Changing careers - what to put on an EMT-B resume?

average

Forum Ride Along
6
2
3
Hello,

I recently completed my EMT-Basic class and am looking for jobs. I'm in my late 30s and had a previous career as a software developer. Yes, I know how much EMT jobs pay; I'm doing this to get some experience before applying to nursing school, and because I do well in stressful situations.

I'm wondering how much of my previous job experience (I've had around 10 jobs) to leave off my resume. I'm inclined to leave off all but my most recent software job (and I don't know if I should even include that one), because it could overwhelm a reader and the details aren't particularly relevant to EMS. (Some overall skills are, like problem-solving, attention to detail, and communication; but I don't think I need to list every job in order to show that.) At the same time, it will be obvious that I'm not 18, and I don't want to appear (or be) dishonest about my past.

Here's what I have so far. Should I include more of my past jobs? Or fewer? Do I need the "Skills" section, since it's almost entirely skills everyone certified in CA has (I adapted this from a resume template online, but it seems a little cheesy)? Does listing my undergrad major and minor make me sound smart, or make me sound overqualified? (Should I list my undergrad degree at all, or just my recent coursework that is much more relevant?) I'm listing my recent teaching and tutoring jobs (both paid and not) because I want to show that I can work with people and not just machines, but does that make me look less committed (I decided I didn't want to teach in the long term)? (I do have a description of each job, but I'm omitting that here since the details could identify me.)

I would appreciate any resume advice related to what content to add or remove (not looking for wording/formatting advice - some stuff looks weird because of how I copied/pasted it from my Word doc). Thanks!
------------

[name]
[address/phone/email]

Emergency Medical Technician

Certified EMT-Basic seeking a position as an emergency medical technician or hospital emergency department technician. Former software developer changing careers, with strong problem-solving, written and oral communication, and teamwork skills.

Skills

  • Patient assessment and vitals
  • CPR and AED
  • Airway management
  • Oxygen administration
  • Assisted ventilation
  • Spinal immobilization
  • Joint immobilization
  • Splinting and bleeding control
  • Emergency childbirth
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Medical terminology
  • Incident triage
Education and Certifications

  • NREMT-B certified [note: once I'm actually certified in CA, I'll list that here! I'm waiting for my application to process]​
  • [redacted college] - Certificate of Proficiency in Emergency Medical Technician I, awarded May 2019​
    • 146 hours of didactic and skills instruction, 24 hours clinical experience​
  • [redacted college] - Coursework completed in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and general chemistry. Coursework in statistics, nutrition, and psychology in progress.​
  • BLS Provider (American Heart Association)​
  • BA, computer science major/math minor, [redacted college], 2001​
Recent Experience

  • [volunteer community health worker job] - January 2019-present​
  • Computer science teacher, [redacted summer program] - 2018​
  • Teaching assistant and substitute teacher, [redacted school] - 2018​
  • [volunteer social service job] - 2017-present​
  • [volunteer tutoring job] - 2017-2018
  • Software developer, [big tech company], 2015-2017 - Built software systems to ensure reliability and handled urgent incidents during on-call shifts.​
 

VentMonkey

Ajaw
Premium Member
4,550
3,642
113
@mgr22...

You’re waymegasuperoverqualified to be an EMT-B. Curious to know what your endgame is.

Seriously, not a knock. Are you looking to go paramedic? Hopefully more (?). Either way, GL.
 

average

Forum Ride Along
6
2
3
@mgr22...

You’re waymegasuperoverqualified to be an EMT-B. Curious to know what your endgame is.

Seriously, not a knock. Are you looking to go paramedic? Hopefully more (?). Either way, GL.
My endgame is to become a nurse practitioner. But, nursing schools don't seem to like people with no health care experience applying. So the double bind I'm in is that if I apply for entry-level health care jobs, I seem overqualified, but if I apply to nursing school without working first, they're going to think I'm underqualified. (And even if that's not true, there's at least a year before I can start nursing school and I need to make money so I can eat, and since there's no way I'm going back to what I used to do, it might as well be something that will get me some health care experience.)
 

mgr22

Forum Asst. Chief
957
313
63
Average, I think you're asking the right questions about your resume. Although you have exceptional business experience, the stuff you've written about being an EMT is pretty unexceptional. That's not a knock on you; I'm just comparing your EMS skills and experience to other EMTs. I realize you're trying to produce a professional resume, but I think it comes across as pretentious and a force fit.

I was in a position similar to yours, and found most EMS agencies I dealt with for entry-level positions didn't care much about my business experience outside EMS. Some gave me credit for having a degree, but my personal connections and face-to-face interviews with decision makers had much more of an impact than my resume. Plus, it was pretty easy to get a job as an EMT just by showing up.

If you can't skip the resume completely, I'd go all in on your degrees and most impressive non-EMS jobs, with just a brief mention of your EMT experience. It probably won't matter, but maybe you'll run into an employer who worked outside of EMS. Keep the resume to one page and try not to scare the interviewers with your life experience or smarts. And come up with some good reasons to be an EMT besides the path to NP.
 

Remi

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
3,767
2,391
113
I’m no resume guru, but the whole point of one is to communicate your work experience and qualifications. Also, anyone potentially hiring you as an EMT is well aware of what skills an EMT possesses.

With those things in mind, I would leave out all the bullet points about your EMT skills and use that space to list more about your previous employment.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,710
1,121
113
I would change to this:
------------

[name]
[address/phone/email]

Objective

Seeking to transition from a career in software development to a position as within Emergency Medical Services as an entry route to a career in healthcare. Extensive experience in problem-solving, written and oral communication, and teamwork skills.

Skills (remove this entire skills section, it won't help you at all)
Education
  • NREMT-B certified [note: once I'm actually certified in CA, I'll list that here! I'm waiting for my application to process]​
  • [redacted college] - Certificate of Proficiency in Emergency Medical Technician I, awarded May 2019
  • [redacted college], BA, computer science major/math minor
  • [redacted college] - Coursework completed in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and general chemistry. Coursework in statistics, nutrition, and psychology in progress.​
  • BLS Provider (American Heart Association)​
Recent Experience

  • [volunteer community health worker job] - January 2019-present​
  • Computer science teacher, [redacted summer program] - 2018​
  • Teaching assistant and substitute teacher, [redacted school] - 2018​
  • [volunteer social service job] - 2017-present​
  • [volunteer tutoring job] - 2017-2018
  • Software developer, [big tech company], 2015-2017 - Built software systems to ensure reliability and handled urgent incidents during on-call shifts.​
  • List more jobs going back about 10 years​
Normally I would say get rid of the objective, however when doing a career change, you need to have something to justify why the reader should look at a software engineer for an EMT position (I've gone through the same issues). You should also write a cover letter, because you are changing careers (one of the few times I recommend a cover letter)

You have no EMS experience, so your education is what will get you a job. You can also focus on your overall work experience, and show how those skills and experiences can carry over to EMS. Expand on your duties at your previous jobs.

You should write two resumes: one for EMS, and the other for a hospital based position. for EMS, do what I said above. for a hospital based one, tailor it to the hospital, and stress your goal is nursing school and NP, you are currently applying to nursing school and completing the prereqs, etc. They will be similar, but some EMS agencies don't want to look at a new guy who is just going to use them as a stepping stone, while most hospitals will look positively on a future nurse who wants to work for them.

