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Resume Writing for Public Health
By Sam MacArthur

Crafting a standout resume for public health is an important part of the job hunting process. A good resume can help a candidate win a job interview. To make the best impression, job seekers should carefully study public health resume samples. When preparing their own resumes, job hunters need to outline their accomplishments, skill and professional experience. It’s important to tweak the resume for keywords and information tailored for each position.

Public health is a highly competitive industry with many qualified professionals often vying for the same job. Highlighting special skills can make a candidate stand out. Many public health professionals will work with a recruiter to help them in their job search.

How Can I Write a Public Health Resume?

Studying public health resume examples is a great place to start. However, there are a few steps to follow to tweak the resume for a specific position. 

  1. Look at Examples of Public Health Resumes: Find a sample public health resume that matches or closely matches the job description. 
  2. Do Some Research: Candidates should read the job description and conduct research on the organization before applying for the job. It’s also important to understand what skills, experience or certifications the job requires. Finding good public health resume examples can facilitate the rough draft stage. However, each job will require tweaks in the information highlighted to underscore what makes the applicant perfect for the job. Research also helps candidates decide if the company is a good fit for them. 
  3. Write Down the Key Points: Jot down key points before writing the resume. Creating a short outline can help job seekers focus on the important information to include. They should consider how strengths compensate for any weaknesses they have. 
  4. Format the Resume: Headers, bullets and boxes are common ways candidates organize information so their resume is easy to read. A well-formatted resume showcases organizational skills and helps hiring managers scan for important information.

What are the Best Types of Resume for Public Health?

The type of resume used depends on what the resume writer wants to highlight. If they are new to the field or transitioning from another career, a functional resume can highlight transferrable skills and certifications or education that they have recently completed. A reverse-chronological resume focuses on last job or latest experience and includes your complete job history. This is the most common type of resume and the one that most employers understand the best. 

A reverse-chronological resume for public health presents work experience from the newest to the oldest. It’s a good format for candidates with some public health job experience. It works best for candidates with no gaps in work history who wish to show their professional progress.

A functional resume for public health organizes work experience in terms of relevance. This is a great way for candidates to focus on their most relevant skills. It also glosses over gaps in history such as time taken off to attain a degree or specialized training. Functional resumes work well for those changing careers.

The right kind of public health resume depends on what work history the applicant has and the role they want to fill. For example, an entry-level resume may include education, volunteer work and an internship related to public health experience.

Where Can I Find Public Health Resume Samples?

The resume gives hiring managers a snapshot of the job hunter’s experience in the public health sector. You can find samples for each type of resume on job boards, university websites and through other online sources. For example, the University of Pittsburgh has dozens of samples of public health resumes across a spectrum of potential job roles. 

What Should I Include on a Public Health Professionals Resume?

In general, the following sections should appear on a public health resume:

  • Education and Training
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Licensure and Certifications
  • Awards, Accomplishments, and Affiliations
  • Volunteer Work

What If I Don’t Have Any Public Health Experience?

Students and recent graduates usually have very little job experience in public health. It’s still possible to create an enticing resume by underscoring licenses, education, skills and other qualifications. List these sections above work history since they have the best information to tell the hiring manager that you have what it takes to do the job.

Further, clarify why these skills and qualifications make you a good candidate for a job in public health position. Emphasize teamwork, organization, communication and analytical skills.

Job searchers who volunteer for public health-related events or organizations can describe this experience in detail. In some cases, it might be more valuable than paid work in an unrelated field.

What Is a Good Sample Public Health Resume?

According to Publichealth.org, a good resume is free of typos, easy to read and uses the best format to show off the candidates skills.

Here are some excerpts that provide resume sections from entry-level public health resumes.

PROFILE

Recent graduate student with a masters in public health and several internship experiences in public health, targeting child populations. In search of opportunities to continue working in this area.

EDUCATION

Master of Public Health (MPH)   04/20
Behavioral & Community Health Sciences University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, PA

Bachelor of Science (BS), Community Health Education           06/18
University of Florida; Gainesville, FL

EMPLOYMENT

 • Child Health MPH Intern 09/17-04/18

Building Communities Everytown, PA

• Family & Child Health Intern 06/16-08/16

Department of Family & Child Services Philadelphia, PA

What Should I Look Out for When Reviewing My Resume?

You may note that public health resume samples don’t contain obvious typos and have correct grammar. Here are some tips to proofread your resume:

  • Typos: Don’t submit a resume with typos to avoid giving your potential employer a bad impression. Read over your resume to make sure you have the appropriate grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.
  • Including Personal Information: Only include enough personal details to express your work history or skills. Oversharing information can hurt your chances of getting an interview. For example, you don’t need to include your home address. If you live far away, they might think it’s too far for you to commute. You also don’t need to tell future employers if you have kids or a spouse. These details have nothing to do with your qualifications and may influence the decision in another candidate’s favor.
  • Including Salary Information: There is no reason to include salary information on the resume. It hurts your negotiating power if you are hoping for a salary increase commiserate with your experience. If you are changing careers and made more in your last job, this can make you seem overqualified for the position.
  • Nicknames: Use your formal name on your resume. Nicknames are okay once you have the job. However, many people have unprofessional nicknames assigned by family and friends. This information doesn’t belong on your resume.
  • Using an Unusual Email Address: Hiring managers may raise an eyebrow if you use sexyguy12 or hotmama42 or other unprofessional email addresses. You want to be taken seriously, so play the part. It takes just a few seconds to create a professional email address that includes your first and last name as part of your personal branding.
  • First-Person Pronouns: Use the formal third person on the resume. Don’t use informal pronouns such as “I” or “we.” This helps make your resume more solid and professional and help hiring managers understand that you take the process seriously.
  • Unprofessional Voicemail Message: Remember that hiring managers or HR managers will make the phone calls to set up interviews. If you have your favorite rapper or a funny voicemail message, change it immediately. Replace it with a formal, concise voicemail asking callers to leave a message and their contact information.

Who Has the Best Examples of Public Health Resumes?

You can often find a sample public health resume that fits the job you are applying for. Indeed.com, Monster.com and other job boards are full of helpful information that you can use to tweak your resume.

It’s a good idea to finish a draft that has all your basic information before you start comparing your work to what the competition may be doing. Otherwise, you could paralyze yourself and undercut your confidence. Trust the process and the time that you have spent to perfect your resume. In the second round of reviews, you are just looking for ideas to improve your resume or to get ideas on how to organize your specific information.

Who Should I Ask to Review My Public Health Resume?

If you know someone with great grammar skills, by all means ask them to go over your resume with a fine-tooth comb. The more professional and correct it is, the better your chances of impressing potential employers.

However, when it comes to reviewing the professional information that you include, ask someone in the industry, preferably a hiring manager at another organization to give you their input. If you were close to any of your professors or if you have worked in public health, you can ask a professor or former supervisor to look over your resume and give you pointers for anything that seems unclear.

What if You Don’t Get the Job?

You certainly won’t get every public health job you apply for. Ask the hiring manager for input on your resume and ask if there is something you need to clarify. Chances are, you won’t receive an answer right away. However, any feedback that you get improves your chances the next time around.

Apply for multiple jobs in case the one that you want falls through. It’s important to have multiple backups due to the high competition in the market.

Related Rankings:

Best Cities for Public Health Careers

Best States for Public Health Careers

Government Agencies for Public Health Careers