June 2, 2013

Are You Overqualified For The Job?

What makes someone qualified for a job? Is it experience? Certifications? Who you know? What happens if you are overqualified?

Sometimes people apply for jobs for which they are overqualified. This might happen to a Harvard grad with 10 years of experience at a Fortune 500 company applying to work at a dude ranch or in the fishing industry. Making this type of move may be considered climbing down the career ladder. It’s probably not a career move that will help you achieve your long term goals.

When employers see an applicant who’s resume trumps the job description, they’ll be labeled as overqualified. Employers fear these applicants, because they worry they will be bored or unhappy with lower pay.

If you are applying for a job that you are overqualified for, but one that you truly want, here’s are a few tips:

  • Don’t mention money. Let someone else bring up the subject.
  • Tell the truth. Be able to answer why you are taking this type of job – to make extra cash, life experience, support a rock climbing habit?
  • Don’t downplay your prior experience
  • Sign a contract for a pre-determined amount of time to show that you are truly committed.
  • Understand the job and what you are signing up for.
  • Write a clear and concise resume
  • Show the employers that you are dedicated and willing to help

When you take a job you are overqualified for, be sure that it is your choice. Is a step backwards ultimately going to lead to a step forward in a new career path. Will it eventually lead to a promotion in a different job or get your foot in the door with your dream company?

The main goal is to convince your potential employer or recruiter that you are the right person for the job and that you wouldn’t apply for the job if you didn’t truly want it.

Search over the job listings on JobMonkeyJobs to see what is required of different jobs. Are you overqualified for the job?

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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