Whether you’re an aspiring oncology nurse or a veteran intent on securing a new position, it’s important to provide prospective employers with an exceptional resume if you want to land the job you’re after.

How can you help your resume stand out in a sea of applicants? 

Take a look at our step-by-step guide on building an oncology RN resume that will demand attention. 

Step 1: Understanding the Essential Components of an Oncology Nurse Resume

You might be keen on obtaining an assignment as an oncology travel nurse in a distant city or an exotic location. Or perhaps you’re shooting for a promotion within your home facility. Wherever you are on your professional journey, it’s vital to keep in mind the expectations employers and recruiters have the second they see your resume. 

The basic (but crucial) elements of any resume include your:

  • Personal information (name and contact information)
  • Education
  • Certifications and affiliations
  • Relevant experience

Additionally, an oncology nurse resume ought to include a summary of your primary objective—a succinct and compelling opening that will inspire employers to continue reading (and a topic we’ll look at in depth later).

Let’s break down each ingredient of an outstanding resume—and how to approach them successfully.

Step 2: Highlighting Key Oncology Nursing Skills and Experience

From providing palliative care to staying apprised of the newest discoveries in oncology, oncology nurses—as you very well may know—possess an invaluable, highly specialized skill set. 

To clarify why, exactly, you’re a prime candidate for the position you’re interested in, your expertise ought to be emphasized carefully and persuasively throughout your resume. If it’s applicable to your experience, a handful of the most important and eye-catching oncology skills to underscore include:,

  • Patient education – An oncology nurse serves more than one critical role in a patient’s diagnosis and treatment: They’re often tasked with communicating fundamental information to their patients. Making it clear that you’re well-versed in this aspect of the job may enhance your chances of scoring an interview. 
  • Symptom management – Helping an oncology patient navigate their symptoms is one of the foremost responsibilities of an oncology nurse. The novel approaches you’ve used, the pain-relieving practices you’ve employed, the procedures you’ve assisted—all should be highlighted. 
  • Emotional support – Employers sifting through one oncology nurse skills resume after another will be searching for a common and imperative theme in applicants: the ability to act as a calm, comforting presence to patients and their families and to provide emotional, psychological, and strategic support throughout their treatment. The language you use in this section should reflect the sensitivity you bring to the bedside. 

Your experience should start with your most recent (or most relevant) roles before diving into the core competencies you brought (or perhaps continue to bring) to the table. You should also aim to be as specific as possible, from listing the average number of patients you cared for during each shift to the specific types of cancers you’ve helped patients navigate. As many common oncology nurse interview questions will relate back to professional experience, make sure you come prepared to speak to your experience first and foremost if you score an interview.

Step 3: Tailoring Your Resume to the Oncology Nursing Field

Oncology nurses have specialized skills that are not as common in other specialty settings. So, in addition to addressing the skills essential to all nurses—like serving as the intermediary between a physician and their patients—you should shape your resume explicitly around oncology.

Consider highlighting skills that are unique to oncology nurses, such as:

  • Administering chemotherapy and immunotherapy
  • Assessing for—and managing—allergic reactions to treatments
  • Offering a therapeutic solution for the side effects patients experience due to their treatment plan
  • Coordinating and supporting end-of-life care
  • Coordinating treatment between patients and their healthcare team (pathologists, radiographers, psychologists, anesthesiologists, surgical oncologists, and so on)

Additionally, if you’ve worked on clinical trials or other types of research, by all means, include it on your oncology nurse resume. It may be a surefire way to set you apart in a pool of candidates.

Step 4: Showcasing Education, Certifications, and Professional Development

To refresh your memory (or to commit it to memory if you’ve only just begun exploring the idea of becoming an oncology nurse): An oncology nurse must hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). While not mandatory, obtaining certification as an Oncology Nurse (OCN) can be highly advantageous. You’re eligible to apply after serving as an RN for two years and dedicating at least 2,000 hours to working in the field of oncology.

Naturally, where you received degrees (and when) must be included on your resume—and you’ll improve the impression you make even more by highlighting standout achievements, or relevant organizations you belonged to, while you were in school.

