How many years should u go back on resume?

  1. Hi there nursing friends-
    Thank you for reading this post. I have completed my resume. It's 2 pages which I think is too long. I am a new graduate/passed NCLEX and have no other nursing experience other than my internship/clinicals. I didn't work while I was in school and wonder if I should put 2003-2006 full time student? Better than leaving a gap or not? Also how many years back should I go on my resume. Any suggestions?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   mrscurtwkids4
    I was having a similar question when trying to write up my resume. You see, prior to nursing school, I hadn't had any jobs except for McDonald's and such here and there just to get out of the house. The bulk of my job was raising my 4 daughters. Even though being a stay-at-home mom is a combination of so many jobs and experiences, it's not exactly something that can be put on a resume. I felt terrible when I thought about trying to write up my resume with being 34 years old and having in essence, no professional job history. So I went to the career development center on my college campus, and they suggested going ahead and writing up the information/experience that I got while doing my clinicals at school. I guess we'll see how that does for the workplace. I was hesitant about using the clinical experiences because some nursing recruiters stated not to because it is expected that as BSN grads that we would have had certain experiences by now. But then some nursing recruiters still liked to see what clinicals you had. So I guess it's a matter of you can't please everyone all the time. Good luck!
  4. by   Freedom42
    I would not put "full-time student." I would simply list the year I received my degree under education; e.g., 2006, Bachelor of Science, University of X.

    Generally speaking, I wouldn't go back more than 10 years on your resume unless you have a truly unusual work or education experience to document; even then, you can reference something unusual but beyond the 10-year limit in your cover letter.

    There's nothing wrong with a two-page resume if it includes significant information (e.g., articles published, awards, extra education). But the key word is significant. I've received resumes from people well past 40 who continue to list everything right back to high school graduation. Not necessary, nor is it to your advantage. A well-edited resume packs more punch.
  5. by   cuddlebug
    Quote from Freedom42
    I would not put "full-time student." I would simply list the year I received my degree under education; e.g., 2006, Bachelor of Science, University of X.

    Generally speaking, I wouldn't go back more than 10 years on your resume unless you have a truly unusual work or education experience to document; even then, you can reference something unusual but beyond the 10-year limit in your cover letter.

    There's nothing wrong with a two-page resume if it includes significant information (e.g., articles published, awards, extra education). But the key word is significant. I've received resumes from people well past 40 who continue to list everything right back to high school graduation. Not necessary, nor is it to your advantage. A well-edited resume packs more punch.
    Thank you for your advice. I think I will take out some things including-Self Employed House Keeper & working at Home Depot. Even though the housekeeping job-I was given keys to people's homes and trusted by them. Home Depot I educated people about plants, power equipment ect. ect. I guess-to me its hard to compare anything to nursing. Any other job I ever had just doesn't seem significant enough to mention. Thank you
  6. by   cuddlebug
    Quote from mrscurtwkids4
    I was having a similar question when trying to write up my resume. You see, prior to nursing school, I hadn't had any jobs except for McDonald's and such here and there just to get out of the house. The bulk of my job was raising my 4 daughters. Even though being a stay-at-home mom is a combination of so many jobs and experiences, it's not exactly something that can be put on a resume. I felt terrible when I thought about trying to write up my resume with being 34 years old and having in essence, no professional job history. So I went to the career development center on my college campus, and they suggested going ahead and writing up the information/experience that I got while doing my clinicals at school. I guess we'll see how that does for the workplace. I was hesitant about using the clinical experiences because some nursing recruiters stated not to because it is expected that as BSN grads that we would have had certain experiences by now. But then some nursing recruiters still liked to see what clinicals you had. So I guess it's a matter of you can't please everyone all the time. Good luck!
    Thank you :spin:
  7. by   llg
    I wouldn't delete any legitimate employment regardless of how old. However, I might list it very minimally (dates and employer only) to document what I was doing with my life during those years. The jobs wouldn't take up much space, but they would still be listed. For example:

    2003-2005 Home Depot, Customer Service Associate
    2001-2003 Self-employed with home cleaning service

    Each job need only take up 1 line, and I would hesitate to drop them completely -- particularly if you were employed for a significant length of time. Long-term employment is a good thing to have on your record, as is any experience serving the public or any job that supervised others.
  8. by   Lisa CCU RN
    I have heard the best resumes have only one page.
  9. by   cuddlebug
    Quote from llg
    I wouldn't delete any legitimate employment regardless of how old. However, I might list it very minimally (dates and employer only) to document what I was doing with my life during those years. The jobs wouldn't take up much space, but they would still be listed. For example:

    2003-2005 Home Depot, Customer Service Associate
    2001-2003 Self-employed with home cleaning service

    Each job need only take up 1 line, and I would hesitate to drop them completely -- particularly if you were employed for a significant length of time. Long-term employment is a good thing to have on your record, as is any experience serving the public or any job that supervised others.
    First of all, congratulations on your tickerfactory accomplishment!!!Keep up the determination and hard work. You will do it.
    Thank you for replying to my post. Its so important for me as a new graduate nurse to make a great impression and my resume is so important to me. Thank you so much. I am so grateful.
  10. by   cuddlebug
    Quote from CRNASOMEDAY25
    I have heard the best resumes have only one page.
    I've heard that too. I guess it depends on the situation since you wouldn't want to leave out anything important either because you want to make an impression.
  11. by   traumaRUs
    I'm old (48) and unfortunately have been a military wife for 23 years, so I literally havehad lots and lots of jobs. I generally keep my resume to two pages but II do always list citations for articles which I co-authored and I also always list my ALL my post-HS education.

    Sometimes, depending on what type of job I'm looking for and what I need to highlight about my life that will help me to shine, I have to go to three pages, but I never skimp on my published articles and/or education.

    To me, those are the two important things. For new grads, they don't expect a lot of experience, so I wouldn't worry if the only thing you have there is your education dates and McDonalds. That shows you play well with others - a very important skill in nursing.
  12. by   psalm
    During the time you raised your children you probably were involved in volunteer work of some kind at church/synogogue, school, or social (animal rescue, co-op, political campaigns, driving for school trips, lunch lady, soup kitchen, etc) that could be listed under volunteering. If you organized parties, lunches, was a guest speaker at social etc. that shows how well-rounded you are.
  13. by   EmerNurse
    I keep mine as close to one page as possible. I usually detail my most recent experience and (as someone posted above) use one-liners for the very old stuff. Part of the reason is that I WANT my military service on my resume, even though it's old now, I'm proud of it. But I only usually list details about the last job I had (or current job) and maybe the one before, that's it.

    I allow the gap for when I raised my kids. If an interviewer asks about that gap, I tell them I was raising my kids, that's all. Have never had a problem with that. Interviewers are aware that kids need to be raised and that takes time.

    Now, I do leave out the minor jobs I used over time to keep my head above water - temporary agency secretarial type stuff - was a small part of my life and not relevant to my skill sets (as the military was, for instance).

    Good luck!

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