Have you been told that you are overqualified for the positions that you are targeting? Have you considered removing some qualifications and experiences to make you a better fit? While in some situations, this may be an appropriate strategy, ask yourself these questions first:
Will you be misrepresenting yourself? Most employers rate honesty and integrity as more important than any skill or experience when looking at potential hires. If the employer detects that you have misrepresented yourself on your resume, they will not even give you a second glance. Keep in mind that people working in the human resources department are trained to identify inconsistencies. However, don’t forget that there is a difference between misrepresenting yourself and customizing your resume. When you customize your resume, your intention is not to mislead the employer, rather it is to remove irrelevant information and highlight your most important skills and experiences.
Could you be underestimating your ability to get a job at your level? Just because you have been trying to get a job for a few months, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are aiming too high. There could be a completely different issue that is preventing you from getting hired. For example, there may be a problem with your resume, or perhaps you need some coaching on your interview skills. Sometimes a small tweak in the way that you approach your job search can make a big difference.
Are you actually overqualified for the position? While you may feel like you are completely overqualified for the position, the employer may not see it that way. In this tough job market, even skilled and experienced professionals are applying for entry-level jobs. The competition for the position may be stronger than you think, and the experiences that you are cutting out of your resume might be what would give you the edge.
What is your long term plan? There may be specific situations that warrant you scaling back your resume. However, you want to make sure that it is a strategy in your long term plan. What is your career goal, and how will this position help you reach that goal? If you stay focused and approach your career choices strategically, you can turn a potential setback into a future opportunity.
Sometimes there are compelling reasons to take a job that is beneath your skill and experience level. Perhaps you need to find a position quickly in order to support yourself and your family, and know that it takes time to get a good job. However, it is always a bad idea to mislead a potential employer. Instead, think of any concerns that the employer may have about hiring you, and do your best to alleviate them.
(Written by Karen Bivand)