Also, be sure to list any additional certifications you’ve received, such as:

  • PICC line certification
  • Bone marrow transplant nurse certification (BMTCN) 
  • Pediatric hematology oncology nurse certification (CPHON)

You might also want to make it clear that you’re committed to continuing education, whether that’s through reviewing patient literature or taking courses.

Step 5: Crafting a Compelling Summary and Objective for an Oncology Nurse

Typically three to five sentences in length, your summary section spotlights your distinct blend of education, experience, and “soft” skills—such as empathy, compassion, and collaboration—to demonstrate why you’re uniquely qualified for the position.

Accordingly, ensure you’ve reviewed the job description carefully and tailor each objective statement you use to the particular competencies the organization is searching for. Doing so will illustrate that you’ve done your due diligence—which, to many, speaks volumes about an applicant’s character. 

Step 6: Emphasizing Achievements and Impact in Oncology Nursing Roles

If you’ve accrued several years of experience as an oncology nurse, chances are you have a few notable achievements under your belt. Draw attention to these as well, and point out the impact they had—on your patient, your healthcare facility, or in the general realm of oncology. 

A word of advice here: You may want to implement what’s known as the “Context-Action-Result (CAR)” framework:

  • Context – This provides a brief overview of a certain era in your career, such as overseeing 15 pediatric patients in a children’s cancer center.
  • Action – “Action” refers to the specifics of your role, such as administering chemotherapy and communicating a pediatric patient’s progress to their parents.
  • Results – “Results” shows how your efforts paid off—like enhancing a patient’s outcome or decreasing recurrence.

Further, you may want to stress the highest level of care the facilities you’ve worked at provide and any “float support” you’ve supplied during staff shortages.

Step 7: Utilizing Keywords and Formatting for Maximum Impact

The visual appeal of your resume is a large part of the first impression you make with employers—and by “appeal,” we don’t mean using a fancy font or including splashes of color. Rather, your resume should appear polished, concise, and intelligently (and uniformly) structured.

Also, pay close attention to the keywords used by the employer in their job description. Employing similar language reinforces the idea that you understand the role well and have exactly what the employer needs to fulfill it.

Step 8: Proofreading and Editing Your Oncology Nurse Resume

An oncology RN resume should mirror several of the traits expected in an oncology nurse—namely, strong organizational skills and a superb eye for detail. As such, your resume should be proofread and edited multiple times before it’s submitted. 

Step 9: Leveraging Technology and Online Platforms for Visibility

There are a host of technologies available for crafting a stellar resume, such as Grammarly for your proofing needs and templates for formatting and structure.

Once you’re ready to send out your oncology RN resume, keep these leading online job platforms at the top of your mind:

  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Ziprecruiter
  • Glassdoor

Another option? The Oncology Nursing Society, whose online career center helps oncology nurses find new openings.

Step 10: Seeking Feedback and Continuous Improvement for Your Resume

Just as our understanding of cancer is constantly progressing, so is your resume—yes, even if the actual document has been dormant on your hard drive for a decade. Consistently updating your resume to showcase your latest milestones isn’t just living proof of your loyalty to your profession: It also ensures you’ll be prepared if you stumble upon a position that piques your interest. 

At the same time, look for an objective reviewer, such as a fellow oncology nurse. What they catch, and what they advise, may prove to be indispensable in creating a CV that scores you your dream oncology nursing job.

Hone Your Oncology Nursing Skills With Host Healthcare

Assembling a stand out oncology nurse resume may not be a swift and easy feat, but the effort you put into it could pay back ten-fold—whether that means attaining a permanent role in a hospice center or taking your skills on the road to assist patients with cancer around the nation. 

If the latter calls to you, Host Healthcare is the best place to start. We help nurses build the lives and careers they deserve by pairing them with recruiters who find travel assignments that align with their aspirations, experience, and desired locations. We also offer a treasure chest of resources, from 24/7/365 support to excellent, day-one benefits.

Apply today to discover the opportunities that await with Host Healthcare.



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