There could be any number of reasons why you’re searching for a job. Maybe you just graduated, maybe you were laid off, or maybe you’re not happy in your current job or even in your career. Whatever the reason, each job search comes with its own set of hurdles. One could be that you find yourself overqualified for the positions you’re seeking.
Here are four tips to keep in mind if you’re applying for a job that you’re overqualified for:
- Don’t play down your qualifications. You might be tempted to remove some skills or experiences from your resume if they are beyond what’s required for the position you’re applying for, but you shouldn’t do this. As long as they are relevant for the position, your skills will be a benefit to any employer, no matter if they are above and beyond what the job post asks for.
- Don’t shy away from a job you’re seriously interested in. If you’re applying to or interviewing for a job that you are genuinely interested in, don’t let your qualifications keep you from pursuing it. Being underqualified is a reason not to apply, but if you meet- or surpass- the minimum requirements, then move forward.
- Be prepared to explain why you want the job. A potential employer who reviews your resume may wonder why you are applying for a position if you are clearly overqualified for it. Be ready to tell them. If you’re applying for the job, you should have good reason for it- either it sounds like something you are passionate about, or you know it’s doing something that will make you happy. Don’t give the impression that you are desperate and willing to take any job you can get. You must show the employer that you have a good reason for wanting the job.
- Be aware of employers’ concerns and be prepared to ease those concerns. Employers will hesitate to hire you if you’re overqualified- they might think you won’t be challenged enough or will get bored with the job. They may be concerned that you will demand a large salary or a promotion soon after starting. You need to make it clear from the start- when you submit your cover letter and during the interview- why you are applying for the job, that you are aware you may be overqualified, but that you have a clear understanding of what your position will entail and a good reason for wanting the job.
Being overqualified for a position doesn’t necessarily mean you should rule it out of your job search. If you are genuinely interested in the job, and you are willing to take a step back in your career path for whatever reason, be prepared to explain that to a potential employer. If you think you will be happy with the job, and an employer realizes the value you would bring to their company, then it could be a good fit for both of you.