It can be really frustrating when you’re approaching the end of your career and get feedback like “you don’t have enough experience” or “you’re too experienced” or “you’re overqualified” when applying for jobs which look like a great fit on paper. Sometimes it can feel like your age is being used against you and it can feel like the job hunting equivalent of Goldilocks – trying to get the amount of experience that’s ‘just right’!
Here are my 3 key tips to turning the situation around moving forward, to help land your next position:
1. Set yourself up for success. The key to any successful job search or career change is to take the time to look at yourself and define what is important to you. Zoom out, understand and map out your current work situation. Define what ideal work looks like to you and create a vision for your ideal job. Work on your mindset and set goals you’re going to hit. Job searching is tough at any stage in a career, so having a solid foundation and a mindset that sets you up for success is really key. Make sure that your CV, LinkedIn profile and cover letters are the best that they can be – this includes tailoring your CV and cover letter for each application you make.
2. Take control of your job search. Recruitment agencies and employers each have an agenda and for every open position, they will have a predefined idea of what they want and they will look for that. Agencies for example will only put forward who they think has best chance of getting them their fee. So sadly, candidates approaching the end of their career get less of a look in for many types of roles and will often receive ‘lip service’.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can take proactive control of your career by opening the right doors yourself, and get access to hidden opportunities that others don’t see. You will find many employers are much more open minded than agencies, if you deal with them directly and work with the key decision makers yourself. In my free webclass, one of the things I reveal is how to bypass applying through job boards and agencies and instead get yourself to the front of the queue for the best opportunities, that others do not see.
3. Pre-empt their concerns and use them to your advantage. Being in the twilight of your career gives you advantages that more junior candidates do not have. For example, you will likely have much more knowledge and experience, and probably be easier to manage. A good way into a company is a fixed term contract or freelance role, and many of these positions develop into permanent positions in time. Companies often look for staff who can commit to 6 month or year-long contracts, so people coming to the end of the careers actually have an advantage here. By helping a company out in tight spot, you may well find that they don’t want to let you go.
On an employers side, they will usually worry about two main factors: is your experience and knowledge still relevant and are you still hungry to add value and contribute. Pre-empt these concerns wherever you can in an interview, talk about how you’ve stayed up to date with industry trends, maintained and built your knowledge and that you’re passionate about helping the company. Think about how you can add value and know how to sell yourself. It’s well known now that people are working for longer than they used to, typically into their 70s, so don’t be afraid to talk about that to offset any preconceived ideas they might have.
Finding and landing the right role at any point in a career is a jigsaw puzzle, it takes time and patience but it’s about having the right tools and strategies too, as well knowing how to market and sell yourself.
I hope these tips help you to move forward!
So many professionals are tired of feeling frustrated with their job search or career, so I created a 3 step online program that helps them land their dream job, love their career and achieve happiness in working life. You can get started here: https://www.withchriskelly.com/5-steps