The past few years have been tough ones for first responders. EMTs, or emergency medical technicians, managed the stress and danger of the pandemic, while performing valiantly to save lives and protect themselves and others. Whether you’re ready to move forward in your career or you were inspired to get certified by watching others, it’s time to create an EMT resume that has recruiters taking notice.
Before you start, you may find the resources at Resume.io helpful. We offer resume examples and an easy-to-use resume builder along with this guide, and the EMT resume example. Here, we will cover the following topics:
- What does an EMT do?
- How to go about writing an EMT resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for an EMT resume
- Maximizing each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints
What does an EMT do?
EMTs are first responders who provide emergency medical care to injured and critically ill patients wherever their distress occurs. They assess and stabilize patients and then transport them to the hospital in an ambulance.
While caring for patients is their priority, they must also monitor inventory of medical supplies and communicate well with hospital staff, patients, and their loved ones at the scene. This requires compassion and the ability to listen to people under duress.
EMTs also must be excellent drivers because they need to navigate quickly, but safely, to the scenes of emergencies.
EMTs earned a median salary of $36,930 a year, or $17.76 per hour. The number of EMTs needed in the next decade is expected to grow by 20,000 or a 7 percent increase, which is about average for all professions.
How to write an EMT resume
Working as an emergency medical technician may be very different from other professions, but that doesn’t mean your EMT resume should be. In fact, your CV should contain the following elements common to most resumes:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Understand the ATS
It’s likely you will be applying for your EMT position through an Applicant Tracking System. You may consider it the triage within the HR department’s employee search. To make it to the next step, your EMT resume needs to address the skills and qualities mentioned in the job listing. Of course, you need to do that anyway, but the ATS makes this step imperative, since it will screen out resumes that don’t include all-important keywords and phrases pegged to the job.
Choosing the best resume format for an EMT
The goal of your EMT resume is to make it as easy as possible for recruiters to see that you are an excellent candidate. That means sticking with the tried-and-true reverse chronological order format unless you have a compelling reason not to.
This style mostly affects your employment history section, which will begin with your most recent job and work backwards.
You may have reason to veer from this format if you are looking for your first EMT position, you have changed careers, or you have a large gap in your employment history. In those instances, consider one of the alternative formats we detail here.
Your resume header serves two important purposes: it calls visual attention to your EMT resume and it clearly states your name and contact information so recruiters can quickly get to you to schedule your interview.
Make sure you have a professional email and list only social media accounts relevant to your job search.
Align document styles
To present a cohesive application package, coordinate your EMT resume header with the header of your cover letter. That means using the same or similar fonts and color profiles as well as design. For example, if your resume header sits in a vertical column to the left of your content, the header of your cover letter should do the same.
Resume summary example
The summary paragraph of your EMT resume is the best place to show off your calm and compassion. This paragraph also serves as a personal introduction to your career and accomplishments. While the rest of your application document will be bulleted lists, here you can reveal your voice.
Start by introducing your greatest career achievement using strong descriptive words. This is also an opportunity to explain why you chose this career and why you are so keen on the particular position.
EMTs are often called to tense, dangerous, or emotional situations. Try to express the style you employ to ease the stress for everyone involved while acting quickly and professionally to assist the person in need and their loved ones.
Highly certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with solid background of success in emergency services. Proven experience working with well-oiled teams in rapid responses to fire and medical emergencies. Highly capable and experienced at working in fast-paced, hazardous environments, and remaining on call on a 24/7 basis.
If you’re having trouble finding inspiration for your summary (since it’s the most free-form writing section on your resume), you can find additional writing material in our related resumes:
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Employment history sample
Unless you are entering the job market for the first time, the employment history section of your EMT resume will take up the bulk of your document. Start with your most recent position and use strong action words to detail your accomplishments.
Review the job ad to make sure you are choosing examples that show off your expertise in the areas important to your future employer. Offer hard facts and data when appropriate.
“Responded to 100+ 911 calls for emergencies including cardiac arrest, gunshot wounds, and COVID-related respiratory distress.”
Begin each item with a strong action word that describes your style and avoid the over-used “responsible for,” “helped,” or “aided” if at all possible. Try, instead, “diagnosed,” “communicated,” or “performed.”
