Sometimes, you find yourself in the unenviable category of “overqualified” candidates when applying for a job.If you are interested in a position that you overqualify for, take a proactive stance and answer some common interviewer’s questions before they are asked.
Answer “why are you applying for a job you overqualify for?” in your cover letter. Maybe you want to have a less demanding position because you have decided family time is more important than working 70 hours a week. Along with that, make sure you state that you highly appreciate being able to have a job that allows you to use your skills and work fewer hours. Another scenario is the person who has found they really enjoy the challenges of the lower level job and has decided they do not want to move up.
Answer “won’t you move on to another opening as soon as one shows up?” with a resume that has highlighted the skills and experience you bring to the job, how those skills meet the job requirements, and some questions of your own during the interview that show your interest will be ongoing.
Answer “how will you react to a younger supervisor and new technology?” by relating instances in your career where you worked successfully with all ages, and the technology trends you have kept up with or are currently learning how to use.
Answer “what if we can’t pay you what you were making before?” by being prepared to discuss salary and a firm grasp of what you will accept, even if it is less. You may very well be working for less than you made before, but if the job is one you enjoy, that is worth more than dollars.
The cover letter and resume for an “overqualified” job seeker need to be fine-tuned to answer some of the questions satisfactorily and get you the interview where you can discuss the rest. If you are not sure how to do this, perhaps our coaching services would be a good investment. A Certified Career Coach can work with you one-on-one to strategize your job search effectively, and transform being “overqualified” into an asset that gets you that interview.
You have worked hard and maybe even hired a professional, but you finally have a fantastic resumethat highlights every positive aspect of your career perfectly. You have followed every hint for networking and job search that you can find mentioned anywhere. After all of that you are still not getting called in for interviews and are left with the question of whether or not you should dumb down your resume. This is a popular idea right now because of the state of the economy. The thinking is that if you dumb it down, then you might get more interviews because you will no longer be overqualified for the positions you are applying for and thus not being interviewed. While there is a certain amount of logic to this it doesn’t mean that lying on your resume if a good idea. Any type of lie, even one of omission of positive facts can be used against you later on in your career. Most importantly, when the deception is discovered, it could be grounds for immediate termination. At best, eventually your boss is going to find out that you lied and wonder what else you have lied about. This is also a pointless exercise because you will probably be caught even before the interview. There is a paper trail to your life and often an interviewer does a cursory check of the basic credentials of candidates before scheduling an interview.You can’t be certain that your omissions will not come to light then and remove you from candidacy immediately. The better suggestion is to keep applying and handle your over qualifications in your cover letter.
How many times have you been told you were overqualified for a job search position? It actually happens a lot and can be just as bruising to an ego and not being considered at all. There is actually a reason why employers will use this tactic during the interview process. They will actually see you as a possible problem. They will not want someone whom they think may start a job and quickly try to run a department, become the office tattletale or think everyone is beneath them. Even if they are impressed with your skills, they view that as a threat for a lower paid position.
A woman I knew had this happen to her several times. Her husband was in the oil fields and every time he got a promotion, they had to move. Hence to say, she developed a wide range of skills in different industries by taking whatever jobs were available in each location.
She had experience in convenience stores, nursing assistant, grocery stores, newspaper work, administrative assistant and even office manager positions. You can see how her progression looked really well on her resume. But sometimes she would hit a snag and not get a position she really wanted because this question would pop up. She always explained why she had such a wide range of skills. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. Perseverance, determination and not giving up are crucial in getting around this question. Sometimes you do have to take a step backward in order to make a living. Be sure to explain why you still want the job and that you would be a valuable asset to the company. If necessary, update your resume to reflect more of your skills that are in line with the job position. And, remember, some income is better than no income, so don’t give up.