As an EMT or Paramedic, you’re used to being laser focused on getting a tough job done. You’ve got to triage and solve complex problems under immense pressure every single day. But fitting all of your experience and skills onto a resume is another challenge entirely.
With EMT and paramedic jobs growing at 7% a year, there are plenty of great career opportunities within the field. That said, despite the difficulty many hospitals and clinics are finding filling their roles, you still need a strong resume to get the job you want.
The good news is our top experts have put together this complete guide for you. It will take you through all the tips and tricks to creating the perfect EMT or paramedic resume. Here’s a short summary of everything you’ll learn:
- Examples to inspire you to take your resume to the next level
- How to get your resume past ATS scanners
- Tips on how to appeal to recruiters
- Everything you need to know about formatting your resume just right
- Which EMT or Paramedic skills make the difference and which you can leave off
- How to make a strong impression with your past achievements
- How to choose between a resume objective or summary and then how to write the perfect one
- What to include when listing your education and training
- Which certifications will make the difference
- How an EMT or paramedic resume can really stand out
Whether you’re looking at becoming an EMT or paramedic for the first time or have years of experience, we’ve got advice tailored for your needs. But for most of us, the first step to creating an effective resume is getting some inspiration from examples.
EMT and paramedic resume template examples
Below, you can find a few hand-picked examples of effective EMT and paramedic resumes. Try taking notes on what you like about them from the formatting, stylistic elements, and the way the experience is shown. Then, once you’re creating your own resume, you can refer back to your notes for ideas and inspiration.
How to write an eye-catching EMT or Paramedic resume
The first key to creating an EMT or paramedic resume that catches someone’s eye is knowing who that someone is. By starting with understanding your audience, you can tailor all of the content of your resume just for them. That’s the formula for a resume that gets you hired.
Knowing Your Audience
Ironically enough, the question isn’t so much “who reads your resume” as “what reads your resume.” At least that’s the case for most larger hospitals and healthcare providers hiring ETMs and paramedics. For larger organizations like this, the first step of screening incoming resumes is using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which scans your resume for keywords and then either discards it or passes it along to a human for review.
How to ATS optimize your resume
The first step to getting past ATS is knowing what they’re looking for. While every ATS is a little bit different, these are some key points that should work for all or nearly all of them.
- Start with an ATS-optimized resume format. If you send your resume as a .png file or something like that, most ATS scanners won’t be able to read it and your resume will go straight into the virtual trash can. Generally, .pdf or .doc file formats work best.
- Make sure you meet the requirements. One of the main roles of ATS is to scan resumes to quickly remove anyone who doesn’t meet minimum requirements. The best way to get past this is to make sure your resume clearly states that you have the required experience, certifications, etc.
- List your keywords! The other main function of ATS is to look at your skills and experience to work out how well you match the role. But even though most ATS use AI to intelligently scan your resume, they’re far from perfect. Things like wording can still throw them off, so it’s vital for you to phrase your skills the same way they’re worded in the job ad. This maximizes the likelihood that an ATS registers them and passes you along to a human recruiter.
Once your optimized resume has made it past that initial ATS hurdle, it’s time to meet the recruiter.
How to write a resume recruiters will love
The biggest thing to remember about recruiters is that they are, well, human. They generally have limited time to look over a large pile of resumes. So, imagine you’re in their shoes and you can imagine what kind of resume they appreciate.
Your resume should be clear. Needing to re-read a sentence because they didn’t understand it the first time is a sure-fire way to get a recruiter annoyed. Having a fellow EMT or paramedic review your resume is a good way to check for these kinds of issues.
As mentioned, your resume should have keywords that reflect the job ad. This makes it extremely easy for a recruiter to see that you’ve got all of the relevant EMT or paramedic skills they need you to have.
The design of your resume should also be aesthetically pleasing but not distracting. Looking at a well-designed resume is a nice break for their eyes after reading the 100th plain .doc file. But going too far and sending a resume with over-the-top design elements (think, little ambulances or something) will send the wrong message.
Otherwise, optimizing for keywords to suit ATS will also help recruiters do their job. Lastly, follow all of the recommendations below and you’ll have a resume recruiters will appreciate.
How your resume should be formatted
Formatting is crucial. The wrong format can confuse ATS and annoy a recruiter. So, it’s essential to get it just right. Fortunately, we at ResumeBuild make it easy. Here’s what you need to know:
Make your resume reverse chronological
This is a basic thing that a surprising number of EMT and paramedic resumes forget to do. Your most recent work experience needs to be at the top. This is because that recruiter is always going to be more interested in the last job you had. So, putting the most relevant information up at the top helps them analyze your resume more easily.
Put the most important information at the top and to the left
Unless you’re working in a place where an alphabet like Arabic is used, most people’s brains have been trained to refer to the top left of a document for the most important information. So, the top line of your resume is your most valuable real estate. For example, if there’s a single critical certification you need, make sure it’s mentioned there.
How long should your EMT or Paramedic Resume be?
