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Q&A: “Do CNAs need a resume?”


iStockphoto | ThinkStock

iStockphoto | ThinkStock

Interested in becoming a CNA but don’t know where to start? CNA jobs currently are in high demand. Nursing homes and assisted living communities providing senior caregiving services must maintain a minimum staffing level of CNAs to meet licensing requirements – good news for you!

Usually, a minimum number of nursing assistants are required for each “wing” of a building or for a certain number of residents. Backup CNAs are also required because even if one CNA calls off sick, they must be replaced to keep up with patient care needs.

So how do you land a CNA job, anyway? The short version: CNAs complete a training program through a school sanctioned by the state’s Department of Health and then must pass the state CNA exam to become a “certified” nursing aide.

As a CNA certificate provides documentation that you have met the basic criteria for working as a Certified Nursing Assistant, do you also need a CNA resume? The answer is yes, if you are applying for a competitive position at a preferred nursing home, assisted living community, hospital or senior home care agency. Top CNA positions are always desirable because of the benefits and working conditions. Some of the newer assisted living communities are beautiful luxury buildings, and you will not be the only CNA who wants to work there.

Flexible CNA positions also are competitive as many others will desire the flexible schedules to meet their lifestyle demands. The good news is that at least half of CNAs do not customize a professional resume. Follow our CNA resume tips and use our FREE resume builder tool to set yourself apart from the competition when you apply for a job.

CNA Resume Tips

1. Organize your work history: Just write out the names, addresses and dates of your prior jobs.

2. Organize your education history: List the high school and nursing assistant school you attended, along with dates of graduation.

3. Organize your contact information: Write out your name, address, telephone and email address–be sure to create a professional email address if you do not have one.

4. References: Three references usually are required for a job and can be both professional and personal references. Think of three people who were either coworkers, neighbors or long-time friends who can vouch for your character.

5. Mission Statement: Why do you want to work as a CNA? Try to really think of the reasons and events in your life which lead you to work in the industry of caregiving and feel free to add your own personal flair here – this is what will separate you from all the competition.

6. Volunteer: If you have performed volunteer work, be sure to add this as it will demonstrate you have an interest in working in senior care or with the disabled that goes beyond just making money to pay the bills. Although the fulfillment of caregiving is great, the work can be challenging and employers want to see that you are attracted to working as a CNA for more than just a job. If you do not have volunteer experience, ask around to find a volunteer opportunity at a nursing home or with a community organization as this will also help your application stand out from others.

7. Proof your information: Double-check the dates, names and addresses to make sure your information and especially telephone numbers and email addresses of your references and former employers are correct. Run spell-check, but remember that spell-check cannot capture everything, so have a friend or family member also read your information and provide feedback.

8) Build your CNA Resume with FREE Online Tool: You may access Caregiverlist’s FREE Caregiver and CNA resume builder tool to fashion a professional resume to attach to your application.

Once you have a resume, congrats–you are ready to apply for a CNA job! is the nation’s online destination dedicated to connecting seniors with quality senior care choices. helps seniors and their loved ones define care needs, understand the many caregiving options and costs and connect to senior home care agencies that meet’s checklist of quality standards. is also a leading caregiving career and recruitment resource. Visit

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