Health Care Resume Skills: What to Include With Examples

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Find out which skills are important to include on your health care resume. Discover how and where to write a health care resume, as well as tips for developing your skills.

[Featured image]:  A woman is wearing a gray top, sitting at her desk in front of her laptop computer preparing her resume for a position in health care.

Listing critical health care skills on your resume can help distinguish you from your competition when applying for a health-related job. Employers can understand the tangible ways you've learned your skills through your education, work experience, and a list of skills on your resume (that they can follow up on during interviews).

Discover which skills are essential to include on your resume and cover letter when applying for health care positions. Find out how and where to include them, and use our helpful examples. We'll also share some tips on how you can further develop your skills to enhance your health care career.

What is a health care resume? 

A health care resume is a type of resume specific to professions in the health care field. Health care professions hold particular skills, education, experiences, and training that may differ significantly from other occupations outside of health care. Health care resumes highlight those in-demand qualifications and skills to help applicants for health care professions improve their chances of employment and bring their resumes front and centre. 

Because most positions in the health care field require specific formal training, expect to include a separate section that lists education and training specific to the position for which you’re applying. A health care resume will also have an area that lists fellowships or clinical experiences that some medical professionals, like doctors or dentists, require. These elements are unique to health care and offer employers insight into your skills as a medical professional and how you have relied on these skills to advance your career.  

Jobs that require a health care resume 

If you’re applying for a position within the medical field, you will likely need to structure your resume to effectively highlight critical health care skills. This ensures you include the specific elements necessary to provide employers with the information they need to assess your eligibility for the position you’re applying for. The health care field is quite broad, with varying job titles and responsibilities. Here are a few examples of those professions that may require a health care resume: 

Allied health 

Careers considered allied health are positions focused on delivering health care rather than providing medical care as nurses or physicians do. Allied health positions may include various supporting and diagnostic roles, such as:

  • Dental hygienists

  • Medical transcriptionists

  • Occupational therapists

  • Sonographers

  • Radiographers

  • Medical assistants

  • Pharmacy techs

  • Home health aides

  • Physical therapists

  • EMTs

  • Speech-language pathologists

Skills. Skills unique to these positions vary by job title. Still, core to many allied health jobs is common workplace skills like good communication and the ability to multitask, work well as a team, and exude empathy and compassion when working with patients. Technical skills for these positions usually require earning certifications and completing certificate programs, associate degree programs, or other training specific to the role. Some jobs, like speech-language pathologists or mental health professionals, require more advanced degrees and training. 

Administration and management 

Administration and management professionals work in higher-level positions in health care. Typically, they are behind the scenes, planning, coordinating, and managing varying aspects of a medical facility. You can specialize in a particular type, for example, financial management or ambulatory services. 

Other health care administration and management careers include:

  • Medical staff coordinator

  • Community health director

  • Health care administrator

  • Quality assurance coordinator

Skills. These are management-level positions and thus require a specific skill set for managing systems within the health care industry. Administration and management jobs in health care require leadership skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to collaborate and work as a team, analyze situations, and develop solutions to problems. Technical skills vary by job and facility, with some common skills being knowledge of legal parameters and issues in health care, data analysis, budgeting, and general business acumen.  

Medical providers and nurses

For medical providers and nurses, a well-crafted health care resume that effectively highlights essential skills for these positions can be instrumental to gaining employment. Listing education, experiences, and relevant skills on your resume gives employers a thorough picture of who you will be as a provider. Physicians and nurses should include detailed information on both technical and workplace skills. 

Medical providers include:

  • Primary care physicians

  • Dentists

  • Anesthesiologists

From a bachelor’s degree to residency, the average duration to become a medical provider is eleven years. During this time, doctors learn technical skills specific to their specialty, as well as critical personal skills necessary to the medical profession. 

Nursing job titles can include:

  • Clinical positions like a registered nurse (RN)

  • Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)

  • Non-clinical positions like health informatics nurse specialist or nurse case manager

All clinical nurses should have empathy, compassion, critical thinking skills, and the ability to work well under pressure. Nurses can also specialize in certain areas. As a result, technical skills for nurses vary widely depending on the type of nurse you are and where you work. Common technical skills for licensed clinical nurses include starting IVs, monitoring and administering vital signs, inserting PICC lines, cleaning wounds, and administering CPR and other life-saving measures.  

Non-clinical nurses need another set of technical skills besides clinical nursing knowledge, which likely includes information technology, information security, quality improvement, business acumen specific to health care, and project management. Leadership skills, effective communication, problem-solving, analytical skills, and time management are beneficial in non-clinical nursing positions. 