Remember, there are 50 applicants for every EMT position. What is going to make a hiring manager look at your resume and think you would be in the top 10% of applicants that he or she wants to interview for the position? What sets you apart?
 

medichopeful

Flight nurse, ground paramedic
1,797
184
63
You're definitely way-overqualified to work as an EMT and shouldn't have much difficulty finding a job. That being said, I'd consider doing the following:

-Take out the "skills" section under "EMT," and I would remove the bolded "Emergency Medical Technician" and replace that with "Background". The company that you are applying to will know what the skills are that you have. After your name, list B.A., EMT-B at the top.
-For your "Education" section, I would simply write your graduation date of your BA, the current school that you are enrolled at ("currently enrolled in health-associated classes" should work fine), and graduation date of your EMT class (or your certification date).
-After education, I would put your past work experience. List the software developer and the teaching experience. Put 2-3 bullets underneath each one and write in skills you obtained or things you were responsible for that would translate to EMS (for example, "Ensured system reliability and managed urgent, time-critical incidents")
-I would make another complete section for "Certifications and Licenses." List your EMT/NREMT/driver's license, and put the license number for each. Also list all of the other relevant certifications that you have (CPR, PHTLS, etc). Just write "current" next to all of them, don't list individual expiration dates.
-Finish up with a section of "Other Experiences and Awards." List your volunteer experience and awards you've been given (if any), with dates.

The sections should look something like this:
Name, etc.

Background
Education
Work Experience
Certification and Licenses
Other Experiences and Awards

The information is there, but health-care resumes can be a little bit funky.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions about nursing as @VentMonkey said, feel free to ask!
 

RocketMedic

King of the Improbable
4,312
1,153
113
There’s nothing wrong with going heavy on prior roles and experience, especially when you’re justifying a career change. I would go heavy on laying out prior jobs and roles. “Successfully managed a multi-year IT project” is way more impressive than finishing EMT.
 

rescue1

Forum Asst. Chief
573
124
43
My endgame is to become a nurse practitioner. But, nursing schools don't seem to like people with no health care experience applying. So the double bind I'm in is that if I apply for entry-level health care jobs, I seem overqualified, but if I apply to nursing school without working first, they're going to think I'm underqualified. (And even if that's not true, there's at least a year before I can start nursing school and I need to make money so I can eat, and since there's no way I'm going back to what I used to do, it might as well be something that will get me some health care experience.)
My girlfriend got into several accelerated BSN programs with exactly 0 clinical experience, if that helps at all. She did energy consulting beforehand. No one even brought it up. I'm not saying don't apply for an EMT job, but I am saying don't sell yourself too short
(this was in NYC, so I assume a similarly competitive environment to California, but I don't really know if there's a difference).
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
2,238
790
113
NP/RN/PA:
Certainly healthcare experience is nice for nursing. But most schools don't demand or expect. Most of my classmates had no experience.

Look at accelerated BSN programs.

But also, look at PA programs since you want to be a prescribing practitioner and you aren't in the nursing pipeline yet.

Resume:

Get rid of those skills bullet points on your resume. Those aren't really skills you have, just the most basic competencies and your potential employer knows what EMT training covers.

The skills you want to convince them of is that you are
a team player that
people want to spend 12-24 hours at a time working with in close quarters,
you are a quick learner,
both a patient advocate and customer service oriented,
calm under pressure but pleasant in boredom, and
willing to do whatever menial or s**t duty is required of you without attitude.

As a new RN, you'd want to present a similar picture.

Your computer skills will be valued, though not at the dev level.
 

average

Forum Ride Along
6
2
3
Thanks for the replies, everybody! It's very helpful to have outside perspectives on my (draft) resume.

I will definitely remove the "skills" section. I was following a template I saw online, and it seemed wrong to me but I felt like I needed to fill space. It sounds like a better use of space would be to talk a little more about my previous experience, even if the connection with EMS is loose.

@mgr22 I wish I could skip the resume completely, but in my geographic area, every company or hospital hiring EMTs seems to have an online application system that asks you to upload a resume as the first step. Doesn't make sense to me, since I imagine many other people applying for these jobs are people who just graduated from high school and have an EMT cert but not much else. But that's how it is.
 
Top