishments in your resume.

Travel nurses require a unique set of skills, a combination of nursing care and soft skills, that make them invaluable. It’s essential this is showcased throughout the resume to catch the attention of hiring managers. 

The next step involves creating a resume that effectively showcases your unique skills and qualities, setting you apart from others, all while presenting this information succinctly and persuasively. While there are general rules for professional resumes, specific industries may have different expectations regarding length, language, and the inclusion of additional details like publications. Our team of career experts is experienced in navigating these industry-specific nuances and can craft professional resumes that enhance your personal brand and optimize how your experience is presented.

After reading this guide and reviewing our sample resumes, you may decide to utilize a professional resume writing service, which can save you valuable time. This time can be better spent on reviewing potential job opportunities and expanding your professional network.

The Travel Nurse Resume in Context

Navigating the job search, even for high-level professionals, can be daunting due to evolving industries and the changing job landscape. To stand out and secure interviews, a tactical approach is crucial. This involves extensive research, resume strategies to pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS), and a clear narrative in your work history. Emphasize major achievements and contributions to showcase your unique value to potential employers.

Creating a professional resume requires adherence to certain style guidelines to ensure it presents your qualifications and experience effectively. Here are some key style guidelines for a professional resume:

  1. Clarity and Conciseness:
    • Use clear and concise language to convey your qualifications.
    • Keep sentences and bullet points brief, focusing on the most important information.
  2. Consistent Formatting:
    • Maintain a consistent format throughout the document, including font, font size, and spacing.
    • Use a professional font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.
    • Ensure uniform margins and spacing (usually 1-inch margins and 1.15 or 1.5 line spacing).
  3. Professional Tone:
    • Write in a professional and formal tone, avoiding slang or overly casual language.
    • Use action verbs to start bullet points in your experience section (e.g., “managed,” “implemented,” “developed”).
  4. Customization:
    • Tailor your resume for each job application by emphasizing skills and experiences relevant to the specific job description.
    • Use keywords from the job posting to demonstrate your alignment with the role.
  5. Proofreading:
    • Carefully proofread your resume for grammar, spelling, and formatting errors.
    • Consider seeking feedback from a trusted colleague or professional.

Remember that your resume should be a dynamic document that you update regularly to reflect your most recent experiences and achievements. Adhering to these style guidelines will help you create a polished and effective professional resume.

Travel Nurse Resume Presentation

The best resumes strike a balance with straightforward yet refined formatting. While elaborate resume designs might catch the eye, they often divert attention from the resume’s primary purpose. In resume writing, simplicity is key, implying that the document should not exceed two pages and ideally remain under 1000 words.

There are a few best practices we recommend you follow when crafting a professional resume: 

  • Contact Information:
    • Include your full name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable).
    • Omit personal information like your date of birth or marital status.

Resume Length:

    • Aim for a one-page resume for less experienced candidates and a two-page resume for those with extensive experience.
    • Prioritize relevant information and remove anything not directly related to the job you’re applying for.

Section Headers:

    • Use clear, bold section headers to divide your resume into sections such as “Summary,” “Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills.”

Bullet Points:

    • Use bullet points to list your achievements and responsibilities within each job or experience.
    • Start each bullet point with a strong action verb.

Quantify Achievements:

    • Whenever possible, use specific numbers to quantify your achievements (e.g., “increased sales by 20%,” “managed a team of 10 employees”).

Chronological Order:

    • List your work experiences and education in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent and working backward.

Additional Sections:

    • Include optional sections like “Professional Summary,” “Certifications,” “Projects,” or “Volunteer Work” if they enhance your candidacy.

File Format:

    • Save your resume as a PDF to ensure consistent formatting across different devices and operating systems.

Avoid Graphics and Images:

    • Unless you’re in a highly creative field, avoid using graphics, images, or elaborate designs that can distract from the content.


    • Generally, it’s not necessary to include references on your resume. You can provide them separately if requested by the employer.

Now that we’ve discussed the larger-scale considerations for writing a stellar professional resume, we can move on to how to present and optimize the resume’s content.

Contact Information

Including your contact information is vital if you want anyone to get in touch with you! However, it is often an overlooked area on the resume. Your contact information should be the first thing the reader sees. An example is below: 

You’ll notice a few things:

  • Only your city and state are listed.
  • Select only one email address, and this should preferably be a personal email rather than one affiliated with your current position.
  • List your LinkedIn profile URL to provide another potential means of an employer reaching out to you and to present yourself as an established professional with a personal brand.
  • Include your phone number as an alternative means of outreach.