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at Boston Fire Department, Boston, MA
July 2019 - Present
- Perform various emergency-response and fire-suppression services.
- Operate and maintain emergency response equipment and vehicles.
- Maintain detailed reports of ambulance calls and patient data for billing and invoicing.
- Interact calmly and efficiently with injured and uninjured parties at emergency scenes.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) / Paramedic at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
April 2015 - July 2019
- Operated emergency vehicles in responding to emergency calls.
- Worked closely with team members to arrive at scenes quickly, safely and fully prepared.
- Utilized and maintained a variety of medical equipment.
- Performed basic-to-advanced life support and CPR.
- Participate in public relations activities, including emergency preparedness and fire prevention programs.
Writing an EMT resume for your first job
If you’ve just become certified as an EMT, congratulations! Of course, you will not have an extensive employment history section, but you can have an excellent resume nonetheless. Put the emphasis on your education and certifications by moving those sections (if you chose to create two) above your work history.
Beef up your skills section with qualities such as reliability, time management, and calm underpressure that you can demonstrate with any other job you have had. Volunteer work, sports team memberships, and club activities taught you valuable skills as well, so feel free to mention them.
CV skills example
What are the standout abilities and traits that make you excellent at your job? These compose the skills section of your EMT resume. The key here is finding the right balance between your medical and technical knowledge - or hard skills - and your interpersonal communication - or soft skills.
You may want to list all the medical equipment you use, and you should list specific equipment here or in your employment history section especially if it is mentioned in the job ad, but don’t underplay your soft skills. While many people can learn CPR, understanding how to talk to a distraught spouse is a lot tougher.
Match what you consider your key assets with the job listing to give you the best chances of beating the ATS.
Here are a few ideas for getting specific with the soft skills that may differentiate you from other candidates:
- Problem-solving. The crux of your job is figuring out the problem and taking the first steps to following it.
- Teamwork. You are a member of a medical team as well as having a partner and you need to both express the issues accurately and listen careful so that you can execute the orders of physicians
- Situational awareness. You must be able to assess the entire scene of the emergency while focusing on the patient’s needs
- Ability to Multitask
- Ability to Work in a Team
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- First Aid & CPR
- Fire Protection Systems
- Emergency Response
- Emergency Equipment
- Incident Response
- Risk Assessment
- Emergency Preparedness
EMT resume education example
Training for an EMT is of the utmost importance. Most states accept the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification course. You must also be CPR certified. These qualifications should be listed in the education section of your EMT resume. Alternatively, you may call this section “Certifications.”
A high school diploma is a must for this career, so include your secondary school information or your GED as well. A college degree is not a requirement, but if you have one you should definitely list it here.
The requirements for education, certification, and the different levels of paramedicine differ by state, so be sure to check the regulations in the location in which you want to work.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate, Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA
December 2014 - February 2015
Resume layout and design
The layout of your EMT resume is almost as important as what you have to say. That’s because first impressions are lasting. If you showed up at an emergency in a dirty ambulance looking nervous or unkempt, you would not instill confidence.
The design of your resume needs to tell employers that you are professional and organized, but calm. For that reason, stay away from busy resume designs. Go with cool, relaxing colors and subtle design elements.
Here are some tips to help get you there. You can also choose from one of our expertly-designed resume templates. These templates have coordinating cover letter options as well.
- Use fonts that are easy to read and limit yourself to two – one for section headings and one for the text.
- Leave margins of at least one-half inch all the way around.
- Keep color to a minimum.
- Avoid typos and other errors that may eliminate you from the running by carefully proofreading and using a resume builder that incorporates spellcheck.
Key takeaways for an EMT resume
- Pandemic pressure has eased and you’re ready for a new challenge. You need an excellent EMT resume to go with it.
- Use your summary to highlight both your accomplishments and your personality. This is the place to explain how you reassure patients and their loved ones while coping with stressful emergency situations.
- Put your people skills in the forefront – all EMTs have CPR training, but not all can be calm in the midst of chaos.
- Keep your layout clean and professional – project the image you want your prospective employer to see.