Key skills to list on a health care resume 

Health care is a vast field with many different facets. You can work in health care in many ways, from a supporting position as a medical billing specialist to a patient care provider as a nurse. The skills you’ll need to succeed in health care depend on your career track in health care. 

Technical skills 

Health care professionals who work directly with patients in clinical roles will need different technical skills than professionals who work on the non-clinical side of health care; however, you’ll find overlap in the knowledge of HIPPA laws and basic medical terminology. 

  •  Clinical (direct patient care; providers, allied health) 

    • First aid/CPR 

    • Adhere to HIPAA

    • Check and monitor vital signs 

    • Assess a patient’s symptoms 

    • Diagnose conditions and provide appropriate treatment 

    • Administer medical treatments 

    • Interpret lab results 

    • Develop treatment plans as needed 

    • Advise patients on treatment options 

  • Non-clinical positions (supporting health care roles; administration, clerical)

    • Office skills 

    • Insurance billing 

    • Medical codes and terminology 

    • HIPAA compliance 

    • Scheduling software 

    • EMR software 

    • Data entry 

    • Record patient history

Workplace skills 

Most health care professionals understand the importance of compassion and empathy when supporting or treating patients. 

  •  Clinical (direct patient care; providers, allied health) 

    • Good bedside manner

    • Compassion and empathy 

    • Patience 

    • Good communication 

    • Listening skills 

    • Problem-solving 

    • Critical thinking 

  • Non-clinical positions (supporting roles in health care; administration, clerical)

    • Detail oriented

    • Ability to multitask 

    • Works well as a team 

    • Good communicator 

    • Organized 

    • Detail oriented 

    • Flexible 

    • Attention to detail 

How to include health care skills on your resume 

Your skills as a health care professional should be immediately evident on your resume and included throughout, particularly in areas where you need to explain professional experiences and training. It should be clear to employers how you’ve learned critical skills, built and developed those skills, and plan to rely on them in the role you’re applying for. To do this, format your resume appropriately and rely on real-world examples and past experiences to not only list but also explain the skills necessary for the position. 

1. Include only skills relevant to the position. 

Employers should be able to assess if your skills fit the job description quickly. Tailor your skills to the job description by including specific skills referenced in the job description. Not only will this help recruiters and employers assess your qualifications for the job, but it will also improve your chances of ATS picking up your resume. ATS, or applicant tracking software, uses keywords and specific phrases from the job description to target ideal candidates more efficiently. Optimize your resume with these keywords and include only the skills relevant to the job posting.

Take advantage of the cover letter 

Cover letters offer an excellent opportunity to explain precisely how your skills would benefit an employer in more depth. Use the cover letter as your introduction, further unpacking the skills you hold and how you plan to rely on these skills. 

How will your qualifications and skills as a health care professional add value to the employer? 

Highlight professional experiences or point to achievements or accolades that illustrate how you’ve developed skills and gained professional success due to this skill set. Be sure to connect your skills to a specific position or job title. 


2. Mention skills in a resume summary.  

Highlight critical skills right away in your resume summary. Use these two to three sentences to give employers insight into your qualifications for a position by highlighting key skills and credentials that make you a suitable applicant. Using adjectives to describe yourself is a great way to pull in your skills concisely. For example, you could begin with “Organized care coordinator with five years experience in…” 

Structure your resume so that an employer or recruiter can immediately see the skills in which you are proficient. In the two to three sentences that make up the resume summary, describe your most relevant professional experiences, skills, and qualifications. You want to stand out but simultaneously be concise and to the point. Since you only have a few sentences, be picky about the skills and qualifying characteristics you choose. 

3. Weave skills throughout your resume.

Your health care resume should have a section devoted to your skills as a professional in health care with brief examples. It’s also vital to integrate skills throughout your resume. For example, if you list in the skills section that you are flexible and adaptable, describe in your work history section how you used these skills successfully.

4. Be specific. 

Avoid vague and ambiguous adjectives that are hard to quantify when listing your skills. Instead of listing “good communicator” as a skill, think of a creative way to be more descriptive. Try, instead, something like “skilled in patient-provider interactions.” And don’t be afraid to add adjectives like superior, proficient, or skilled when describing your level of knowledge with a skill that can exude confidence. 

It’s essential to be specific, and be sure to explain critical experiences in depth, perhaps as part of your work history or training, detailing how your experience built your skills as a health care professional. Tying real-world experiences and examples to the skills highlighted on your health care resume is always helpful.

