Night Shift Worker Resume Guide: Structure, Style, and Content Needed to Get Noticed

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Creating a great resume takes knowing what job you want to get in order to have a shot at landing an interview. Building a stellar resume that captures a hiring manager’s attention requires understanding the parts of the resume and the role they play in getting hired. 

A night shift worker’s resume should reflect the qualifications you have from work experience and personal qualities you’ve developed over time. Your goal is to create a simple document that highlights what makes you the best candidate for the job and how you stand out in the sea of applicants.

Composing a professional-style resume with proper structure and relevant content has gotten simpler with the advancement of technology. But easier isn’t always better, especially if everyone else applying used the same template you did. Let’s take a look at how you can generate a distinguished resume to give you a leg up over the night shift competition.

Benefits of a Night Shift Job

Working the night shift has a few perks you’re not going to find on the day shift. For starters, people who work the night shift typically receive a higher salary than those same positions during the day. Even better, your chance of being promoted is higher on the night shift because there are fewer people competing for the spot.

Night shift often means a reduction in being micromanaged as you’re left to do your job with little to no supervision in some cases. This leads to the opportunity of displaying your ability to lead. It also gives way to teaching and training others.

Many night shift workers feel a stronger connection to their co-workers than day shifters. This may be due to a comradery that develops from working the tougher shift. It takes a certain type of person to handle the stresses that come with working the night shift. 

A night shift worker generally experiences fewer distractions from co-workers. They have a less stressful commute as they travel in the opposite direction of the day shifters. In addition, night shift workers have the potential to save money by bringing lunch instead of eating in expensive cafeterias that may not be open at night.

See the other advantages to shift working job here.

Resume Templates: A Blessing or a Curse?

Before the advent of computers, typing up a resume involved staring at a blank piece of paper rolled into the typewriter. If you were lucky, you had a book from the library or a class you’d taken that showed examples. Otherwise, you had to dazzle the hiring manager with wit because back then, there was no whimsy.

Now, just about anywhere you look, you can find free resume templates and examples for every job imaginable. Microsoft has Word and Apple has Pages, while Google Docs is available anyplace online and off. Each has its own version of templates in various styles, fonts, and colors, but they all have similar pros and cons of using them.

Pros and Cons of Resume Templates

A professional resume writer makes an average of $48,000 a year and upwards of $250,000 if they’re exceptional at what they do. At that rate of pay, there must be something about how they write a resume that works so well. Most templates, like those found on your computer, follow the blueprints these professionals developed.



  • margins, font sizes, types, and colors are already established
  • professional look and formated for easy reading
  • a selection of styles to reflect your personality

Easy to Use

  • sections of the resume are clearly defined
  • information is listed in an orderly manner
  • a professional look achieved with minimal effort

LinkedIn Resume Assistant

  • available in Microsoft Word
  • searches for example resumes that match your job title
  • ideas for how to describe your work experience
  • learn job skills needed for the work you want to do


Forgetting to replace or delete the placeholder text

  • blocks of nonsensical text that fill the space to give you a reference as to how much needs to go where
  • shows a lack of attention to detail and will likely get your resume tossed right into the recycling bin

Large gaps of white space in preset field sizes

  • work experience can be difficult to fill if this is your first resume
  • education looks empty for those who didn’t attend a university or two
  • skills can be filled but achievements and awards sections may look bare in comparison

Cookie-cutter templates

  • your resume will become lost in a sea of similar-looking resumes all applying for the same job
  • styles have changed and many templates are stuck in the past where objective statements were the key to getting in the door

Not compliant with modern Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

  • systems that scan and sort through large numbers of resumes quickly
  • rank the selected resumes based on preset algorithms determined by hiring managers
  • weeds out candidates based solely on the words and phrases deemed important for consideration

Quick Tips for Building a Better Resume
Find sample resumes from people who are successful at the job you’re wanting to get. Turn down the urge to refresh an old resume. Starting from scratch will help you highlight what’s relevant and eliminate what isn’t without getting lost in the clutter.

Optimize your resume for ATS by researching the best keywords to get your resume flagged in a good way. Visit for a free review of your resume from experts who know how to help you get the job. If all else fails, hire a professional to write the resume for you.

Describing Your Night Shift Work Experience

Your work experience section of the resume holds the most important information an employer will review. Often, it’s the first section they read before even glancing over your name at the top. This vital section of your resume makes the biggest impact and is frequently the deciding factor in highly-competitive industries.

This section is designed to quickly highlight your skills that match the qualifications of the job. It provides the details about when and where you obtained the experience. It should include any title you held and the name of your director, manager, or supervisor when applicable. 

You can use brief bullet-point lists to include relevant skills you learned from the experience and responsibilities you had for each job. This section also includes work experience gained from internships and volunteer work. The purpose of this section is to establish confidence in the employer that you’ve obtained adequate time and training for a particular task.

Personal Qualities Befitting Night Shift Work

Not everyone’s cut out for being on the night shift. The human body runs on an internal clock that’s set to the rise and fall of the sun. Working the night shift takes someone that can handle the disruption to their circadian rhythm and balance their work with their home life.

Top Four Qualities of Night Shifters

1. Accountability

Night shift workers need to be masters of time management. Setting alarms so you get up on time and scheduling naps to get enough sleep is essential to night shifters. Setting aside time for exercise, socializing, and taking care of yourself shows others you take the responsibility seriously.

Being accountable means your employer can count on you to get the job done when it needs doing. They have confidence that you are focused and attentive to the details of the task when you are in control of your time management. Night shift workers with healthy habits and well-balanced schedules are more alert and content on the job and at home.

2.  Personality

Your interests and skills will dictate what tasks on the job will keep you engaged. Your knowledge as well as who you are as a person impacts both your abilities and your passions. When you find a job that is best suited to your personality, you’re at a greater advantage of finding success.

