Are You Overqualified for the Job?

By: AJE Recruiting Specialist

Are You Overqualified for the Job?

Have you ever stopped to consider your job qualifications? While some job seekers worry that they are not qualified enough for the position of their dreams, others run the risk of being seen as overqualified. Whether it's your extensive experience, previous salaries and positions, or comprehensive schooling, many factors can contribute to an employer placing the label of "overqualified" on you. How can you convince a hiring manager to overcome their apprehension, look past these "over-qualifications," and consider you for the position you are after? The recruiting experts at America's Job Exchange offer some strategies you may want to consider.

The first step is to present yourself to prospective employers as "fully-qualified," rather than "over-qualified." Use the job description as a basis to determine which skills and abilities you should focus on when writing your resume. During subsequent interviews, avoid intimidating a hiring manager with your extensive experience or education. Don't focus on your previous titles, but rather the skills you used in these positions to successfully complete the job. Emphasize your aptitude to work with others in a team environment, even if you are older or more experienced than your potential coworkers.

Oftentimes, salary restrictions can place you in the "over-qualified" category. Make sure that a potential employer is cognizant of your flexibility in this matter, and if applicable maintain that salary is not your primary concern. Stress that whatever you earned at previous positions has no bearing on your current job search. You may be willing to make a monetary sacrifice for a position that isn't as time-consuming or as intense as past employment. Maybe you'd like to spend less time working, and have more time to yourself, or with your family. Explain this to the hiring manager, and make him aware that you recognize earning less is the only way to achieve this balance. If salary is still an issue, reveal the potential financial advantages of hiring you. Increased revenue generation or cut costs that you were responsible for in a previous position may convince an employer to look past the salary issue, and take you on board.

Nothing will persuade a hiring manager more than a positive attitude. Go into the interview with enthusiasm and interest, even if the position you're applying for is a downgrade in comparison with past jobs. Be knowledgeable about the company and the job, and display a genuine passion for both. Perhaps the employer fears that you will abandon this position once a better offer is passed along to you; alleviate this anxiety. Point out your consistency with past employers, and let hiring managers know that you are willing to start small, and eventually grow with the company.

Employers are just as hesitant to take on over qualified employees as they are under qualified ones. Show these hiring managers that you are a right fit for the position, regardless of qualifications. The most important rule to remember is humility. Don't let your ego take over and have that be the final factor that pushes your application into the "over qualified" pile.

For more career advice, visit America's Job Exchange for job listings, resume writing and interview tips, salary information and more.