Job Title and Summary

The job title on your resume should match the position you’re applying for, not necessarily your current role, as it’s tailored for your next opportunity. Customizing this section is crucial because applicant tracking systems (ATS) penalize discrepancies between the resume and job description.

Hiring managers often only read the initial part of a resume, so the opening lines, including your professional summary, should be impactful. Your professional summary should start with your unique value proposition (UVP) or elevator pitch, highlighting your significant achievements and how they prepare you for your next challenge. Use clear and precise language to differentiate yourself from peers.

Compassionate and detail-oriented registered nurse with extensive experience in delivering outstanding patient care and individualized care plans in alignment with hospital standards, safety guidelines, and compliance requirements.

Build upon your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) by crafting 3–5 sentences that highlight distinctive qualities specific to you, aligning them with the desired role. Employ direct, dynamic language to articulate your contributions and how they catalyzed success in previous organizations. This effectively conveys to potential employers the skills and accomplishments you can utilize to bolster their growth and strategic objectives.

Compassionate and detail-oriented registered nurse with extensive experience in delivering outstanding patient care and individualized care plans in alignment with hospital standards, safety guidelines, and compliance requirements. Well-versed in multi-tasking and comprehensive problem-solving. Leverage written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills to build lasting relationships with patients, families, and loved ones. Experience using various medical tools to complete monitoring, blood draw, and vital sign readings. Traveler with RN license and extensive knowledge in oncology, endocrine, rheumatology, and life support. Apply critical thinking and decisive nature to thrive in fast-paced environment. Fluent in English and Spanish. 

When crafting your professional summary, if you’re unsure about what to emphasize, analyze the job descriptions for your target role and pick skills that align in language and relevance. Research industry expectations to shape your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and personalized professional summary. Consider both technical skills and personal qualities. Keep your language concise and avoid extravagance, incorporating industry-specific keywords to demonstrate your expertise in the field and tailor your resume to the desired role.


Keywords in a resume are specific words or phrases that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. These keywords are typically related to the skills, qualifications, experience, and industry-specific knowledge required for the position. Including relevant keywords in your resume is important for several reasons:

  1. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): Many companies use ATS software to scan and filter resumes before they are ever seen by a human recruiter or hiring manager. ATS systems look for keywords to match resumes with job descriptions. If your resume lacks these keywords, it may not make it through the initial screening.
  2. Relevance: Keywords demonstrate that you possess the qualifications and skills needed for the job. They help you make a stronger case for being a suitable candidate.
  3. Clarity: Keywords make it easier for hiring managers to quickly identify your qualifications and relevant experience, especially when they are skimming through a large number of resumes.
  4. Customization: Tailoring your resume with the specific keywords mentioned in the job posting can improve your chances of getting noticed by the employer.

Examples of keywords in a travel nurse resume might include:

Hard Skills:

  • Nursing Care
  • Foley Catheters
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Blood Pressure Measurements
  • Critical Care
  • Direct Patient Care
  • Patient Assessment
  • Medication Administration
  • IV Insertion
  • Patient Care Plans
  • Medical Treatments
  • Individualized Care Plans
  • Safety Guidelines Compliance

Soft Skills:

  • Relationship-Building
  • Problem-Solving
  • Multitasking
  • Compassionate Care
  • Attention to Detail
  • Written and Verbal Communications
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Areas of Expertise (Skills and Competencies)

With your list of relevant keywords in hand, the next step is to create a section on your resume highlighting your expertise. Include 6–10 bullet points that align with the phrasing in the job description, since applicant tracking systems (ATS) look for exact matches. If the job description mentions “artificial intelligence,” spell it out instead of using the acronym, or use both (“artificial intelligence (AI)”). These bullet points can encompass both hard and soft skills.

With these areas in mind, think about how they can be emphasized throughout the resume. Furthermore, if you have a few high-level, data-driven achievements that you would like to showcase upfront, these can be included in a notable accomplishments section following the areas of expertise. If you choose to do this, make sure these specific achievements are not duplicated later in the document. Always remember, in resumes, less is more!

