When You’re Overqualified for the Job

You are interested in applying for a position, but when you look at the job advertisement, you see that your skill level is higher than the requirements.  Whatever your reason for applying, if you are overqualified, the employer may be reluctant to hire you.  But shouldn’t they be happy to get someone of a higher skill level?  Nope, and here’s why:

1.  They are afraid that you will be unhappy or that you will find a better job after a short period of time.

2.  They are concerned there may be a hidden reason why you aren’t applying for a position at your level.  What are you hiding?

3.  The manager may be intimidated by you or feel threatened by your skills and experience.  They may be afraid that you will surpass them and become their boss one day.

So how do you make employers comfortable with hiring you?

1.  Why are you interested in this position?

Are you just trying to get into the organization?  Are you looking for a lifestyle change?  Is the location better for you?  Be sure that you are honest with yourself about your motivation. If your reasons are personal, you may not wish to share them with the employer.  Provide them with an answer that is true (even if it isn’t your main reason) and that makes you an attractive candidate.

2.  Express passion for the position.

The employer wants to see that you are genuinely interested in the job.  If you express passion in your cover letter and your interview, they will likely overlook the fact that you are slightly overqualified for the position.

3.  Link your skills and experience directly to the position.  Go through the job advertisement, point-by-point, and outline how your skills and experience relate to the qualifications and responsibilities of the position.  In some cases, you may want to leave some of your skills and education off the resume, but don’t create gaps in your work history and don’t lie.

Flexibility is an essential trait when trying to build your career.  Sometimes taking a position a little below your skill level may be your best career decision.  Keep an open mind and follow your passion.  Good luck!

(Written by: Karen Bivand. Photo From: krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


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