Likewise, if you have to force yourself to do a job you hate, you’ll always hate the work you have to do. You have skills and unique talents meant to be shared with others. Find what you love to do and make a life by loving your work.

3. Adaptability

Night shift work requires you to adjust your circadian clock in order to adapt to being awake when the body wants to sleep. Adaptability includes tailoring meal times to coincide with the availability of food. Being able to think quickly on your feet is another great display of being able to adapt to one’s situation or circumstance.

Versatility is another form of adaptability that comes in handy as a night shift worker. Someone who is versatile can take on different job roles as needed. Having versatility gives you a greater shot at getting promoted since you understand more of the big picture because of playing many parts.

4. Resilient

Working the night shift requires a tenacious resilience compared to your counterparts who work the day shift. Fighting against the body’s natural wake/sleep cycle exacerbates stress and increases the chance of reaching exhaustion. Add to that, poor eating habits or a lack of exercise, and soon, the wear and tear of night shift work will take its toll.

Employers hire night shift workers who have proven they take the steps necessary to perform at their best. Beyond healthy lifestyle choices, resilient night shift workers are those who continue growing their knowledge. Taking educational courses and proactively maintaining certifications are more ways to show your level of resilience and dedication to the field.

Top Traits to Have for Night Shift Work;

PunctualProblem Solver
DiligentCompetency in Technology
HonestCollaborative Co-worker

Qualities Employers Seek in Night Shifters

Hiring managers have a specific idea in mind for the type of person they believe will be best suited for a position. They know the ins and outs of the tasks involved with a particular job and they have seen people who are succeeders and those who fail. Winning over a hiring manager with a superior resume takes knowing what they’re looking to find.

In just about any job market, employers seek to hire employees who exhibit phenomenal communication and active listening skills. They want employees with great interpersonal relationships and outstanding customer service. Managers hiring for the night shift are particularly keen to find problem solvers with a take-charge attitude they can trust to get the job done on time.

Balance of Skills

Your resume needs a healthy balance of hard skills and soft skills in order to get noticed and invited to an interview.

Hard skills come from education and training courses for a job gained from schooling or real-world experience. Soft skills are personality traits and habits that define your work ethic and ability to be part of a team.

Hard skills are quantitative meaning they can be measured through some form of testing. Being able to speak a foreign language is an example of a hard skill. Other hard skills include statistical analysis and the ability to manage marketing campaigns.

Soft skills are qualitative in nature which means their worth is determined by whoever is observing the skill. Being able to keep your cool when dealing with a difficult situation is an example of a soft skill. Additional skills such as open-mindedness, empathy, and a willingness to learn are all considered to be soft skills.

In general, hard skills can be taught relatively easily if you have the right mindset and aptitude for the task. Administering CPR falls under the category of hard skills. Soft skills are developed over time but are restricted by inert personality traits and natural characteristics of the individual.

A college professor once said, “Some people arrive to class early and others will be right on time. Then there are those that will always be late, no matter how hard they try. I am of the latter.” This is a clear example of a soft skill, but in some situations, an essential one to have mastered.

What Not to Say on Your Resume

Rule Number One: Never Mention Salaries on a Resume

Don’t list how much money you made at previous jobs and never include what amount of salary you desire. Companies already have an established pay scale for the position they’re filling. Let them make an offer first, then you can negotiate if you feel it’s not enough.

Rule Number Two: Avoid Using Generic Description Phrases

Stay away from bland descriptors like go-getter or a hard worker. Instead, use words to paint a picture with a brief but vivid example that illustrates your ability to be a team player. Or find a way to tell a story of how you thought outside of the box.

Rule Number Three: Keep Your Phrasing in a Positive Light

Choose words that describe your skills and work experience in a positive manner. Instead of saying, “able to deal with difficult and combative patients” try using “experienced in de-escalating intense situations quickly and safely”. How you describe something makes a big difference when you look at it from both a positive and negative tone.

What else to keep off the resume – Don’t list your references or put the phrase references available. Personal pronouns such as I or me are unnecessary. Don’t use an inappropriate or unprofessional email address. Leave off social media accounts unless they were requested. Don’t include why you left the previous jobs.

Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

  • Be sure you are thoroughly familiar with what the job is and the expectations that come with that position.
  • Only include previous experiences that are directly related to the job at hand.
  • Provide your contact information and a brief, three-sentence summary of your related skills and experience in the header of your resume.
  • Avoid long wordy sentences and redundant filler. 
  • Keep your resume clear and concise for easy reading.
  • Include a well-written cover letter that will introduce who you are and how you will be an asset to their company.
  • Proofread, spellcheck, and read the resume out loud to ensure you catch any typos or grammatical errors.

Related Questions

How long should a resume be?

A resume should be able to fit on a single page. If you find you have gone beyond one page, make edits to either the content or formatting to get it all on one. Keep the content short and easy to skim through, whilst still being able to see the important points being made.

Should I use a chronological, functional, or a combination resume?

Chronological resumes are the most commonly used and are ideal for applying in the same field of work. Functional resumes are great for people changing jobs that have transferable skills. A combination resume looks good when you have only one or two job experiences and a larger amount of training, education, or skills experience.

For those wanting a new night shift position, follow the guidelines within this article and it’ll place you on the right track to achieve the role you so desire. Remember, your resume is the opportunity to capture someone’s attention, so make sure you do what you can to stand out. Once you’ve scored yourself that interview, then your true self should come out and as someone who’s taken the time to research this content via our website, we think you’d be the perfect employee for any company you want to start with!

If you’re currently out of work you’ll appreciate this post – Navigating Job Loss: What To Do After Leaving The Workforce

Good luck!


Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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