This is also largely about the recruiter. They don’t want to have to spend 15 minutes reading through pages of your resume. That’s why a shorter resume is usually going to be more effective. I say usually because if you have 2 pages of well written, extremely relevant information then a recruiter probably won’t mind reading it.
But for most EMTs and paramedics, a single page is going to work perfectly. But even a single page resume can have bad information on it. So, be sure to work hard to ensure everything on your resume adds value or conveys important information. Any information on your resume that doesn’t make it better is making your resume worse.
Remember, a happy recruiter who found your resume easy to read is more likely to hire you. Everything you do to your resume should be focused on making it as easy as possible for them to say “yes” to you.
What skill to mention and how to do it correctly
The skills section of an EMTor paramedic resume is deceptively simple. It may seem obvious but getting the skills just right is actually critical to making it past ATS scanners and recruiters alike.
Top hard skills to include on an EMT or paramedic resume
Any EMT or paramedic job is going to require some very specific hard skills. If you don’t have the right abilities to handle the tasks you’ll regularly be required to perform under intense pressure, you’re simply not going to get the job. Here are some common hard skills that jobs require:
- Vehicle maintenance
- Class C Driver’s License
- Incident Command System (ICS)
- Intubation and Infusion
- Patient Stabilization
- Prehospital & Advanced Life Support (ALS)
- CPR and AED
If you don’t have some of the hard skills job ads are asking for, consider enrolling in courses to obtain them.
Top soft skills to include on an EMT or paramedic resume
A huge part of being a great EMT or paramedic also comes down to hard skills. You need to find ways to demonstrate that you won’t buckle under pressure or forget something critical in an intense moment. Here are some of the soft skills that will stand out:
- Working well under pressure
- Attention to detail
- Customer service
- Problem solving
How to make your skills more effective
The problem here is that anyone can say that they work well under pressure or that they have great attention to detail. The challenge is finding ways to actually demonstrate those critical EMT and paramedic skills on your resume.
Your best bet is to include examples. This could be in your skills section, in your achievements section, or under a specific job. Including stories about times when you demonstrated job-critical skills (even if those stories were outside of the workplace) will make you a more memorable candidate and leave a recruiter more confident that you’ve got the skills it takes to be a great EMT or paramedic.
How to effectively highlight your achievements
This is probably the most underrated and underused resume section for EMTs and paramedics. Your achievements section is the place where you can really shine. It’s where you can tell impactful stories about instances when you demonstrated the skills needed to be an excellent EMT or paramedic, even if off the job.
For example, if there was a natural disaster in your area while you were in high school and you volunteered to help, that’s a great achievement to mention even though it may have been a long time ago and wasn’t a job. Stories like this back up the skills you mentioned elsewhere and create a greater sense of you as a person and not just a list of experience on a screen.
How to talk about on the job achievements
If you achieved something as a part of a specific job, it’s best to mention it there and not in a dedicated achievements section. For those cases, your best bet is to be specific. For example, listing things like:
- Effectively cared for patients
- Fulfilled all of the job requirements
- Communicated well with co-workers
These “achievements” are either so vague that they’re meaningless or tell the recruiter that you did the bare minimum. In either case, you’d be better off not writing anything. Instead, focus on achievements that are specific and demonstrate you have the qualities they’re looking for. Contrast those examples with these:
- Attended supplemental training courses to improve my airway management and safe ambulance driving skills
- Volunteered to assist in hazardous rescue operations following Hurricane Sandy
These achievements show dedication and a drive to go beyond the bare minimum. Achievements like this will leave a strong impression on recruiters.
Choosing between a resume objective and summary
The difference is that a resume objective is shorter and more direct. If you already have ample EMT or paramedic experience and there’s no part of your resume that requires more explanation (like a gap in your work history) this is best.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to get hired as an EMT or paramedic for the first time or need to explain some aspect of your resume in greater detail, a summary is best. Resume summaries are a few sentences and give background and context to what follows. See the examples below to get a better feel for the difference and decide which is right for you.
How to write a resume objective with examples
Your objective should be short and to the point. As an EMT or paramedic you’ll be expected to communicate clearly and concisely. So your resume should demonstrate that kind of communication and an objective is the perfect place to do just that.
A great EMT or paramedic resume objective
“NRP certified EMT with 4 years experience at a rural hospital answering an average of 30+ calls per week.”
This example is specific and quickly gives a recruiter an impression of who you are and what kind of experience you have. It’s an example of just the kind of communication you’ll be expected to use on the job.
A poor EMT or paramedic resume objective
“Certified paramedic with lots of experience effectively caring for patients in high-pressure situations.”
The problem with this objective is that it doesn’t tell a recruiter anything valuable. It says you’re certified, but the reader has no idea what certification you’re talking about. It says you have “lots” of experience but what does that mean? Being vague like this in an objective just wastes a recruiter’s time and makes your resume less effective.
How to write a resume summary with examples
If your resume needs more explanation or background on why you’re applying for this EMT or paramedic job, a summary is the way to go.
