How To Write a CNA Resume With No Experience (With Example)

Updated July 12, 2023

A resume showcases your job qualifications, though it can prove challenging when entering an industry with no experience. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) have specific training and education suited to jobs even if they don't have extensive healthcare experience. Knowing how to format your resume for transferrable and related skills as a CNA with no experience can help you craft a strong resume for hiring managers.

In this article, we explore what a CNA resume is, what to include in it and how to write one for a CNA role with no experience to help you increase your chance for interviews.

Related: Learn About Being a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)

What is a CNA resume?

A CNA resume is a paper or electronic document that details your skills, qualifications, experience and professional activities in nursing and the workforce. You often update your resume throughout your professional career to note new credentials, recent jobs, awards, certifications, milestones and other achievements.

You can use your CNA resume to apply for jobs or continuing education programs to further your professional healthcare education and career. As a certified nursing assistant, it's important to highlight your healthcare knowledge even if you have no previous experience, and you can show your qualifications and abilities throughout the various sections of your resume.

What do you include in a CNA resume?

Most CNA resumes follow a standard format that includes resume sections like:

  • Name and personal contact information

  • Professional objective or summary

  • Experience and education in reverse chronological order

  • Hard and soft skills

  • Certifications or additional training

  • Awards

  • Professional organizations or activities

  • Community service

  • References

Related: 8 Key Skills for Your CNA Resume

How to write a CNA resume with no experience

You can write a resume when you have little or no professional experience and instead format your document to focus on transferable skills, personal achievements and related volunteer opportunities. Here are seven steps to follow when crafting your own CNA resume:

1. Choose a layout

There are a variety of layouts and designs to use for your CNA resume with no experience. Consider reviewing the styles, layouts and options to decide which best conveys your personality and allows you to showcase your unique qualifications outside of experience. For example, some layout options put skills in a more prominent place on the page and others lead with education over professional experience.

One consideration is to create your header or section that has your name and personal contact information, with a more noticeable and slightly larger font because it's the first thing many hiring managers see when reviewing a resume.

2. Write a professional objective or summary

A professional objective tells a hiring manager what kind of position, place of employment or specialty you're interested in as a CNA, and a professional summary provides a look at your background, skills and past accomplishments that help show how you can contribute to the role. As a CNA candidate with little or no experience in the field, you can mention skills, volunteer experience or personal motivation to help showcase you as a strong candidate for the role.

3. Add your education

Consider listing your education first, especially when you have less professional experience in a field you're applying to. Add formal education in reverse chronological order and put and certifications or licenses in this area, too. You can also include any relevant clubs, activities or programs you took part in at school that show further involvement in healthcare. For example, if you were a lifeguard during the summer months, belonged to the biology club or sought cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, share those experiences here.

4. List your experience

In this section of your resume, share your work experience, including the position title, name of the employer and the dates you worked, even if the job wasn't in healthcare. Establishing past employment is helpful to hiring managers, regardless of the industry. Add a few bullet points for each job that prioritize important responsibilities and try to establish an added value you bring to each role. For example, if you volunteered at a hospital front desk, "Dedicated to providing a comforting, accessible and informed information desk to welcome family and friends of every patient" sounds stronger than "Staffed front desk."

Because you might have little or no CNA experience, you can include volunteer opportunities in your experience section especially if they relate to the role you're seeking. For example, unpaid clinical work through your training or educational experience or volunteer time in hospitals, nursing homes, physician's offices or schools.

5. Use action words

Action words can describe your qualifications and background better than passive verbs. Consider using them along with detailed descriptions of your past job responsibilities or activities in school to show rather than tell an employer how you are a good candidate. For example, you could say, "Empathetically cared for elderly patients at Your Home Senior Center throughout seven consecutive years of weekly volunteer work, establishing meaningful connections and patient trust."

Here are some action words to consider using on your CNA resume:

  • Helped

  • Aided

  • Treated

  • Led

  • Championed

  • Exceeded

  • Assessed

  • Reviewed

  • Diagnosed

  • Guided

  • Coordinated

  • Researched

  • Volunteered

  • Trained

  • Documented

Read more: 195 Action Verbs To Make Your Resume Stand Out

6. Share strong references

Sometimes resumes only list references when specifically requested by a hiring manager or listed in a job posting, though on a CNA resume with no experience, it's helpful to share them in advance. Consider selecting people who can attest to your nursing and care abilities, like a teacher in your educational experience, a volunteer coordinator you worked closely with or a mentor in the healthcare industry you've networked with. Before listing the person, ask for permission first.

