Have you ever been told that you were overqualified for a job or position that you really wanted? If so, there are a few things you should be aware of in order to avoid that situation in the future.
There is a belief in the business world that hiring an overqualified employee is not good practice. The assumption is that someone overqualified is more likely to be or become dissatisfied, which will lead to them leaving before the company has been able to recuperate their investment. However, some studies suggest this traditional belief may not be correct. Businesses are finding that employees considered overqualified can be a great asset to the company. To clear up this disconnect, we should examine what it truly means to be overqualified.
Typically, companies compare a resume to a job description to determine if a candidate is qualified. If the resume indicates the candidate has more years of experience than what's being asked, they say the candidate is overqualified, and then they start making a number of assumptions. This may be a flawed approach, but it happens.
If you are applying for a job where you have more years of experience than what is required and you want to ensure you're not labeled as “overqualified,” there are a few things you can do to avoid losing the opportunity.
First, make sure you're passionate about the job you're seeking. Aside from proving your abilities to perform the job, demonstrating that you're willing to do what it takes will help show your value. Even if you believe you deserve better or bigger opportunities, you still have to show enthusiasm for the one in front of you.
I work with many people who interview for jobs they're overqualified for because of unexpected layoffs. They're willing to take a temporary pay cut until they can find something better. They confidently go to the interview, articulating how qualified they are for the job, but ultimately are not offered the position. They have no idea why.
In situations like this, the company knows the candidate doesn’t have the desire to stay long term. They can see the lack of enthusiasm. When interviewing a number of candidates, it's easy to see who's enthusiastic and who isn't.
If you're in a situation where you will be taking less money than your last job, it's up to you to talk about other factors that genuinely excite you. If there is nothing that excites you and you are only there because you feel you need any job, it probably isn’t going to work out. There has to be something that you like about the opportunity that can fuel your enthusiasm. Concentrate on those things. Don’t let the interviewer/company make the assumption that you will be unhappy because of a perceived pay cut.
Talk Past Your Resume
Once you have convinced the potential employer that you have the appropriate skill set and are enthusiastic about the opportunity, you have to also show that you would be a great teammate. Make it easy for the company to see that you have more to offer than what is listed on the resume. Be pleasant, positive and upbeat. Talk about how and why you would enjoy working with others you have met throughout the process. In addition, give examples of when you've gone above and beyond your given responsibilities to help others on your team. Prove to the potential employer you understand that your success and the team's success go hand in hand.
On the surface, there seems to be a contradiction between conventional wisdom and recent research as it relates to hiring overqualified employees. Conventional wisdom says don’t do it because it just increases your turnover rate, and recent research suggests it isn’t a bad idea because there are ways to keep overqualified employees long term. However, if we take a deeper look at how we should be defining the word "overqualified," I am not sure there is a contradiction.
If you have more experience than what is being asked for but you are unenthusiastic about the opportunity, then I do not believe you are overqualified. Additionally, if you are talented but it's perceived that you can’t get along with others on the team, then you are not overqualified. In fact, companies will actually see you as not being qualified at all.
So, if you are in the job market and you are not getting offers because you have been told that you are overqualified, you may want to take a deeper look at how you present yourself. It is hard and unlikely for companies to pass on candidates who are talented, enthusiastic and great team players.
Originally published on December 31, 2017 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau