Resume examples

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Resume Examples and Tips

3 minute read | Oct 27, 2023 | By: Maria Correa

A CNA resume needs to meet certain criteria to get you hired. Follow our CNA resume examples and tips to make your certified nurse assistant resume stand out.

Resume certified nursing assistant

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is considered entry-level nursing staff, and is an important position in a healthcare 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.

Featured CNA resume examples

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

CNA Resume Example Combination

CNA Resume Example

CNA resume skills employers look for

Before we provide you with a list of potential hard skills and soft skills to consider, it’s important to first mention that your resume should be tailored to the CNA job description. Always read the key requirements for that specific job opening and focus on skills you have that address the requirements.

Here are some relevant CNA resume skills to consider for your resume:

Hard skills:

  1. Patient care (e.g. Home care, hospice care, prenatal care)
  2. Infection control (e.g. Equipment sterilization, open wound management, cleaning and disinfecting)
  3. Medication management
  4. Administrative skills (e.g. Filing paperwork, computer skills, data entry)
  5. Patient education
  6. Medical terminology knowledge

Soft skills:

  1. Excellent communication skills
  2. Attention to detail
  3. Strong interpersonal skills
  4. Empathy (e.g. Social and emotional support, patience)
  5. Multitasking skills
  6. Strong work ethic

How to pick the right format for your CNA resume

Before you sit down to write your CNA resume, it’s important to understand how to choose the right resume format for your document:

  • 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 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 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.

What should be included in a CNA resume?

Exactly how your CNA resume is set up will depend on your resume format. In addition to choosing the right resume format, as described above, follow these guidelines for structuring your resume layout. The headings on your resume will typically stay the same regardless of the format you’re using.

1. Header and contact information

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.

2. Resume objective or resume summary

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.

3. Skills section

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

4. Work experience section

Your work history section should be written in reverse-chronological order. Your current or latest CNA experience should go at the top and each position should include three to five bullet points detailing work accomplishments or major responsibilities in diverse health care settings. 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 job description for resume: example

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.

5. Education

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.

Here’s an example of how to organize a listing for your education section:

Degree Name / Major
University, Location | Start Date – End Date

6. Additional sections

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)

Your certifications should follow this format:

Certifications/ Training:

Full name of the certification (common abbreviation), Organization or State that issues the certificate – date you earned the certification (June 2023).

For more examples and tips, check out our How to Make a Resume page.

CNA resume sample

The certified nursing assistant resume below can be used as the foundation of your own resume. Take a look how the work experience is organized and the CNA resume skills are featured to give you an idea of what you can do.

CNA Resume Example

Related CNA resume examples and tips

ResumeHelp has dozens of other resume examples, resources and articles to help you write the best resume.

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

Have questions? We’re here to help.

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.

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.

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.

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 positioning 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
  • Assistant patients with their daily living and needs

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.

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 health care 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

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

How do you write a professional CNA summary?

The key to writing a strong CNA resume summary is addressing directly what the job opening requests. For example, if the CNA job description seeks a candidate with ample experience in hospice care, strong communication skills, and the ability to provide adjunct care and maintain documentation, your professional summary should reflect that:

Empathetic certified nursing assistant with four years of experience in hospice care. Able to provide top health care needs by administering enemas, non-sterile dressings, surgical preps and more. Strong communication skills, interpersonal skills and documentation abilities.

Using the job description as a guide will also help you pass applicant tracking systems most employers use. ATS will scan your resume for keywords and key phrases found in the description to determine whether you’re a good fit for the job.

What are some skills as a CNA?

Some important CNA resume skills include:

  • Patient records upkeep
  • Friendly and professional bedside manner
  • Flexibility
  • Ethics
  • Nutrition
  • Time management
  • Physical coordination
  • Knowledge of legal rights of patients
  • Compassion
  • Adaptability
  • Quick thinking
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Patient advocacy

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