Putting together an eye-catching resume is a great way to start hunting for a job. While some people lack enough education and experience, others have the exactly opposite challenge. Some applicants have too much experience for the position they are applying for.
You know that you are overqualified if you not only meet but exceed every requirement. Also, if your current or previous jobs paid higher salaries and the job you are applying for isn’t challenging enough for you.
Unfortunately, the employers might think that they cannot pay you well enough since your expectations are higher than what the position pays. However, you shouldn’t give up hope as your credentials can give you the upper hand.
Take advantage of the following tips to avoid appearing overqualified:
1. Simplify Your Resume
If you are overqualified, the hiring department might be concerned that you’ll be dissatisfied with a position that doesn’t use your full talents. In most cases, you’ll receive a rejection letter citing that the job isn’t challenging enough for a candidate of your caliber. Also, the employer may not be willing to pay for qualifications that may be irrelevant to that position.
If you have 10 years’ experience and only five of those relate to the position you are applying for, you can chop off a few pages from your CV. Keeping your resume simple and leaving out the unrelated details allows you to focus only on what the position requires. If asked about the employment gaps, use the opportunity to highlight the hands-on skills that you gained.
2. Focus On Your Technical Skills
Employers need to know that despite your expertise in management, you have great technical skills that can benefit the company. If you have held supervisory roles before, you might be tempted to spill the beans. If the position is non-managerial, it requires more technical than supervisory skills.
So, avoid selling your managerial skills that might lead the hiring manager to put your CV in the ‘overqualified’ group. For example, if you are applying for an accounting job, discuss your skills in bookkeeping, spreadsheets, payroll, and databases.
3. Customize Your Resume
If you are labeled as overqualified, it means that you have more extensive education, work experience, and hands-on skills than the recruiters need. In most cases, your experience can work against you. Regardless of your abilities and willingness to do the job, the HR department might screen your resume.
Despite the managerial positions that you’ve held before, it’s vital to tone them down. While you will list the companies that you’ve worked for and how long you were there, you need to focus on what you did rather than the position you held.
Write down the job requirements of the position you are seeking. Then, highlight the skills required to do that job. Edit your current resume by picking the relevant skills and leaving out what you think might be unnecessary. Being selective will help you to focus on the skills that match the job requirements.
4. Show Your Commitment
Sometimes, you might need to apply for a less-pay job or one that’s not challenging enough. However, potential employers might feel that you only want to work on a temporary basis until you find another opportunity. Since the employers feel that you will be bored by the job, they won’t hire you unless you prove your commitment.
Instead of working against you, your experience and education can work to your advantage if you promise to give it your all. You can show your commitment by:
- Proving that your experience will be a great asset to the company
- Highlighting the challenges in the position that require your expertise
- Citing various solutions to the challenges in that position
- Being flexible on your expectations in terms of the salary and prestige
All this goes down during your interview as the interviewer analyses your resume and asks follow up questions.
5. Stand Out
Having 15 years’ experience instead of 10 is not a bad thing. Being more knowledgeable on various aspects of your field will not hurt either. Being confident that you have the required skills, education, and experience to back it up will help you to stand out among the other applicants.
Most importantly, you need to enumerate the reasons why you think the job perfectly fits you. Employers need to know that you won’t see it as a lesser job but an opportunity for growth. Under qualified candidates will have to navigate the learning curve before they get up to speed with various aspects of the job.
You, on the other hand, have what it takes to hit the ground running. Your ability to think outside the box and suggest clever ways that can benefit your department will tip the scales in your favor.
Even if you are overqualified, you can receive the appointment letter if you:
- Highlight that the job will help you to sharpen your technical skills
- Focus on how the job will help you to achieve your career goals
- Show great interest in the company and its future
- Enumerate the benefits your great skills bring to the company
For the best outcomes, you need to check your attitude. Thinking that the company would be lucky to have you is a self-defeating notion. Since the skills that make you overqualified are irrelevant to that position, avoid giving off vibes of self-importance and tone everything down. Acknowledge that some of your skills might not be applicable to that position but you look forward to contributing to the best of your abilities.
Use Your Expertise To Your Advantage
Hiring overqualified candidates can help organizations grow and achieve much higher productivity. Employers know that hiring and retaining the best talent in the industry can help them to open a wide range of opportunities. Overqualified applicants ought to be team players that can challenge their peers to exceed their current expectations through teamwork and mentorship.
Your Master’s degree or PhD is a great asset, not a liability. Your employers know that you’re perfectly qualified to handle the technical work and will reward you well for it.