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Could you provide some suggestions on how to update my "very outdated" resume to reflect my experience?

Thursday February 20, 2014
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Dear Donna,

As an experienced RN of 26 years, with 14 years in Med-Surg/Telemetry/Diabetic units within a hospital and nine years as a school nurse, I’ve been told my resume is very outdated. I have experience as a performance committee chairperson on the hospital floor and I’ve worked in an OB-GYN office to show I have experience across all age groups. I’ve also worked as a CNA in a nursing home, but am unsure if all of this experience should be part of my
new resume.

Outdated and Frustrated

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Outdated and Frustrated,

Just like hairstyles and clothes, resumes styles and formats change over the years. If your resume is outdated, people may assume that you are outdated too. It's good that someone gave you that feedback about your resume so you can do something about it.

Your experience as performance committee chairperson can be one bullet point under that particular position. That's exactly the type of thing you want to emphasize on your resume: more interesting, marketable or unusual experiences as well as those that demonstrate a diverse background, leadership skills, etc. Your resume should highlight accomplishments, not read like a job description.
Regarding how far back to go with experience, I would list your hospital and school nurse position.

Below that you can add a simple statement such as: Prior to this had additional experience in OB-GYN and long-term care settings.

In other words you can and should mention it, but you do not have to provide a lot of detail because it is older. Everyone is on information overload in today's world so less is more where resumes
are concerned.

Content is only one aspect of a great resume. The format including style and lay out as well as a professional appearance, using high-quality paper and printer, is also important.

To see multiple resume and cover letters samples specifically for nurses, read my book, “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses” (www.Nurse.com/CE/7250) as it takes you step by step through the process of creating an effective and modern resume. It also contains tips for self-marketing (something every nurse needs to learn today), and how to make the most of every job opportunity.

An up-to-date and well-written resume will give you confidence, not to mention opportunity, and is part of your professional image. While most people dread writing their own resume, no one will create a more thorough and effective resume than you will with the proper know-how, which you can gain by using the above information and resources.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.