5. Choose the best format based on your qualifications. 

You can format your health care resume in a few different ways. The format you choose depends on your level of experience and education. You can choose the functional format, ideal for entry-level positions; the chronological format, best for management or supervisory positions; and the combination format for mid-level positions. 

  • With functional formatting, you focus on skills over work history. List skills summary first, just after your resume summary. The skills summary section notes how you have demonstrated proficiency in specific skills through various experiences beyond work history. For health care providers, it’s also appropriate to focus on skills in your training and education section, focusing on the skills you learned. Another way to include skills in a functional resume is through a summary or cover letter. Take advantage of this space to tell employers how you plan to use the skills you have learned through your training and education. 

  • The chronological format lists your work history from most recent to least recent. This format is ideal for professionals with a lot of professional work history. It’s also the preferred formatting for most health care resumes. With this format, you will still have a separate list of your skills and other common elements of a health care resume, like education and summary. However, you may add a section listing your professional achievements to complement your rich work history.

  • A combination format gives equal weight to work history and skills. As with the functional resume, have your skills section at the top of the page, just after the summary. List your work experience after the skills section or toward the bottom of the page. These resumes are ideal for health care professionals seeking a mid-level job title.

6. Use a professional layout. 

The layout is as important as formatting. When creating a health care resume, choose a professional format. Enhance the readability by using headers, bullet points, and bold text where appropriate. As a general rule, lay out your health care resume with: 

  • 12-point font

  • 10-inch margins

  • Ample use of white space

  • Headers for each section 

  • Four to five bullet points per job title 

  • One-page limit (two pages may be appropriate for 10+ years of experience)

Examples of health care resumes 

Health care resumes typically include a title, personal information, a resume summary, a skills summary, experience, education, and certifications section. You may also have additional sections such as accomplishments, accolades, awards, and publications. Here is a sample template of what to include on a health care resume:

Headline (name and professional title if you already have one) 

Contact information (phone, email, LinkedIn) 

Resume summary (two- to three-sentence explanation of your career goals and objectives)

Education (university name and degree awarded in reverse-chronological order; also include residencies or fellowships, if applicable) 

Work experience (organization, job title, responsibilities, skills used, accolades, and so on listed in reverse-chronological order)

Skills (list of both technical and workplace skills, with brief examples of how you have applied these skills)

You may change the order of these sections based on the format you choose and omit or add to these elements depending on your level of education and experience. 

Consider this example of a health care resume for a patient care coordinator position with five years of experience in her role: 

Jane E. Doe

Patient Care Coordinator 

Personal information 

Phone: 123-456-7890



Dedicated patient care coordinator with five years of experience managing patient care, implementing and monitoring treatment plans, and evaluating patient progress. Assisted in the grant writing process to secure funding for Acme Medical Centre through the Health Care Coordinators and Navigation Grant. CCCTM certified with a degree in Health Care Administration. Looking to improve patient outcomes by providing support and quality care to patients at ABC Hospital. 

Skills Summary 

  • Coordinate patient-care services to offer quality care 

  • Work as a team member to evaluate possible patient interventions

  • Give compassionate patient care for improved patient outcomes 

  • Communicate plan of care to family and caregivers of patients 

  • Accurately record patient history and documentation per HIPAA compliance 

Work History 

Patient Care Coordinator, ABC Medical Centre. July 1 to present 

  • Develop patient treatment plans based on provider’s notes 

  • Manage patient care coordinators within the medical centre 

  • Advise caregivers of patient progress 

  • Communicate patient outcomes to medical providers 

  • Assist other patient care coordinators in the development of treatment plans 

Patient Services Coordinator, Maple Street Hospital, January 2018 to July 2021

  • Advised patients on viable treatment plan options 

  • Communicated patient concerns and feedback to medical providers 

  • Explained treatment options to patients 

  • Evaluated results of treatment plans and communicated outcomes 


Seneca College, Toronto, Canada, 2010-2014

Honours Bachelor of Healthcare Management (BHM)

Relevant coursework: Principles of Health Care Administration, Health Care Marketing, Health Care Human Resources, and Legal and Ethical Environment in Health Care 

Next steps

As you build your health care resume, take advantage of other professional experiences that help you develop your skills in health care. Some examples of these professional experiences include volunteering, internships, entry-level positions, professional networking events, conferences, or seminars. The goal is to gain real-world experiences that allow you to flex your skills. 

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