Resumes for older workers

  1. After reading the laments of experienced RN's unable to find new positions after layoffs, moving, returning to job market, I found some wonderful advice at

    1. Use a Combination Resume which includes elements of both functional and chronological resumes. This allows you to have on the first page listing of

    Examples from career of "Nancy Nurse"


    • Medical Surgical Nursing Certification
    • IV Certification including PICC Lines
    • Care Vent Dependent patient at home
    • Telemetry Nursing
    • Team Building
    • Quality Improvement
    • Clinical Manager
    • Project Management

    • 5 years experience as Manager of Telemetry/Medical unit overseeing 48 staff members; expanded unit from 12 to 25 beds.
    • Safety committee chairwomen for 3 years. Lead QI project to reduce facility fall rate from 4.76 falls/1,000 patient days to 3.27 falls/1,000 patient days in 2011.
    • Implemented Sharps Safety program reducing occupational sharp exposure 15 %.
    • Member 5 years policy and procedure committee responsible for updating IV infusion and telemetry monitoring protocols.
    • Received Unit Nurse of the Year award 2007
    • Staff RN selected for Nursing Advancement Council 2004-20008
    • Poster presentation on " Sharps Safety on a Telemetry Unit" selected for AACN's 2008 National Teaching Institute

    2. HR Mangers are charged with finding workers who can produce results in todays competitive healthcare environment. Avoid the word "experience" instead use achievements. Follow the advice re not hiding your age but not broadcasting it either. Make sure nursing terms used are current, not outdated technology. Consider limiting work history to 10-15 years as resume should be 1-2 pages

    Per Resumes for Older Workers

    If you're an older worker, and you're still afraid an employer may discriminate against you because of your age, then the following adjustments can be made to your resume:

    • Avoid mentioning dates in your resume that may provide a hiring manager or future employer with information that can be used to calculate your age. For example, the year you graduated from college or high school.
    • In the work history section of the resume, provide dates of more recent employers, while omitting dates of employment in the distant past.
    3. Make sure you are writing your resume to match the job and apply for positions you are most suited for. If Nancy Nurse applied for a labor and delivery position, the application would be routed to bottom of a pile or even shred it bin as no expertise in this area listed. But what if Nancy Nurse was part of float pool and was crossed trained to provide well mom-baby care? ---that sheds a different light on application. Sometimes the devil is in the details.

    Move skills or experience to the top of sections in order to highlight those most pertinent to the position. In example above, career skills are listed from basic to advanced while career achievements written from most recent (Clinical Manager) to distant past (hospital staff RN).

    Applying for a Nurse Manger position, it would be better to re-arrange career skills to list Clinical Manager, QI and Project Management first. However, if fried from the daily 24/7 pressures of management and want to take a step back, then skills in posted order best. You might want to drop off project management entirely and change Team Building to Charge Nurse/Team leader if desiring staff position: both show experience leading a team.

    May these resume tips lead you to find an ideal position in this tough job market.


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    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jun 7, '12
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    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 27,463; Likes: 13,676
    Utilization Review, prior Intake Mgr Home Care; from PA , US
    Specialty: 40 year(s) of experience in Home Care, Vents, Telemetry, Home infusion