Certified Nursing Assistant CNA Resume Examples and Tips

A CNA resume needs to meet certain criteria to get you hired. Here are tips you should follow to make your own certified nurse assistant resume stand out.



Table of Contents

  1. CNA resume example
  2. Tips & CNA resume examples
  3. What are employers looking for in a CNA resume?
  4. How to pick the right format for your CNA resume
  5. Related CNA resume examples and tips
  6. Write a CNA cover letter to accompany your resume
  7. The big takeaways
  8. FAQ: CNA Resume Example

CNA resume example

Follow our CNA resume examples to create the best resume for your CNA job. You can easily edit it and include your information using the ResumeHelp Resume Builder, which gives you step-by-step resume writing guidance.

CNA Resume Example

Tips & CNA resume examples

A CNA, which stands for certified nursing assistant, is considered entry-level nursing staff, and is usually the most entry-level health care worker in a facility or hospital. When you work as a CNA, you’re providing basic care and helping with certain non-medical aspects of a person’s well-being. To best display these qualifications and convince hiring managers to hire you, it’s important to follow expert CNA resume examples.

On this page, we’ll give you all the expert advice you need to create a professional resume for a CNA job, including:

  • Top CNA resume examples you can use as a base to create your resume.
  • Expert resume writing tips to showcase your CNA skills effectively.
  • Certified nursing assistant resume formatting tips and cover letter advice.

  • What are employers looking for in a CNA resume?

  • Appropriate certifications and training

    The educational requirements to become a CNA will vary by state but it’s imperative to have completed the appropriate training program to work as a certified nursing assistant. The recruiter or hiring manager will first make sure that you are a licensed CNA.

  • Key CNA skills
  • Hiring managers want to ensure that you have the skills necessary to do the CNA job well. As a certified nursing assistant, you will work directly with patients and help the charge nurse with complex tasks for patient care.

  • Best CNA qualifications for the job
  • Not two CNA jobs are the same. Read the job description well to determine the requirements and major responsibilities of the job, then, tailor your CNA resume accordingly. The employer might be looking for a nursing aide to work at a nursing home or they might be searching for a CNA that has work experience in clinical facilities. So review the job posting and make sure you have the best qualifications for the job.

  • Use of keywords
  • A major part of tailoring your CNA resume to the job is including keywords and key phrases from the job description in your resume. Choose several skills and listed responsibilities that apply to your expertise and include them across your resume.

  • ATS-friendly resume
  • Most employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) software to filter through resumes and only receive the resume of the most qualified job seekers. Make sure your resume is ATS-friendly by writing keywords and using a resume template, such as the one featured in our CNA resume sample, that is easy to read.

    How to pick the right format for your CNA resume

    Before you sit down to write your CNA resume, it’s important to understand the three resume formats:

  • Chronological resume: This is the most widely used format by job seekers. It’s ideal for certified nursing assistants with extensive work experience in health care, as it focuses on the work history section and your career growth.
  • Functional resume: If you’re a CNA with little to no experience, consider using the functional format. This format focuses on the skills you have for the CNA job as opposed to work experience, so if you just finished training, it’s a great option to show hiring managers that you have the qualifications needed to do the job.
  • Combination resume: As it’s suggested by the name, the combination or hybrid resume format is a mix of the chronological and functional resume formats. It’s ideal for certified nursing assistants with three to eight years of work experience, as it gives equal emphasis to your years of experience and CNA skill set.
  • Some other resume formatting tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a professional resume font. Stick to fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica or Verdana; this isn’t the time to be eccentric.
  • Make sure the margins are correct. Your CNA resume should have 1-inch margins all around but if you need extra space for more information, you can take them down to half an inch.
  • Keep it readable. The font size of your resume should be large enough for recruiters and hiring managers to read. The body text should be 11-12 points, the subheadings 14-15 and your name 16 or 18.
  • Maintain the right spacing. Keep the spacing between lines as single or 1.5.
  • Download in the correct file format. The CNA job description will let you know if the potential employer wants the resume in a specific file format but, usually, PDF or MS Word is the way to go.

  • How to write a CNA resume

    1. 1. Header and contact information
    2. The first section is your header containing your contact information. A header helps introduce you to a CNA job. It includes your full name, phone number, email address and any job networking links such as LinkedIn. Make sure that the information you include is updated and professional.

    3. 2. Resume objective or resume summary
    4. Your CNA resume can begin with either a resume summary or a resume objective. Which is best for you will depend on your years of experience and what you hope to accomplish with your resume.

      A resume summary summarizes your top qualifications relevant to the job description in two to three sentences. It’s best for certified nursing assistants with more than three years of work experience. For example:

      Diligent certified nursing assistant with more than four years of experience working in nursing homes. Able to provide the best patient care, educate family members and bathe patients. Skilled in stocking supplies, documenting food and liquid intake, and medication administration.

      A resume objective also summarizes your key skills and qualifications in two to three sentences but it also states your goals for employment. An objective statement is better for candidates with less than two years of experience or people changing careers.

      CNA with two years of experience seeking nursing assistant job in a rehabilitation center. Strong physical strength to turn and move patients, knowledgeable in medical terminology and documentation of electronic medical records. Excellent communicator and collaborator.

