A résumé, in any profession, is a marketing tool and is the first point of contact with a potential employer.
Your résumé is your marketing pitch.
Submitting your résumé is where you start the process of “marketing” you to an employer.
A good résumé can lead to consideration. A great PSW resume will influence the hiring manager’s decision and lead to an interview.
So, it is necessary to make an excellent first impression by creating a Personal Support Worker résumé that presents you in a positive light and positions you as the best candidate for the job you are applying for.
Further, in the article, you’ll find essential points to keep in mind while putting together your résumé.
We will dissect each section of a PSW’s resume.
You’ll also find a professional PSW résumé sample that you can either view or download as an MS Word copy.
You are welcome to use the templates to prepare your résumé.
Before we go into further details, here are some important points to keep in mind when writing your résumé:
The Color and Font
Do not try to get cute or fancy with your résumé. Stick to one color (preferably black) ink/type, don’t use hard-to-read fonts, and once you settle on a format, stick with that.
Brevity is a must.
You are condensing your entire professional history into two pages, and you want to make sure that you include the relevant information.
You can provide a minimal amount and still give a clear picture of who you are and what you can do.
One Does Not Fit All
Realize that some organizations have their set templates for résumés and résumé submissions.
Don’t grow too attached to the format you have chosen. It may not fit every organization’s needs and expectations.
Static Résumés Does Not Work
Update your résumé regularly.
Best practices dictate that as you complete job-relevant training, move within an organization, or receive awards/commendations, you should take out your résumé and update it with the new information.
Some sections of the résumé can be moved to meet your needs.
For example, you can list education before experience or after. You can record volunteer experience among your work experience or as a separate section.
So let’s talk about it and dive right in!
The Number of Pages
The number of pages in your résumé is vital.
You want one that is long enough to list all your relevant education and experience;
you also don’t want it to be so long that the hiring manager loses interest halfway through.
We recommend a résumé no longer than two (2) pages in length.
The first item on your résumé will be your contact information, sometimes referred to as a header.
The header should be slightly larger than the body of your résumé; however, it should not take up more than 3.8 cm of space at the top of the page.
The header includes:
- Your name,
- Telephone number(s), and
- Email address.
A solid, professional-looking font such as Times New Roman, is sufficient for your header.
Use 18-20 font size for your name.
You can put your name or the entire heading in bold type as well.
This information is crucial.
Your résumé can be a perfect fit for the position; however, if you fail to add your contact information, the potential employer will not know how to get in touch with you.
The Profile Paragraph
This is where you give a brief overview of who you are and what you can bring to the table.
Your tag line is the first part of your sales pitch. This is the bait that draws the employer in.
In your profile paragraph, you will want to show why you are the best candidate for the position.
You will expand on this in the next sections of the résumé, but this line can make or break you when it comes to sorting the résumés for interviews.
It should not be more than 3-4 lines.
A sample profile paragraph for Personal Support Worker résumé could look something like this:
[Dedicated, passionate, and highly motivated with more than two years of quality experience and an excellent track record in providing compassionate patient care in Long Term Care, Nursing Homes, and community settings. Fully computer literate and proficient in both, paper and computer charting].
Relevant Work Experience
As with your heading, the relevant work experience section is also a crucial piece of your résumé.
This is where you back up your profile paragraph with a more in-depth look at what you have done in the past to support your statement.
You should always start with your current or most recent employment and work your way backward.
Items you need to include in this section are:
- Organization name,
- The dates of employment,
- City and province, and
- Job duties.
This gives a comprehensive view of what you did and who you worked under. This section should look like the following:
Name of the 1st organization • July 2010 to Present
- Perform direct patient care, assistance with elimination/toileting/personal hygiene, nutrition, Activities of Daily Living, assisting with the patient turns, mobilization, and transport by being sensitive and empathetic to the needs of the residents.
- Actively participate and report in the Assessment, Care Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of outcomes in the Physical Activity Programming for the residents.
- Diligently practice good sanitation and sterile techniques to avoid infection and the spread of contagious illness.
- Consistently exercise tact and diplomacy in dealing with residents, families, and visitors.
- Advocating and participating in the maintenance of resident’s skin integrity.
Name of the 2nd organization • July 2010 to Present
- Anticipated and assisted with feeding, mobility, bathing, grooming, personal hygiene, toileting, and incontinence care of Dementia and Alzheimer’s clients in the community settings.
- Coordinated and assisted elderly patients in the community with daily chores, feeding, bathing, dressing, and housekeeping.
- Provided compassionate community respite care to the families of clients with advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Organized social and recreational activities for clients including medication management.
