Can you summarize your expertise and experience and set yourself apart from other applicants in under ten seconds? With a strategic dietitian resume, the answer is YES!
Crafting a standout resume is your first step toward landing your dream job – whether that’s a clinical role or an unconventional RD job (here is our roundup of The Best Unconventional Jobs for Dietitians).
This guide will walk you through the essential elements your dietitian resume must have to catch the eye of recruiters and land high-paying nutrition jobs. We’ll discuss the importance of showcasing your unique skills, qualifications, and experiences effectively.
To help you, we’ve included a variety of dietitian resume samples further on in the article. These examples will inspire you and provide a blueprint for crafting your own compelling resume.
Let’s dive into the important details that will make your resume make it to the top of the hiring manager’s list.
Key Sections of a Dietitian’s Resume
Crafting a winning resume is a bit like writing a 5-star recipe; there are several key sections that you’ll want to include. You want to clearly demonstrate your skills and expertise for a hiring manager to glean even with a quick skim and start with the most important information right away.
And quick is the name of the game; the average resume only gets an initial 6-7 second skim before they decide if it is worth digging further…or tossing into the reject pile (1).
“The top third of your resume is the most valuable real estate. Don’t fill this space up with your educational background. As dietitians, it’s already implied that you have a Bachelor’s degree.
You can include any higher education such as an MS or PhD with your credentials after your name. Move the education section to the bottom of your resume and keep it short.” -Kelan Sarnoff, registered dietitian and founder of The RD Coach.
Your resume should begin with your name, contact number(s), email address, and location.
“Do not put your full address on your resume. Just include the city and state where you are located. If you are open to relocation, put the city and states you are open to moving to.
In addition, have a personal email address that is professional. If you have to question whether your email address is professional, it probably isn’t.” – Lisa Abbay, MBA, RDN, LDN, FAND
If you have a professional online presence on platforms like LinkedIn, include the URL in this section.
If social media management is related to the job you’re applying for, consider including your social media handles. Otherwise, keep your accounts private and skip and links to them on your resume.
“Good rule of thumb I share with my interns and students: if you wouldn’t want your parents to view your social media accounts, you probably don’t want the hiring manager to either.” Lisa Abbay, MBA, RDN, LDN, FAND
Professional summary or objective statement
This section is where you summarize your skills, experience, and goals in 2-3 sentences. It’s an important section to get right because it’s the first thing that recruiters will read.
If you’re an experienced dietitian, write a professional summary. However, if you’re new to the field or changing careers, write an objective statement.
The professional statement on your resume is kind of like your elevator pitch. It’s a couple of sentences where you get to share your skills and experiences, showing off why you’d be a great match for the job you’re applying for.
An objective statement on your resume is a quick intro about what you’re aiming for in your career. It’s where you tell potential employers the type of job you’re after and why you’re a great fit for it, using your top skills and experiences as proof.
Psst: want to see an example of a great objective statement? We share an example resume later in this article – keep on reading!
List your highest degree(s) in dietetics or nutrition and any relevant certifications such as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, the states in which you have licensure and any additional certifications that you have.
This section is where you’ll list your relevant work experience.
Start with the most recent job, followed by previous ones in reverse chronological order. Highlight your responsibilities and achievements at each job, emphasizing any transferable skills.
Here’s where you will include a bulleted list of any specialized skills that are central to the dietitian role you’re applying for. Skills for a clinical role will be different than when applying for a job in sales, for example.
The skills section is a great place to include relevant keywords – more on those in the next section.
Did you know that many applications are first filtered through an electronic database? Your resume must contain the kinds of keywords that your recruiter might be searching for when wading through candidate profiles.
“Always include keywords that are found in the job description. That way, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will place you higher on the reader’s list of candidates.” –Doreen Rodo, M.Ed, RDN, LD
The best place to start finding the best keywords is in the job posting. Match the job-specific vocabulary from the job posting to your resume (2). For example, if the job description mentions experience in medical nutrition therapy, don’t abbreviate it as MNT on your resume because the abbreviation doesn’t match the keyword they’re seeking.
…and one to skip: a photo
“Only include if you are in a specific field that might require a photo, such as an actor or on the news.” – Doreen Rodo, MEd, RDN, LD, founder of Dietitian Mentor and member of National Résumé Writers’ Association (NRWA).
How long should your resume be?
“The most common question about resumes I get is whether a 1-page resume is a must or if a 2-page resume is acceptable.
Instead of focusing on a set length, truly ask yourself if each line of your resume is relevant. You probably don’t need to include your retail experience from 10 years ago, but most dietitians I work with end up having a 2-page resume.
