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How do I "spin" to my advantage 30 years in admin.?

I am 50 years old and have been doing administrative work since I was 18. I am about to finish my Associate's degree as an Information Systems Support Technician. I need to update my resume; should I eliminate my experience in the administrative field? How important is certification in obtaining an entry-level position?

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No, by no means should you discount your prior work experience. Instead, you need to be able to talk about how what you learned in that "former life" applies to the skills you want to employ as a Support Technician. Thus, you don't want to eliminate references to that experience; rather, you'll want to "spin" it to make it relevant to your new job goals and skills.

For entry-level positions, the biggest factor these days is building a network of friends, family and professional contacts that can tell you about jobs before they are advertised or that never get advertised. The old truism that the best jobs come through contacts is even more true than ever. And with entry-level jobs pretty scarce right now, it's particularly true for such positions.

Certification counts a lot less than what you know how to do, and what your many years of on the job experience have taught you. Letters of recommendation from former bosses that stress your reliability, general knowledge, attitude toward work, and problem-solving skills will be particularly helpful in your case.

Good luck!
--Ed--

This was first published in September 2002

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