A great EMT or paramedic resume summary
“Volunteer firefighter with 3 years experience looking to apply on-the-job medical training and high-pressure experience to become a paramedic. Inspired by working alongside paramedics to treat fire victims. Currently obtaining NRP certification.”
This summary is clear about why you want to become a paramedic, how your previous experience has prepared you for it, and is honest about your certification status. It succinctly gives all the vital information a reader needs to quickly determine who you are. It also makes you a more memorable candidate by attaching a story to your resume.
A poor EMT or paramedic resume summary
“Passionate about medicine and looking to begin a career as an EMT. I believe my interest in serving patients and learning about the best treatments will make me an excellent EMT. I’m also compassionate and great with people.”
This summary boils down to “I’m great, hire me.” It doesn’t give the recruiter any useful information that would help them understand you as a candidate. Instead, it’s full of vague statements.
How to list education, training, certifications and licenses as an EMT or Paramedic
This is one of the most critical resume sections for an EMT or paramedic. Even if they don’t grant a certification, additional training courses are an important way to back up your skills. Or, if you’re changing careers this can be a place where you demonstrate that you’re serious and self-motivated enough to pursue relevant training.
The specific certifications you’ll want to include will vary by state. There are some national certifications for EMTs and paramedics like NIMS but you’ll want to tailor your certifications to the place you want to work.
That said, the more areas where you have specific certifications or licenses the better. This is the best way to really show that the hard skills you listed in your resume are backed up by more than just your word.
Should you list hobbies or other non-work interests?
There’s no perfect answer here. Some hobbies like repairing old cars are actually relevant as they show you have experience that could help maintain ambulances. Other hobbies like quilting or cooking might not be as relevant. Look at your resume as a whole, put yourself in a recruiter’s shoes, and ask yourself whether that hobby or interest improves your resume.
Sometimes this comes down to framing. For example, quilting could show excellent dexterity and cooking can demonstrate an ability to work well under pressure. Framing this experience to show how it’s related to EMT or paramedic work can make it relevant and effective.
How to write an EMT or paramedic resume when you have limited or no experience
This is tricky because EMT and paramedic jobs generally have very specific criteria. You either have the license or certification legally required for the job or you don’t. That said, there are ways you can make yourself stand out with little or no experience.
One is to frame your reasons for becoming an EMT or paramedic. In the summary example above, you can see how one candidate showed that they were inspired to become a paramedic and how despite not having worked as one before, they had very relevant experience as a volunteer firefighter.
Showing that you’re actively pursuing relevant education and certifications is another way to show that despite not having much experience, you’re making up for it with self-motivation. Overall though, just be honest about where you are and what your goals are. Trying to pretend you have more experience than you really do isn’t going to make a strong impression.
How to make your resume stand out
To summarize the advice given throughout this guide, standing out comes down to framing. By being clear and specific about your achievements, experience, and goals, a recruiter will see your resume as refreshingly straightforward. This kind of clarity makes it easy to say “yes” without spending time trying to understand what experience you really have or how something you wrote should be interpreted.
The other main way to stand out is with design. Your resume design should be clean and modern. It needs to make the information on the resume easier to read and understand. Don’t use designs that are distracting and loud. They send the exact wrong message, that you’re more focused on aesthetics than substance. For an EMT or paramedic, that’s a dangerous mindset.
How Resumebuild.com’s builder tool lets you create an effective resume fast
The best way to get your design just right is to use a powerful tool that makes it easy. Resumebuild.com’s builder tool offers easy resume templates that ensure your resume will look great so you can focus on what matters most: the content.
- Progressed from EMT-B to EMT-I and to Assistant Director position.
- Maintained employee files ensuring appropriate certifications.
- Trained new employees as an FTO.
- Track expenses and create annual budget to be approved by the city council.
- Responded to emergency calls in the surrounding area in a quick, safe manner as lead medic.
- Coordinated with multiple agencies to establish response procedures and mutual aide agreements.
- Deployed with the disaster team to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
- Extensive knowledge and use of medical equipment, technologies and techniques.
- Use and Maintain heavy equipment
- Exceptional patient and team communications
- Preparation of detailed reports and documentation
- Maintains ongoing professional developement
- Perform splinting
- Performs first aid and CPR
- Efficiently and effectively read and recorded vital signs
- Responsible for ABC or embo on respiratory patient
- Responsible for reporting on the condition of patients to the supervisor
- Inserted / removed IV’s and Foley’s, preformed EKG’s, inserted NG tubes, Suctioned PTs, Splinted pts, and preformed acute wound care
- Perform basic life saving measures life saving measures by responding to calls quickly and efficiently.
- Assess patient health through verbal and non verbal exams
- Monitor patient’s health for any changes and revise plan for interventions if necessary
- interpret patient history and provide appropriate interventions
- Communicate with other necessary medical professionals
- Insert needles for blood draws.
- Prepare surgical room for surgery.
- Autoclave instruments and use sterile techniques.
- Administer emergency first aid, wrap injuries, record vital statistics and EKGs.