Mid-career professionals face a number of unique challenges on the job market. Salary expectations are higher. Family circumstances may prevent relocation on short notice. Not to mention the problem of being overqualified for many positions. While you may have junior candidates beat in terms of experience, it’s not always easy to compete with their freshly acquired skills and unbridled enthusiasm.
But let’s not forget the advantages of embarking on a new position mid-career. Joining a new organization or entering into a new industry can really round out your resume. It also demonstrates an eagerness to take on new challenges, which is an invaluable quality to have if you decide to eventually pursue a senior management role.
Here are a few key tips that all mid-career professionals should keep in mind while on the job hunt.
Market your skills
Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. Work on translating your skills into strong commercial benefits in your cover letter and resume. This is your chance to state loud and clear what makes you exceptional. Avoid generalist language that doesn’t set you apart from the pack. And be sure to include examples of how you used your skills to make an impact in your previous positions and how you will apply them in a new role.
Your resume doesn’t have to include everything. If you’re concerned about appearing over-qualified, simply outline your last 10 years of employment. Leaving out detailed dates for your professional experience and education is also permissible if you’d prefer not to specify. You want a prospective employer to focus on your interest in the position and what you bring to the table, not whether you have too much experience to fit the role.
Network. Network. Network.
One of the best things about being mid-career is the professional network you’ve developed over the years. Word of mouth is still a highly effective way to learn about new job openings. If you’re on the job hunt, reach out to some of your contacts that work in, or near, the industry or organization that you’re looking to join. Both online and offline networking events are also crucial to staying on top of who’s hiring.