By Robert DiGiacomo
If you have at least 10 years of experience in a particular field, job hunting in the current market presents a special challenge.
You're beyond entry level in terms of experience -- and salary expectations -- yet you're not quite ready for the executive suite, either.
In this tough job market, you could fall between the cracks of employers seeking low-cost, green trainees and more proven managers to right their corporate ships.
Here are ways to negotiate this in-between status and take a positive, next career step.
Don't Erase Your Dates
Instead of taking the dates off your resume to seem younger, embrace your experience, by preparing an "accomplishment-based resume," says Rachelle J. Canter, president of RJC Associates and author of Make the Right Career Move.
"Show that the extra years provide critical achievements and seasoning that a younger competitor cannot hope to attain," says Canter.
Right Resume for the Right Job
At the same time, it's perfectly acceptable to develop different versions of your resume tailored to different positions, according to career coach Rebecca Kiki Weingarten.
"For each job, you don't need to list all of your skills," Weingarten says. "Just include what's relevant to whatever they're looking for. You don't want to overwhelm employers. When you go for an interview, you can mention extra skills and experience."
Honesty Really Is the Best Policy
If you're applying for a position for which you may be overqualified, address the issue head-on in a cover letter, recommends life and career coach Shawn Driscoll.
"Don't leave it to the resume screener to jump to conclusions," Driscoll says. "Maybe you are looking to diversify your career experience, and so you're willing to take a step back or a pay cut. Say so. Then, sell your experience and your results."
The Storytelling Advantage
When you land an interview, come armed with compelling anecdotes of real-world problems -- and how you solved them.
"Younger job seekers won't have stories -- they'll just have theories," Driscoll says. "Give real situations, the action you took and the results you achieved."
Calling Style 911
Your resume may not be the only thing that needs updating. Your favorite power suit may look tired, or your hairstyle or glasses could be trapped in the '90s. Image consultant David A. McKnight of DAMstyle recommends perusing fashion magazines and catalogs to assess current trends, and tossing items from three to five years ago that seem out of date.
At the same time, not every hot trend will flatter you, so ask a fashion-savvy friend for advice, or consult a professional to help you figure out your personal look.
"Just because a particular style is popular, it doesn't mean you should be wearing it," McKnight says.
Finally, you may not have planned to be looking for a new position, but if your job wasn't really your intended career, it could be a good time to forge a new path.
"Having been in a profession for a period of time, use this time to look at your future in another way," Weingarten says. "Instead of saying, I thought I was going to accomplish, X, Y or Z, you can ask yourself, 'What do I want to do from here on in?"