Lots of Experience A Long Time Ago

  1. Dear Nurse Beth

    I am 61 years old and have not worked in 16 years. I have been active volunteering at Free Clinics and in Special Procedures at my local hospital, while continuing my education in order to earn my BSN/MSN at UVA. (I am an ADN). I have 25 years experience, all in Critical Care areas. I am having trouble getting hired at my new location in Winchester, VA. I made it to one interview and it seemed to be going very well, but did not get the job. Can you advise? What can I do to make myself marketable?

    Dear How to Be Marketable,

    You are facing several challenges, none of which are insurmountable, but you need strategy and persistence.

    You have solid experience, but it was 16 years ago. To remedy that, consider taking a refresher course if possible. Your resume has a large unemployment gap. Highlight your volunteer work, and skills utilized.

    You are sixty one and competing against twenty year olds. While some employers value the maturity and life experience of older workers, many do not. Read Ageism in Nursing for some tips.

    The fact that you landed an interview is encouraging. It says that your resume did what it was supposed to-got you an interview.

    The fact that you didn't land the job speaks to your interview. Be sure and hone your interview skills. Read How to answer What's Your Greatest Weakness? and Tell Us About Yourself

    Activate your network and let everyone know you are looking for a job. See if your volunteer jobs can parlay into paying roles.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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