Caregivers are one of America’s biggest labor forces – more than 1 in 6 adults report taking care of an elderly or disabled family member. While many of these positions are unpaid, or informal caregiving roles, more than 3 million Americans are employed as paid caregivers in nursing homes, adult day services programs and directly in clients homes.
Caregivers take on a wide variety of tasks for their clients – everything from grocery shopping and meal preparation to transportation and basic medical procedures. This is an excellent time to enter such a rapidly growing industry, so how do you craft a resume to boost yourself to the top of the application pool? Resume.io's 350+ resume examples and writing guides are here to help.
This resume guide, along with the corresponding resume example will cover the following topics:
- What does a caretaker do?
- How to write a caretaker resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a caretaker resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints
Caregivers are also known as health or personal care aides, and the employment opportunities in this field are growing at an astonishing rate – 36 percent over the coming decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What does a caregiver do?
Given the high cost of nursing home care, many families look for caregivers who can make elderly, ill and disabled family members comfortable in their own homes. Just over half of care workers are employed in these types of services handling daily cooking, cleaning, transportation and medical tasks. Many others work in assisted living communities, nursing homes, hospice care and facilities for adults with disabilities. In such facilities, caregivers move, bathe and change patients, clean up after meals and messes, and help patients take their medication or follow routines. They also spend time getting to know patients and encouraging them to lead social and fulfilling lives.
How to write a caregiver resume
The very first step in writing your caregiver resume is understanding what sections to include. Your CV should contain the following elements:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
When writing your resume, it’s important to address the ways in which you are equipped for both the rewards and challenges of caregiving. In this position, you will have the chance to connect with people from a variety of backgrounds and to be a friend and confidant to people with less mobility, but you must also deal with unruly and sick patients and have stamina for long days and heavy lifting. Because of the challenging nature of this work, the turnover rate in assisted care facilities is very high. This costs the facility a lot of time and money in the training and replacement process. While the high turnover rate is a pain for employers, it also means that they’re waiting for your polished resume to land on their desk. So how do you make that happen? Let’s dive into the details.
Choosing the best resume format for a caretaker
Caregivers have a few options when it comes to choosing the best resume format. For candidates with some experience, the traditional reverse chronological resume format is likely the best choice. This format features an employment history section where your work experience is listed starting with the most recent position and working backwards through all relevant experience of the past ten years.
If you're just getting started as a caretaker or have informal experience caring for friends and relatives, you may consider one of the alternative resume structures we suggest such as the functional or hybrid formats. These options place the emphasis on your skills instead of your employment history section.
Resume summary example
Your profile summary should convey the warmth and charm that makes you a good candidate to nurture and care for others. While these personality traits are important, the summary also includes a small dose of your experience, education and skills. Take a minute to brainstorm how you stand out as a caregiver. Maybe it’s many years of experience or maybe you are licensed in the medical field. Maybe you’re extremely well-liked and requested by patients because of your ability to comfort people. Maybe you’ve even won an award for your work. Whatever your standout quality, use it as a strong start to your profile summary. Find an adaptable summary from our resume example below.
Compassionate caregiver with 5 years of experience working in private homes and assisted living. Able to cook, clean and transport patients, and perform light medical tasks. Awarded Hartford County’s Helper of the Year for service to disabled patients.
Employment history sample
When applying to a more organized caregiving role, in a nursing home or assisted living facility for example, your employment history section shows that you have the experience to do the job. If you have at least three caretaking roles of 6 months or longer, you can leave off any positions that don’t highlight the right skill set or were so short that they might prompt your future employer to inquire why the job didn’t work out.
If you’ve never worked as a caregiver before, then three service-related positions will be your best bet. Just make sure to highlight how the skills you used in those jobs transfer to caregiving. It’s also important to tailor your resume for the type of caregiving you’ll be doing. If you’re working in a nursing home, you can reasonably assume you won’t be doing day-to-day grocery shopping or vacuuming floors. But these tasks are likely to be essential when you’re working with just one client in a private household. Then, make sure to highlight in your experience any relevant tasks mentioned in the job description. Check out our resume sample below.
- Aided patients with bathing, dressing and personal hygiene tasks
- Completed weekly grocery shopping and planned and cooked meals according to special dietary restrictions
- Developed educational activities and monitored playtime for 2 young adults with disabilities
- Played board games with elderly patients and encouraged them to pursue social lives
- Administered medicine every 3 hours and kept notes on patient progress
- Transported patient between home and doctor’s office 5 times weekly
CV skills example
Your skills are the foundation of your job as a caregiver. You’ll be expected to use them every day to keep patients comfortable and happy. Your CV skills section can be broken into two categories: hard skills and soft skills. Soft skills are your personality traits and innate qualities that make you a nurturing person – things like good decision-making, compassion, good communication skills and attention to detail. Your hard skills require training and knowledge of the particular field you’re working in. In this position you may be asked to perform light clinical tasks, housekeeping and/or the bathing, dressing and transportation of patients. Here's an adaptable resume example.
- Medical knowledge and light tasks including dressing wounds and administering medication
- Meal planning and preparation
- Cleaning and home organization
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Transporting patients to appointments
- Good judgement and decision making
Caregiver resume education example
Caregiving is a great entry-level position because it allows for full-time work and meaningful connection with others without requiring extensive education. In fact, most states don’t require official training or licensing for caregivers, especially those who work directly in client’s homes. Some nursing homes or assisted living programs do look for caregivers with some medical knowledge and training so that they can complete tasks like administering shots, changing bandages and monitoring medication.
Many community colleges offer state-approved non-degree nurse assisting degrees that may be a resume boost if you don’t yet have experience as a caregivers. We recommend listing one of these degrees with the year first, followed by the name of the school, degree program and location. Here's a resume example:
2010 – 2012: Chester Community College, Associate’s in Nurse Assisting, Montpelier, VT
Resume layout and design
All your experience, skills and education won’t amount to much if a hiring manager can’t make heads or tails of your resume layout. It’s important to put the proper amount of care and attention into the look and feel of your resume. One of the simplest but most important steps is proofreading and correcting your writing for grammatical or spelling errors. Another key component is your layout. For a caretaker position, you’ll want a clean and straightforward resume that conveys professionalism. It’s best to avoid color or flashy pictures and let your experience do the talking.
It’s important that your resume retains its formatting no matter where it’s displayed. A PDF is the tried-and-true file format for a resume that won’t change from computer to computer, and our professionally-designed resume templates makes it easy to download a PDF in just a few clicks.
Key takeaways for a caregiver resume
- As the population ages, the need for caregivers will boom. That means your job prospects should look great over the coming decade.
- Different caretaking situations have different needs so it’s important that your resume is structured to suit the demands of institutional work versus private clients.
- Related positions in childcare, education or customer service can be molded to meet the demands of a caretaking role.
- Check out our caregiver resume sample for more ideas on creating a great layout.