  • Identified areas for improvement to improve patient outcomes by 15% in 2 hospitals by leveraging past nursing experience to analyze operations and processes.
  • Completed 3-month assignment as fetal nurse, assisting with heart monitoring, surgical procedures, deliveries, and treatments; assessed documents and notes to highlight abnormalities and partnered with physicians to deliver outstanding care. 
  • Showcased opportunity to streamline patient care timelines from initial admission request to bed placement, reducing wait time by 10%. 

Employment History / Professional Experience

This section serves as a platform to expand upon your professional summary and Unique Value Proposition (UVP) by detailing your career history. It should present your work experience in a clear, concise manner, in reverse chronological order, while focusing on the last 10–15 years to emphasize recent, relevant history and avoid ageism.

Each position should include the organization’s name and location, years of employment (listing months is optional), precise job titles, a concise description of key responsibilities ordered by importance, and 3–5 bulleted accomplishments that highlight your contributions in that role. When crafting these bullet points, consider using the C-A-R method (Challenge-Action-Result) to outline the challenge, the specific actions you took, and the results you achieved. Whenever possible, incorporate quantifiable data to strengthen your impact, although some roles may not measure results in this manner.

To maintain brevity and impact, eliminate repetitive skills and achievements. Prioritize the most impressive ones, using compelling, active language to demonstrate your unique contributions. Avoid passive phrases like “responsible for” and opt for action verbs like “lead,” “drive,” or “direct.” Maintain consistency by using present tense for current roles and past tense for former ones. Note that bullet points are always in past tense since they describe past achievements.

If you choose to list roles prior to 10–15 years ago, which is sometimes important if they are high-level companies or are highly relevant to your desired position, these can be listed without dates in an Additional Experience section with the company, location, and job titles listed.

Education & Professional Development

Now that you’ve painted a picture of your career history, it’s time to discuss your education and professional development. In this section, you’ll want to list your degrees and the universities from which you obtained them. Do not include the year of graduation or your GPA. Additionally, you’ll want to list any relevant professional certifications and licenses you have obtained. These should be listed in order of significance.

Additional Information

If you have remaining space you may want to consider highlighting a few other sections, such as:

  • Awards
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Publications
  • Languages (if relevant to the desired position)
  • Volunteer/Community Service

Many sales professionals have a variety of technical proficiencies, awards, and honors. If there is enough room on the resume after you list all of your awesome accomplishments, you should highlight these. While some of them are obvious in the industry, others may make you make a stronger impression.

If you have remaining space you may want to consider highlighting a few other sections, such as: 

  • Awards
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Publications
  • Languages (if relevant to the desired position)
  • Volunteer/Community Service

Many travel nurses have technical proficiencies, are members of organizations, or have volunteer experience to showcase. These would be included under additional experience if they are relevant to the jobs you are targeting. Hobbies are not included in professional resumes.

Finished Travel Nurse Resume

Now that your resume is complete, take a holistic and detailed view. Read it as if you were an outside reader and consider the following:

  • Does the resume succinctly showcase who I am and my achievements, leaving a desire for more information?
  • Does it exude confidence through the use of action verbs?
  • Is it excessively wordy or overly long?
  • Are there any formatting, spelling, or grammatical errors?

It’s highly recommended to have someone else, preferably a peer from your industry, review and proofread your resume. Even skilled writers benefit from a second set of eyes to catch mistakes, ensuring that a simple spelling error doesn’t cost you your dream job.

Next Steps & Our Services

See Resume Writing Packages

This guide has likely given you a sense of the intricacies involved in crafting an effective and tailored resume. Many professionals, like yourself, opt for professional resume assistance to ensure their resume is results-oriented and propels them toward their next career move. Time is valuable, and a well-crafted resume can make the difference between a prompt callback and a prolonged wait.

As a leading, comprehensive career advancement service, our exclusive focus is on professionals like you. Leveraging our extensive experience, we specialize in helping clients secure faster job offers and negotiate better compensation packages. By identifying your unique talent brand, we bring to the forefront and amplify the qualities that genuinely position you as the top candidate for your next career challenge.

We invite you to request a 1-on-1 consultation with one of our career advancement specialists so that we can assist you in landing that interview that will propel you into your dream job. If you’d like to draft your resume on your own but would benefit from the use of our sample resume, our travel nurse template is available.