Longevity, while still potentially very attractive to employers, just doesn’t command the attention that it once did. In fact, longevity could actually be working against you.
Here are three possible perceptions that someone with an extended history with one organization (or in one role) needs to be mindful of:
Unambitious – The easiest way to combat this especially negative perception is to highlight a track record of taking on new challenges. Make sure to clearly outline ways in which you’ve expanded or stepped outside of your role. Speak to specific projects you’ve taken on or responsibilities you’ve assumed.
Lack of agility – Unlike candidates with several positions within multiple organizations, agility isn’t implied by your professional timeline. In this case, make sure to speak to overcoming obstacles in your role. Include instances of adapting to a changing organization or industry.
Stagnant skills – This is a perception that is fairly easy to combat, but no less critical to be mindful of. Make sure your resume is clearly outlining recent and relevant training. Show professional affiliations and, even higher impact, thought leadership through professional social media profiles.
Longevity still translates to “loyalty” in the minds of many readers, which is a huge differentiator. But times and perceptions are changing. Knowing the potentially negative way readers can view longevity means you can manage perceptions while highlighting a professional quality that is increasingly rare.