John Bernatovicz

Be Accomplished, Not Seasoned

seasonsonIt’s a fact of life – father time always wins – despite all of our efforts.  As we mature and gain more experience, it is important to keep progressing and advancing your career.  Inevitably, many HR and payroll professionals face having to find a job when we least expect it and at often times are in shock as they think “I thought I was going to retire from that company.”

How do you handle this?  You could wring your hands and have a negative approach, or you can flip it around.  Typically, more mature candidates are perceived to be more expensive than their less experienced counterparts.  It is your job to show why your experience is worth the difference in investment.

Age doesn’t matter.  Here are some tips to make your maturity / stage of your life come across as a strength to the hiring company.  Ultimately, you hold the keys to this perception:

Be Accomplished
Seasoned is an awesome word.  It oozes gravitas.  You know what else it oozes?  Boredom.  If you are accomplished versus seasoned you could be a vibrant leader who can call on the benefit of their experiences to move the company forward, with energy and commitment. Similarly, when crafting your resume, focus on areas where you were a “key contributor” rather than task in which you “participated.”

Promote Exhibit One… through Ten
You know what else comes with professional maturity?  A track record.  You have experiences that you can pull from to showcase that you not only can do what will be asked – but you have direct experience and success.  Real, tangible examples of success.

Don’t Get Lazy
As we grow older, expenses tend to pile up and clothes tend to take a back seat in a budgetary pecking order – especially suits and work clothes.  Like it or not, you are in an interview to be judged – and part of that will rest on how you dress and present yourself.  If you go halfway or are sloppy, why wouldn’t the employer think your work will be the same? You don’t have to buy a new suit – but make sure it is cleaned and altered if need be. It is sound, time-tested advice to dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

Demonstrate That You Are Not Behind the Times
Make an extra effort to show you are still up-to-date with today’s technology, be it by providing a link to your LinkedIn (and Twitter if appropriate) on your resume.  Show up to an interview with a tablet if you have one – or even if you have to borrow one.

It’s up to you – your years of experience can be your greatest strength – if it is not distinguishing you, change your approach!

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