Overqualified isn’t the Same Thing as Being Qualified

When you’re looking for a new job, you may decide to adopt a “blanket” strategy, applying to all jobs you could do well, regardless of whether the job meets your current qualifications.

Unfortunately, this strategy can backfire.  Prospective employers may look at how your current experience matches up to a job and determine that you’re “overqualified” – that your experience, skills, and education make you a better fit for a job higher up the ladder than the one to which you have applied.

Hiring managers prefer not to put “overqualified” individuals in positions for many reasons, including concerns that the candidate:

  • will be unhappy in a lower position,
  • may expect an immediate promotion,
  • requires a salary the company can’t afford, and/or
  • will quit as soon as a better job comes along.

With these risks in play, it’s not surprising that many hiring managers overlook “overqualified” applicants.  But you don’t have to lose out.  Instead, use the fact that you may be overqualified as a chance to showcase your skills.

Being “overqualified” can cause you to be overlooked for a job you can do and would enjoy, so it’s important to establish that you’re the right person for this job – just like you would any other.  If, during an interview, a hiring manager says you are overqualified or seems to think you are, don’t hesitate to bring up points like:

  • how much the position is like work you’ve done before and enjoyed.
  • how your qualifications make you a great fit for the position.  For instance, have your skills as a manager made you an excellent typist?  Are you more self-directed at work and more likely to take initiative because you’ve had the chance to see how this position fits with the company’s overall process?  Don’t be afraid to say so.
  • how this job fits into your overall career plans, if your plan demonstrates that you’re not likely to disappear as soon as a better position comes along.

Avoid “dumbing down” your background in order to make yourself look like a better fit.  Not only are you likely to be discovered, but you worked hard for your experience, education, and skills.  Take pride in your accomplishments! Showcase your hard work and how to you plan to make your specific blend of talents work for your new employer – in any position.

Tailoring your approach to a new position can be tricky.  For help, contact the experienced recruiters at Marquee Staffing today.

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