    5. 3. Skills section
    6. There are many hard skills and soft skills that you can include as part of a nursing assistant job. Here are some of the resume skills to consider in the following bullet points:

      Hard skills

      • Charting patient vital signs
      • Wheelchair usage and ambulation
      • Medical equipment
      • First aid
      • Basic Life Support (BLS)
      • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)

      Soft skills

      • Teamwork
      • Excellent communication skills
      • Time management skills
      • Interpersonal skills
      • Compassion
      • Adaptability
    7. 4. Work experience section
    8. Your work history section should be written in reverse-chronological order. Your current or latest CNA job should go at the top and each position should include three to five bullet points detailing work accomplishments or major responsibilities. In addition:

      • Start each bullet point with an action verb like organized, treated, aided or charted. Action verbs will help your CNA resume pack a punch.
      • Use numbers to better portray your accomplishments as a certified nursing assistant.

      Take a look at this example of a CNA resume work experience section:

      CNA / May 2018 – Nov. 2022
      Oak Home, Nashville, TN

      • Fed an average of 15 patients per day, ensuring that they finished their meals.
      • Cleaned 20 rooms every week, over 40 linens and thoroughly cleaned patient bedpans.
      • Educated family members with patient care best practices and provided comfort during trying times.
    9. 5. Education
    10. You need to take a state-approved program to become an entry-level CNA. This usually takes around 8-12 weeks and teaches you all the basic skills you need to know. You might also need to pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination, an exam that’s divided into two parts, a written and oral exam, to become a licensed CNA.

      CNA programs are offered at local community colleges, high schools, vocational or technical schools or local hospitals.

      If you finished this program at your high school, then include your high school’s name and the fact that you have obtained your high school diploma. If you have a bachelor’s degree in addition to the training, just include your college degree. Don’t list your GPA, unless it’s requested or you’re a new graduate with honors.

    11. 6. Additional sections
    12. If you have additional certifications or training that is relevant to the CNA job, create other sections for your resume. Some certifications you could consider include:

      • First Aid
      • CPR
      • Basic Life Support (BLS)

    Write a CNA cover letter to accompany your resume

    Your CNA job application won’t be complete without a professional cover letter. Use our resources to craft a compelling cover letter that impresses employers.

    • How to Write a Cover Letter: Expand on your CNA skills and top qualifications the right way with our writing guide.
    • Cover Letter Builder: Our user-friendly Cover Letter Builder gives you step-by-step guidance and helps you write a great cover letter in just a couple of minutes.
    • Cover Letter Templates: Match your resume template with one of our cover letter templates.
    • Cover Letter Format: Make sure your cover letter is formatted correctly with our guidelines.
    • Cover Letter Examples: Use our hundreds of examples as inspiration to write your cover letter.

    The big takeaways

    You’ve seen our professional CNA resume examples and read our expert resume writing tips, so let’s quickly recap everything:

    1. 1. It’s important to tailor your professional resume to the CNA job.
    2. 2. A big part of tailoring a resume is using keywords and key phrases from the job description.
    3. 3. The resume formats aren’t interchangeable. Choose the one that best fits your needs.
    4. 4. Your years of experience will determine whether a resume summary or resume objective is best.
    5. 5. Focus on work accomplishments and big responsibilities in your work history section.
    6. 6. Include 8-10 hard skills and soft skills.
    7. 7. List important CNA certifications and training.
    8. 8. Make sure the resume formatting is consistent throughout your CNA resume.
    9. 9. Save and submit your resume as a PDF or MS Word document.
    10. 10. Always include a cover letter with your resume.

    FAQ: CNA Resume Example

    Q: Are soft skills or hard skills more important on CNA resumes?

    Both soft skills and hard skills are important on a CNA resume. If you want to stand out, you need to make sure that you’re including both of these skills. Include skills that you learned in your training section and skills that you’ve learned in general. Be sure your skills match what the job posting is listing as requirements.

    Q: Should I put internships in my work history section?

    Yes, internships typically get listed in your work history section, especially if you are lacking work experience. If you completed any apprenticeships or internships, those are considered relevant experience and will help a hiring manager determine your qualifications.

    You can also include volunteer work or extracurricular activities that are relevant to the CNA position.

    Q: How many years of experience do I need to add to my CNA resume?

    You should only list up to 10 years of experience at the most. If you have an extensive career history, you can include all of your experience on your LinkedIn profile and place the profile link in your resume header with contact information. This way, any hiring manager that wants to learn more about you can scroll through your LinkedIn profile.

    Q: What are the duties of a CNA?

    CNAs play a big role in the nursing staff. They help their unit, be it at a hospital or a nursing home, run smoothly by:

  • Turning and repositioning patients
  • Organizing and gathering supplies for the registered nurse or medical assistant
  • Answering patient calls and bells
  • Obtaining vital signs and maintaining blood pressure
  • Bathing patients and providing personal care
  • Dressing wounds
  • Making sure HIPAA guidelines are being followed
  • The responsibilities listed above are just a few of the major tasks CNAs do. Without their help, patient care and units wouldn’t run as smoothly as they do.

    Q: What is the average salary for a CNA?

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average wage for certified nursing assistants was $30,310 in May 2021. Pay varies depending on the care facility and state where you work. For example, CNAs working in the government, such as VA hospitals, may get paid an average of $37,310 a year while a CNA in home healthcare services might make $29,280 a year.

    The states with the highest pay for CNAs are:

  • Alaska – $43,080
  • New York – $40,680
  • California – $39,760
  • Q: How many years of experience does a CNA have?

    CNA jobs are considered entry-level positions, so you don’t need to have prior work experience to land a job. What you do need is a valid CNA license and to have completed an accredited certified nursing assistant program. Some of the top CNA programs are:

  • American Red Cross
  • Cochise College
  • Hutchinson Community College
  • Pratt Community College
  • Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
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