Are You an Overqualified Applicant? Here's What to Do.

overqualifiedYou’ve likely heard the great news: more jobs are being added to the economy at a rapid pace. What you may not realize is that today’s job market is very competitive. Not only are jobs being added to the industry, but the unemployment rate is dropping, and the competition is fierce in the industry.

A major issue may be that you are overqualified.

This is a situation that no job seeker wants to be in because over qualification is something that you never expect to hear when going for a job. You’ve followed the advice of career counselors, gained experience, furthered your education and obtained certifications knowing that you’re going to be employed for the long term. And if you’re in dire need of a job, being an overqualified candidate is definitely not something that you’ll expect.

What Hiring Managers Think Of Overqualified Applicants

It’s unfortunate, but hiring managers have a stigma against overqualified applicants. What do they think of applicants that are overqualified?

  • The applicant will take any job. If you have too much experience, employers will think that you are the type of employee that takes any job that comes along with the potential of leaving the company once a better opportunity comes along.
  • The applicant is incompetent. You may have worked for a previous employee for years, but if you didn’t move up the ranks or take the initiative to get a promotion, a hiring manager may see you as incompetent. Employees that are incompetent are often seen as doing just enough to get the job done.
  • The applicant is overconfident. If you have several years of experience and know that you’re overqualified, you may go into an interview with a little too much confidence.
  • The applicant is too costly. Overqualified applicants often leave jobs that have higher-paying salaries. Even if you’re willing to take a lower salary, many employers will think that you’ll leave your position faster and will only be a short-term employee.
  • The applicant is bored or burnt out. You have years of experience, so it’s very hard to understand why you would take a lower paying job. Many hiring managers will assume that you’re tired of working in the industry, bored or burnt out.

Dealing with the Overqualified Stigma

If you must apply for a position that has a lower demand and skill set, your job search will be much more difficult. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, but you’ll need to take a few additional steps to ensure that you boost your hiring opportunities. These steps include:

  • Explain: The best way is to explain to your future employer why you want your position despite having too much experience. Maybe you want to take a position that requires a different skill set that you have yet to master, or simply want to take part in a role that you enjoy better. Highlight these reasons in your interview, and don’t be afraid to mention them in your resume.
  • Simplify: I’m not suggesting that you lie in your resume, but you don’t need to include every little bit of experience that you have. Focus on skills that the job description is calling for, and leave out some of your other job duties of the past. Eliminate unnecessary experiences and skills, and demonstrate that you have the ability to excel in the position.
  • Prepare: The final thing that you want to do as an overqualified applicant is to prepare for the interview. Talk about the company, and why you are applying for your particular position. If you are going to take a major pay cut, explain that this is an opportunity for you to work with a strong and stable company, and that the pay isn’t as important of a factor to you.

Overqualified applicants are becoming increasingly prevalent in the job market. You need to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you not only want the position, but that the choice to take the position isn’t your only option at a job. Make it so that the hiring manager knows you want to work for the particular company, and that you aren’t just going into the job as a short-term solution to employment.

Denver Employment

Struggling to find the right fit? Looking for new Denver employment opportunities? We can help you. At Employment Solutions, jobs are our expertise. Call our experienced staffing agency today at (303) 455-4414.