35 years experience? – Forget it

35 years experience? – Forget it

Read the latest blog from our Head Hunter Martin here…


Top among LinkedIn gripes are those over 50 bemoaning the fact that their lifetime of experience counts for nothing. They’ll blame fussy employers and junior recruiters who might sometimes tell them they’re ‘over-qualified’ and that they’re left to fester on the scrapheap of candidates clearly feeling hard done by.

I’ve got to tell you, you need to take a different tack – 35 years of experience is all very well if it’s relevant, but it can carry the distinct whiff of living in the past.

So what?

I could claim 35 years of experience, but I choose not to. It’s there, but I don’t make a virtue of it. 35 years of experience could be 1 year’s experience repeated 35 times. I have experiences from 35 years ago that are now utterly irrelevant. Why would I want to drag those around like heavy chains?

What I did in 1995 (even the very good stuff) is now almost worthless. If I were looking for a new job now I’d be up against people who had done very good stuff in 2015. If you had to choose, who would you pick? Not some crusty old bloke still dining out on stories 20 years old.

If you’re 50 plus, wake up to the fact that employers are looking at what you’ve done only in recent years and what you could contribute to them in 2017. Just leaning on the shovel of experience and looking and sounding like a victim leaves you looking really unattractive.

Don’t live in the past

I’m not claiming it’s easy, but it’s sure easier if your CV is weighted towards recent years. Far too many people over 50 focus on what they did in the 90’s and noughties, but recent jobs are covered by one line, almost as if they’re ashamed of them. You can almost smell the Brut as they “splash it all over”, and the sound of the Eagles tuning up again in the background.

Come on. SKILLS are what you need to sell – SKILLS that you’ve kept up to date and relevant. If you’ve fallen behind, best catch up. Now.

Experience sucks.



About RSE Group

Here at the RSE Group, we are curious to understand what will give organisations the best ROI on their investment in their people.

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