Read more: How To Write a Resume Reference List (With Examples)

7. Proofread extensively

A thoroughly proofread resume can show your level of professionalism and attention to detail to hiring managers, so consider reviewing your resume several times and even ask a friend, family member or colleague to proofread it, too. Use a computer program to check for spelling, grammar or punctuation errors and print a paper copy to find any formatting errors or other mistakes the computer might've missed. Even though this step is last in writing your CNA resume, it's extremely important.

Template of a CNA resume with no experience

Use this template of a CNA resume with no experience to help you craft your own:

[First and last name]
[Phone number]
[Email address]

Professional objective
[A few brief sentences describing career goals and desired position or company or your top skills, education, experience and related qualifications for a role]

[University, college or high school name] | [City, State]
[Dates attended]
[Degree] | [GPA] | [Focus of study or other notable activities]

[University, college or high school name] | [City, State]
[Dates attended]
[Degree] | [GPA] | [Focus of study or other notable activities]

Certifications and licenses [Dates received] | [Certification or license title]

Professional experience
[Position title] | [Company or organization name] | [City, State]
[Start month and year–End month and year]

  • [Job responsibilities, accomplishments and achievements]

  • [Job responsibilities, accomplishments and achievements]

  • [Job responsibilities, accomplishments and achievements]

[Position title] | [Company or organization name] | [City, State]
[Start month and year–End month and year]

  • [Job responsibilities, accomplishments and achievements]

  • [Job responsibilities, accomplishments and achievements]

  • [Job responsibilities, accomplishments and achievements]


  • [Compatible skill for the position]

  • [Compatible skill for the position]

  • [Compatible skill for the position]

Professional organizations and activities
[List of relevant clubs, conferences or associations]

Community service
[List of volunteer activities]

[List of names and contact information or a statement about references]

Download Resume Template

To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

Example of a CNA resume with no experience

Here's an example of a CNA resume with no experience to help inspire you as you write your own:

Awilda Thompson
117 Humboldt Street, Denver, CO

Professional objective
Seeking the opportunity to gain full-time employment in an innovative and compassionate senior care facility, specifically caring for dementia patients, putting my new credentials and long-developed passion for the elderly to meaningful use in the community.

Colorado University | Denver, Colorado
January 2021–Present
Earning Bachelor of Science in biology | 3.2 GPA | Dean's list

Colorado Technical School | Denver, Colorado
September 2017–December 2019
Nursing assistant certification program

Congress Park Junior-Senior High School | Denver, Colorado
September 2012–June 2017
Honor roll | Biology club member

Certifications and licenses
May 2020 | Colorado state CNA license
December 2019 | CNA certification
June 2015 | Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training

Professional experience
Geriatric care volunteer | Your Home Senior Center | Denver, Colorado
July 2014–June 2021

  • Answered patient call bells and proactively checked on patients during hourly rounds

  • Compassionately assisted patients eat, exercise, bathe, move and perform daily functions

  • Changed bandages and provided other basic medical care

  • Kept patients comfortable, safe and engaged in their surroundings

  • Documented health information for medical records and collaborated with other medical staff

Assistant office manager | Sunshine Daycare Center | Denver, Colorado
May 2018–June 2020

  • Coordinated staff scheduling, children class sizes and monthly budget updates

  • Answered phones, emails and media requests

  • Developed connections with parents and family members of clients

  • Created annual staff party themes and organized staff career development days


  • Medical assessments and vital signs

  • Communication skills

  • Compassionate approach to care

  • Focus on geriatric care

  • Attention to detail

  • Computer proficiencies

  • Fluent in Spanish

Professional organizations and activities
2020–Present | Association for Certified Nursing Assistants
2019–Present | National Association of Health Care Assistants

Community service
2016–2020 | Denver Food Bank volunteer
2012–2017 | Main caregiver for grandparent with Alzheimer's disease

Sullivan Hughes, Teaching assistant, Colorado Technical School | 720-300-7171

Martha Monderoy, Volunteer coordinator, Your Home Senior Center | 720-358-1766

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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