As a job seeker with about ten years of experience in your field, your greatest challenge and your strongest advantage will be two sides of the same coin. One the negative side, you have too much experience to come cheap. Unlike new grads in their early twenties, you can’t be hired for pennies and then trained by the company over time (employers like this, because they stand to profit as your skills skyrocket and your salary stays more or less the same.) You also don’t yet have enough high-level executive experience to take the wheel and be trusted with major company decisions.
On the positive side, you have far more experience than your fledgling counterparts. And since you aren’t a top level executive just yet, you don’t cost as much as a top level executive... but you have the ambition and drive to get there sooner rather than later. So you offer the best of both experience and value—both seasoned wisdom and potential for future growth. Make sure you highlight this in your resume. Here’s how.
You aren’t “old”: You’re just experienced.
Don’t remove your graduation dates in an attempt to make yourself look younger… That’s a move for candidates who are much older than you (if anyone). Instead, highlight your leadership training. List the leadership seminars you’ve taken—or taught—and document the teams you’ve lead to victory, the projects you’ve spearheaded and the major changes you’ve brought to your previous organizations. You aren’t a baby bird, and that’s something to be proud of. Make it clear that you’ve earned your stripes.
During your interview, speak on that theme. Don’t miss an opportunity to describe the challenges you’ve faced in the past, and proudly discuss moments when you failed or stumbled. Highlight the lessons you learned and ways in which these misadventures made you a stronger and more resilient professional.
You aren’t “young”: You’re just ambitious, flexible, and eager to learn.
While you’re presenting yourself as a seasoned leader, recognize that there are still plenty of candidates in the pool who are older, wiser, and more field-tested than you are. In the eyes of some employers, you’re still the kid, the runt, the little squirt. So make the most of this; emphasize the fact that you have a bright future ahead of you and a lot to learn, and you’re eager to grow and expand your skill sets. Use your resume to highlight your bold ambitions and future plans.
During your interview, talk about the future as much as the past. Let your employer know where you see yourself in three, five and ten years, and make it clear that you’re on your way up. If this company is smart enough to hire you, you’ll take them with you on your trip to the stars.
For more on how to showcase your skills no matter where you are on your career timeline, reach out to the staffing team at Cordia.