How To Land A Job You Are Overqualified For 

Just like when taking a long bike ride, you might want to lower the gears so you can enjoy the ride at a different pace, you may find yourself wishing to change the pace at which you work. Call it “consciously cutting back“, but women across the world find themselves still wishing to work, but not wanting to do so with as much responsibility, not at the same breakneck speed as before.

If you are in the job market but are making a conscious decision to bring your level of responsibility down, you may be surprised to find that convincing an employer to hire you for a position requiring less responsibility can be a challenge. At first you think “well of course they would be happy to have all of my knowledge and experience but in a less prominent role; they are getting a bargain!” And while yes, they are, sometimes employers can be reluctant to hire an overqualified candidate for various reasons. However, by following these tips below you can overcome this perception by making your over qualification a strength.

Here are 4 tips for landing a job that you are overqualified for:

1. Use Your Cover Letter To Sell Your Over Qualification

You can use your cover letter to convince a potential employer that your high qualifications are something they desire. If you explain your motivation well in the cover letter, the employer will see how your over qualification can be a strength.

When you are writing the cover letter, stay away from any words that make your amount of experience sound like a handicap. Instead, explain how your amount of experience can enhance their company’s goals. Also, when writing your cover letter you should assure the employer that you’re not going to leave anytime soon. Some hiring managers are afraid that you may leave if you get bored or if a better job offer comes along. You could try highlighting your commitment to your previous jobs to show them you are here to stay.

Resume2. Scale Down Your Resume

You don’t want to lie on your resume, but there are some details you can leave aside if you want to get considered for these positions. Doing this may prevent the hiring manager from skipping over your resume at first glance. For example, leave out the graduation date from your alma mater and only include the last 15 years of your career. This will leave the age of your career and years of experience to assumption. This, along with the impression that your last 15 years of experience gives, will help score you an interview.

3. Alleviate The Employer’s Worries In The Interview

During the interview, articulating your motivation in a clear and positive way that dispels any of the employer’s worries is important. Here are some tips to help you:

  • The goal is to convince the interviewer about your true intentions and give compelling reasons about why you are interested in the job.
  • You need to be explicit about why you’re not interested in higher positions anymore.
  • You should talk about why the responsibilities of this new job appeal to you with emphasis on the ones that the employer worries will bore you.
  • If the interviewer is hesitant to ask questions regarding you being overqualified, address any possible concerns head-on without being asked. If you don’t get the chance to alleviate their worries at the interview, you never will.

Direction4. Consider Downgrading Your Position Over Time

Downgrading little by little over time is an effective way to move towards a lower position. If your last job was at the VP-level you may find it hard to get hired to a positions with less managerial responsibilities. You can first downgrade to a senior-level managerial position and show dedication and commitment in that role and afterwards make the move to the targeted position. A potential employer will find this transition more palatable and you will have proof that you can take on a lower position and still be dedicated in that role.

So if you’re making this transition to a position you are overqualified for, I hope these tips prove useful to you. If you want help with this transition, seeking advice from a career expert can go a long way. May your transition be successful and bring you closer to your career goals!

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About The Author

Danielle Dayries

Danielle Dayries is the CEO/owner of the locally-based outplacement firm, DMD & Associates, Inc. Her firm is engaged by companies worldwide to deliver outplacement programs that empower those affected by a reduction in force to get back to work quickly, while helping companies protect their brand and limit legal exposure. She is a board member of several Society of Human Resource Chapters, speaks throughout the United States about career transition topics and is published in multiple publications.
Contact her through her website
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