Career Dilemma: Overqualified

Most of our articles were devoted to situations when job seekers lacked something either in skills or experienced. We have addressed many common career mistakes explaining how to reflect that on a resume or CV. Today we want to talk about other (maybe less common) problem - being overqualified. This may not seem like a problem at all, especially for students or entry-level employees who always try to gain some new qualifications and experience in order to be considered for serious job openings. Many job seekers don't even think that being overqualified for the position can be a problem. But as a matter of fact, employers have many reasons why they want to turn down overqualified candidates. Most of them think they can't pay you enough or you will leave when a better opportunity arises. It also makes sense to assume than overqualified candidates won't be happy by working for a less experience executive...

How to Land The Job When You Are Overqualified?

overqualifiedIf were laid off from your past managerial or executive job (due to different reasons) it is likely that it won't be easy to find a job that would match your expectations. Especially if you the reason was that your past employer went bankrupt. In this case, people start bombarding big corporations and reputable companies with their resume in attempts to get an interview. However, such attempts rarely achieve any success and as a result, job seekers try to find something on a lower level. The problem with such an approach is that you are objectively overqualified for the positions like that and every HR manager will think twice before seriously considering you for the job. So what do you do when you have too much experience but you still need to land a job?

First of all, stop sending your resume to all the companies. Especially if such an approach didn't land you at least one job. Stop thinking about what you need: what kind of position job, salary or reputation. If you really want to get a job you need to start thinking about the needs of your potential employers. That's how most people get hired today. Search the companies you would like to work for and try to understand what they really need. As soon as you've done that make sure your resume and other application documents reflect how your specific skills and qualifications can match employer's needs. There is no need to list all of your high-level accomplishment, focus on how you can practically contribute to the success of your employer. When you are done polishing up your new resume it is time to prepare for the interview. You have to be ready for a series of question that will address your qualifications.

As we have mentioned before, most HRs are suspicious about overqualified candidates because they have certain assumptions. Sometimes you will be directly and sometimes very subtly asked about your true intentions and commitment. Be prepared to answer whether it won't be humiliating to work under someone who has achieved so much less than you did in your professional career. Think through this kind of answers in advance so that you don't have to look confused at the interview.

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