1. Resume Examples
  2. Surgical Tech
Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

Surgical Tech resume example & writing guide

Steady hands and quick responses are key tools of your trade. How do you bring those to the forefront in your surgical tech resume? Our guide, along with the adaptable example below, will give you the hacks you need to make it happen.
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Surgical Tech resume example & writing guide
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When the surgical team enters the operating room, they need to know the setup is perfect, the instruments are in place, the equipment works perfectly and everything is sterile. That’s where you come in. As a surgical tech, you are charged with this huge responsibility and more.

Before you have the opportunity to enter an operating room, you need to prove yourself in a surgical tech resume that entices hospital HR to offer you an interview. As experts in the field of the job hunt, you can rely on the advice you will find at Resume.io. Along with this comes a bank of resume guides and resume examples for 350+ professions, plus a resume builder that incorporates AI. 

This resume guide is geared toward your career and includes a surgical tech resume example. Within, you will find information and ideas on:

  • What does a surgical tech do?
  • Hacks for writing a noteworthy surgical tech resume
  • The best format for a surgical tech resume
  • How to make the most of your summary, work history, skills and education sections
  • Professional resume layout and design hints
Expert tip

If you want more general advice on resume writing, look no farther than our comprehensive guide.

What does a surgical tech do?

Surgical techs are charged with ensuring the sterility of all instruments and equipment in an operating room, outpatient procedure room or doctor’s office. They must check that the OR is set up the way the operating team specifies and that all the equipment is in tiptop shape as well. 

But surgical techs are not just responsible for things, they also prepare the patient for surgery and assist during procedures. They may bring the patient to the operating room, cover them with sterile drapes and clean the incision site. During the operation, surgical technologists may hand instruments and supplies to the doctor and even hold organs or retractors in place. After the procedure, they may dress the wound.

Expert tip

More than a surgical tech

When you hit the web to start hunting for the perfect job, you need to search for more than “surgical tech jobs.” People in your career are also called:

  • Surgical technologists
  • Surgical assistants
  • Scrub techs
  • Operating room technicians

Try these keywords or variants of them to get the broadest possible range of potential employers to send your surgical technologist resume.

Surgical tech job market and outlook

During the pandemic and for a short time after, the demand for surgical techs boomed. While this is no longer the case, the growth rate for jobs in this profession is still expected to be a healthy 5% for the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8,600 open positions a year within that timespan.

If you’re a surgical technologist looking for high wages, head to Northern California, where you’re likely to earn upwards of $85,000. California is second in the nation in average salary at $72,860, topped only by Alaska at $73,960. Rounding out the top 5 are Connecticut, $71,430; Nevada, $69,300; and Washington, $66,590. 

Surgical technologists held about 109.200 jobs in 2022
Surgical technologists held about 109.200 jobs in 2022

How to write a surgical tech resume

Surgical techs understand the importance of structure and procedure so it should come as no surprise that a surgical technologist resume also follows a structure in that it requires certain sections. Your resume 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

The best surgical tech resume samples understand that these elements are merely a framework for your individualized content. Not only should your application document be different from thos of other candidates, but each of your job applications should contain a personalized surgical tech resume aimed specifically at your desired employer. This will also help you pass through the gatekeeping Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Choosing the best resume format for a surgical tech resume

The goal of any job application is to offer a recruiter the best case for employment. You want a format that makes it easy for those judging your candidacy to see the path of your career growth. That’s why the best surgical tech resume examples use reverse chronological order.

In this structure, your most recent position comes first in your employment history section, followed in reverse order by previous work. Under some circumstances, such as a career change or gap in employment, you may use an alternate format.

Resume summary example 

The summary section gives you the best opportunity (aside from your cover letter) to highlight your greatest surgical tech resume skills and professional style. Within these four lines, you can inject answers to a few of the interview questions you are likely to encounter.

How do you work with nervous patients? What process do you use to keep your ORs sterile and efficient? How would you describe your working relationships with the surgical team? Why are you interested in this hospital? Answer at least one of these along with pointing out what differentiates you from other surgical technicians to develop an excellent summary.

Adaptable summary resume sample

Highly skilled, energetic and conscientious Surgical Technologist with more than three years of experience in efficiently supporting surgeons with surgical procedures. Adept at leveraging innovative technologies to enhance surgical precision and patient care. 

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Employment history sample

Any excellent surgical tech resume example will do more than list responsibilities in the employment history section. It will turn each bullet item into successful action or interaction with patients or colleagues that demonstrates what you will add to the surgical team.

Insert keywords and phrases from the job listing to boost your chances of beating the ATS, but don’t force it. Your language should sound natural.

Adaptable employment history resume example

Surgical Technologist at St. David's HealthCare, Austin 
July 2017 - Present 

  • Utilize cutting-edge technology to facilitate complex surgical procedures.
  • Clean, maintain and organize operating room equipment to ensure proper functionality.
  • Engage in collaborative teamwork to foster a harmonious and efficient surgical environment.
  • Took initiative in adopting green practices to reduce waste in the surgical setting.

 

Intern at Ascension Seton, Austin, TX 
January 2017 - May 2017 

  • Engaged deeply with mentorship provided, absorbing a vast array of surgical techniques and best practices.
  • Worked under supervision of a surgeon to ensure a safe, efficient and well-organized operating room environment.
  • Initiated a project to optimize the layout of surgical trays, reducing setup time for procedures.
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CV skills example

Your surgical tech resume skills section distills your highest level attributes into a simple list that a recruiter can scan in a moment. Once again, look to the job listing to discover what your employer needs and aim your skills section toward those hard and soft skills.

In addition to your hard skills such as your knowledge of anatomy, safety, and medical terminology, equipment, and instruments, you must also be an excellent communicator, team player who can follow directions, and have grace under pressure. Compassion for patients is also a big plus.

Adaptable skills section resume example
  • Medical Terminology
  • Sterile Technique
  • Instrument Knowledge
  • Pre-operative Preparation
  • Equipment Sterilization
  • Certified in CPR/BLS
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Wound Dressing
  • Human Anatomy
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Surgical tech resume education example

Surgical tech do not need a college education, however, a high school diploma and a certification program from a community college, vocational school, university, hospital, or the military are required. All resumes for surgical technologists will list these degrees in the education section. 

If you have earned any honors or professional awards, you may list them here or create an Accolades section.

Adaptable education resume example

Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology, Austin Community College, Austin, TX 
August 2015 - May 2017 


Certified Surgical Technologist (CST), National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), Austin, TX 
June 2017 - June 2017

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Resume layout and design

While content is king, the look of your surgical tech resume will be the first visual impression a recruiter gets of you, so it needs to be as pristine as your operating rooms. A great starting point for your layout  is one of our expertly-designed resume templates. 

Keep these pointers in mind as you personalize:

  • Use very little, if any, color
  • Make sure your headers and contact information stand out
  • Avoid cramming too much text on the page by maintaining margins of one-half to one inch all around
  • Proofread carefully! Attention to detail is a requirement in your job, so any little error can doom your chances.

Key takeaways for a surgical tech resume

  1. Surgical techs must demonstrate expertise in operating room procedure and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
  2. Most surgical tech resumes use the reverse chronological order format and yours should, too, unless your career path has not been linear.
  3. An outstanding surgical technician resume includes a summary that shows off your professional personality and answers a probable interview question.
  4. Avoid formatting errors with a resume template and proofread to eliminate errors.
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