It may be hard to believe, but having too much experience can actually hurt almost as much as having no experience at all. Hiring managers are reluctant to hire people with too much experience, because you no doubt are confident in your skills and the way you do things. When they hire entry level employees, they know they can teach them how to perform certain duties their own way. So when you have a lot of experience, it gets a little trickier, but definitely not impossible. Here are some tips for getting a job even with “too much experience.”
Start building a professional network now. Since you are someone with a lot of experience, you most likely already know many people o get in contact with in your industry or that you used to work with. By having a strong professional network, you can reach out to these individuals when it comes time to look for a job. With too much experience, having a referral comes in handy.
Reword Your Resume
Do some editing to your resume and refocus it a little bit. Keep the formatting easy to read and not too busy, while entering all the most pertinent information. Make sure you personalize parts of the resume to the job which you are applying for. If you had five temp jobs a decade ago in a different industry, it doesn’t need to be included. However, you should include any special skills, certificates or education you have had that show your competency.
Don’t List Your Responsibilities
This is a very common mistake that doesn’t give hiring managers much information about your experience or work ethic. Being told what your responsibilities or duties were is only telling them what was expected of you, not what you actually did. Instead, focus on describing accomplishments you experienced in those positions.
Have Relevant Skills
Just because you have been working for 20 years, doesn’t mean you have the right skills for the job. A common issue with people who have a lot of experience, is that it is outdated experience. Show on your resume that you are up-to-date with modern technology and have taken the time to hone your skills. If you are applying for a marketing position, show how adept you are at social media or mobile marketing, since these are important.
Show Willingness to Learn
During the interview, don’t focus as much on your past experience, as your willingness to learn. Express how you are more than willing to learn new skills and styles of working, rather than only relying on your past experience. With a lot of experience behind you, this is going to be very important to the hiring manager.
Having a lot of experience can be a good thing as long as you handle it in the right way. Try to veer away from your experience and focus more on the job you are applying for.