Also, don’t try to squeeze everything onto one page by using size 8 font and tiny margins. A 2-page resume with lots of white space is easier to read than a jam-packed 1-page resume.” – Kelan Sarnoff, registered dietitian and founder of The RD Coach
Consider who is making the decisions
As you polish your resume, consider who might be reading it first. In a large healthcare system, your resume might have to make an impression on the recruiter, before your future manager even sees it.
“In large organizations, it’s typically recruiters who filter applications first. More often than not, they might not know anything about the actual job. It’s important to make sure your resume speaks to the requirements of the job description to move through to the hiring manager.
Also, because of this, it’s extremely important to work your connections, or even email or reach out on LinkedIn if you can locate the hiring manager’s info.
Tip: Healthcare systems almost always follow an email format that can be guessed. I have taken interviews before from applicants I would have otherwise overlooked, simply because that person reached out.” – Chelsey Lindahl, Registered Dietitian and hiring manager for a large healthcare system
Resume tips from hiring managers
“Biggest tip: proof, proof, proof. Zero typos.
Beyond that, clean, modern formatting is recommended. I am far more likely to read a resume that has clean lines than one that’s jumbled. Buy a nice template (or make one if you’re savvy). That being said, always share your resume as a PDF, never as a Word document. Lock it down!” – Chelsey Lindahl, RD and hiring manager for a large healthcare system
Doreen Rodo, M.Ed, RDN, LD continues with, “Building a résumé is precise, and a strategy is involved to get the applicant noticed; avoid using words such as ‘a’ and ‘the’ if possible, making the writing tight and concise.”
Strategy for using AI for your resume
Kelan Sarnoff, registered dietitian and founder of The RD Coach explains that using AI can have a place in the creation of your resume. “ChatGPT and other AI tools are fun tools to play with but don’t rely on them to write your entire resume. Instead, try specific prompts such as:
“Can you help me rewrite these bullet points to include quantifiable accomplishments?”
“Please evaluate the job description for keywords. Then evaluate my resume and note any keywords that may be missing from my resume.”
Lisa continues, “AI can help but, the key is to remember that it’s a collaboration. If you are stuck or need a starting point, using AI is helpful. AI will not dive deep into the details of your career journey, which will be relevant to highlight.
- Key skills: Ask AI to suggest ways to highlight your skills and qualifications that match the summary in the job posting.
- Keywords: Provide AI a list of keywords from the job posting and ask it to suggest ways to incorporate them into your resume.
- Summary: If you need it shrunk or need some suggestions, ask AI to rewrite your summary.
There are also some great AI-powered resume builders and they can help you quickly generate a quality resume. Be mindful, you will need to use your own words and be able to speak to anything on your resume during an interview.”
Tips for new grads
Are you applying for your first job? Congratulations! Here are a few tips specifically for you.
“Include your internship experience at the top, after your summary and education. Here is an example of how to explain your internship experience:
- Clinical Nutrition Rotation (480 total hours/12 weeks), along with a bullet point detailing the rotation experience
If you are applying to a clinical position, put your clinical rotation at the top of the internship experience. If you are applying to a foodservice position, put your foodservice rotation at the top of the experience.” Lisa Abbay, MBA, RDN, LDN, FAND
And don’t forget your LinkedIn Profile!
Lisa adds, “90 days out from completing your internship/Master’s, include the #OpenToWork Banner on your LinkedIn profile and update your summary to include the roles you are open to, along with the city/states in which you are open to moving to.”
Looking for more dietitian resume examples?
We have a comprehensive round-up of 16 dietitian resumes for several different roles, including clinical dietitian, media, community, and supermarket. Check out this robust resource here: Dietitian Resume and Cover Letter Examples.
Prepare for the interview
Keep an eye on your inbox: the next step after submitting your job application is to prepare for your interview. We have a trio of articles you’ll want to bookmark and read so that you feel prepared and empowered before the interview begins.
Crafting a resume as a dietitian is crucial for landing the job of your dreams. By following these expert tips and incorporating key components such as a strong objective statement, tailored skills and experiences, and the right keywords, you will set yourself apart from other candidates.
Remember to make sure your resume is concise, visually appealing, and highlights your unique qualifications. Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from others and continue to revise and improve your resume as you gain more experience in the field.
With these strategies in mind, you can confidently apply for positions knowing that you have a strong representation of your skills and abilities on paper.
Good luck landing that interview with your polished (and proofread) resume!
Ready to learn more? We’ve hand-picked a few favorites from the blog.
- 15 Dietitian Interview Questions to Prepare You for Job Hunting – What are the dietitian interview questions you should prepare for? We’ve got you covered with those, as well as the questions you should be asking your interviewer.
- What is the Average Dietitian’s Salary? (+ Tips for Getting Paid More) – Wondering what the average dietitian salary is? Wonder no more! This post breaks down average dietitian salaries by position and offers tips to get paid more.