Overqualified? Five Ways to Get the Job You Need

*By Barbara Pronin, RISMedia Consumer Columnist


At a time when unemployment rates are high and competition is keen, it is not unusual for worried job-seekers to seek positions for which they may be overqualified.

“For many out-of-work employees, a job at a lower level than they held had in the past may be the best way to get back into the corporate world,” noted San Diego career counselor Jackie Emmet. “But many employers seem to have a bias against hiring those who appear to be overqualified for the position they need to fill.”

Emmet offers five strategies for overcoming the ‘overqualified’ label:

Know the employer – Make a case for your desire to work in a particular company or industry. Know the company’s goals and commitments and zero in on how your specific skills and career goals can help the company achieve theirs.
Understand the job description – Read between the lines to understand what the employer deems the most valuable aspects of the job. Tailor your resume and personal interview to point up achievements you have made along those lines in your previous employment.
Reframe the label – Turn being overqualified into a positive, reassuring thing. Affirm to the employer that your experience means you will require less training and coaching than a less qualified hire and that your ability and experience will allow you to take on extra tasks or fill in as needed for higher level positions.
Emphasize results – Craft a succinct, two-minute pitch on how your background and experience meet the needs of the employer and how your own career goals perfectly complement the goals of the hiring company.
State your intentions – Employers may be concerned that you will not stay long-term if you are offered a better job elsewhere. Overcome such reluctance by making it clear that you feel comfortable being a team player and that you would feel fairly compensated at the pay rate being offered.

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