It is important that you include as much information as possible while still maintaining a two-page résumé to give that potential employer a clear picture of who you are and what experience you have.
In this section, you can include any volunteer experience, or you can include volunteer experience in a separate section.
Never underestimate the value of volunteer experience.
While you may not have received monetary compensation for the work, you are showing a prospective employer that you are actively involved in your career and your community.
You are showing your prospective employer that you will not only be an asset on the job but will also be a good community ambassador for that organization.
A volunteer section could look like this:
Name of the 1st organization • July 2010 to Present
- Assessment and assisting in the care for Dementia, challenging behaviors, the frail elderly, palliative care, or high intensity needs care.
- Advocating for residents with visual and hearing impairments and also assisting residents with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Collaborate with the clerk in maintaining the bulletin board and update the information kiosk with new pamphlets.
- Render constructive feedback to improve the effectiveness of the activities organized for the residents.
- Engaged in the transport of residents to the church and for other leisure activities.
Name of the 2nd organization • July 2010 to Present
- Offered excellent customer service and provided information to the families/visitors and escort them to various rooms/departments of the Retirement Centre.
- Provided support to residents and staff, assisting with patient feeding, ice water delivery, and clerical support.
- Providing cognitive and physical stimulation to the residents, both one on one and in groups.
- Adhering to the policies and procedures of the facility and ensuring resident safety.
- Visiting residents and encouraging social interaction.
Professional Skills and Accomplishments
The next item on your résumé is the Professional Skills and Accomplishments Section.
This is where you list all the performance awards, exceptional service awards, and other recognition you have received for your work.
This is also where you outline skills where you may not have been formally rewarded, yet still excel in.
The Professional Skills and Accomplishments Section should look something like this:
PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- Exceptional interpersonal and comprehension skills with constant endeavors to improve and develop effective communication skills. Familiarity and comply with all health and safety regulations and report any injury, illness, unsafe acts, or conditions.
- Proficient in filling out necessary forms/surveys and completing mandatory paper and computer charting.
- Outstanding ability to prioritize and organize tasks according to institutional and resident needs.
- Fostered multitasking and Team Player skills with flexibility in meeting employer needs.
- Extensive experience in Long Term Care, Nursing Homes, and Community setting.
- Excellent attendance, punctuality, and work record.
The information you provide here shows what makes you an outstanding candidate.
Any awards you have received that are relevant to the position you are applying for should go into this section.
Look at this section as your area to brag a little.
Your accomplishments are no small achievement and should be celebrated. This is the polish on your sales pitch.
The next section is the Education and Certification/Certificates Section.
This section shows what kind of formal training you have had that makes you the ideal candidate for the position you seek.
This should include any continuing education training you have completed following your graduation from the Personal Support Worker diploma program.
With this section, you should start with the primary training first and then list the continuing education following that.
All should be in chronological order with the most recent being last.
This is also where you can show training that is not required, but pertinent to, the position you are applying for.
Some examples are courses on nutrition, computer usage, and social activities for the demographic you are working with.
This is also where you will show you are current in all renewable training such as CPR and First Aid.
You can also take this online training by the University of Toronto. It is a short training and you get a certificate from the University of Toronto.
The education and certificates section should look something like this:
- Registered Certified Personal Support Worker
- Name of College
- Standard First Aid including Level “C” Two-Rescuer, CPR for Healthcare professionals’ certificate
- Name of the organization from where certification received
Lastly, you may want to list additional references at the end of your résumé.
There are some pros and cons to including this line.
Be very cautious when using clients or family members of clients as references.
You want to make sure that you have their express, written permission to use them as a reference so you can avoid violating any health care privacy laws.
The additional references could be co-workers, teachers, or others who are highly familiar with your work skills and work ethics.
If you do not wish to list references, but want a potential employer to know that you have such individuals who can attest to your abilities, you can add the line “References Provided Upon Request” or “Additional References Provided Upon Request.”
You do not have to include this line as it is inferred that you would have references.
Again, a good résumé can lead to consideration, but a great résumé will lead to a job interview.
If you wish to update your résumé or write one from scratch, you may wish to check out a complete guide on how to write a PSW résumé which covers the following topics:
- What type of résumé is best for PSW jobs?
- Résumé format and sections
- Using keywords
- Using action/power words
- Proofreading, and
- What not to include in a résumé
Make sure your résumé is not what is standing between you and your career choice.
Treat your résumé with the same loving care you would any of the patients you care for. Give it the time and attention it needs to be the best sales pitch ever.
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