Make us your home page
Instagram

How to get hired when you're overqualified

It happens to most people at some point during their careers: They find themselves applying for jobs they're overqualified for. There are several reasons this happens — they may have been out of work for some time, they're switching fields, or they're simply interested in trying something new.

Still, hiring managers generally shy away from overqualified candidates, because they worry that the employees will get bored and bolt as soon as another opportunity comes along that's more their speed.

To overcome that perception, here are some ways to get hired when you're overqualified.

Be yourself, experience and all

Don't dumb down your resume, says former recruiter and current career coach Caitlin Graham of Unapologetic Coaching. "I actually think it's better to be totally transparent. Present a completely truthful resume, but also address your desire or willingness to take a lower position outright in your cover letter. Lying on your resume is always dangerous, in my opinion, even if it's only by omission."

Even if you don't outright lie, it can be tempting to pretend or downplay your success, but Jeffrey Camp, director of Cinium Financial Services Corp., discourages that tactic, too.

"Don't apologize for previous success, and don't shy away from it," he says. "Use your previous success as a selling point, but explain that company culture and your job satisfaction are more important than salary alone. Reiterate that you wouldn't be interviewing for the position if it isn't one that you really wanted."

Camp says he wants highly skilled people working for him in every position, so he recommends talking about how your skills can contribute to the whole team.

Focus on why you're a great fit

"Most often, overqualified candidates focus on why they are willing to take a lesser position, instead of why they are interested in the position," says headhunter Jim Giammatteo of NoMistakes.org. And if you're talking about why you're willing to take a lower position, you spend less time talking about your skills and why you're a great fit for the company.

Instead of explaining why you'd take a step down from one position to another, Giammatteo suggests talking about how you enjoyed your time at other jobs, but are interested in focusing on your real passions.

Reach out to your network

It's good advice for any job search, but activating your network can help establish an "in" when you're trying to get a job you may be overqualified for. For example, Stacy Lindenberg, owner of Talent Seed Consulting, says she has several friends who have chosen to leave executive-level positions to regain their work-life balance.

"In some cases, they were willing to take a pay cut of 30 to 50 percent, and for many of them, reaching out discreetly to hiring managers, recruiters and well-connected individuals in their network was key," she says. "By sharing their interest (and willingness) to consider lower-paying jobs with influencers in their network, they were able to engage others in speaking on their behalf."

This helped future employers look beyond past salary ranges on the applications and understand what was truly important to the applicants, Lindenberg says.

How to get hired when you're overqualified 06/28/14 [Last modified: Saturday, June 28, 2014 7:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  2. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Coming soon at two Tampa Bay area hospitals: a cancer treatment that could replace chemo

    Health

    A new cancer treatment that could eventually replace chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants — along with their debilitating side effects — soon will be offered at two of Tampa Bay's top-tier hospitals.

    Dr. Frederick Locke at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a principal investigator for an experimental therapy that retrains white blood cells in the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved these so-called "CAR-T" treatments for adults this month. In trials, 82 percent of cases responded well to the treatment, and 44 percent are still in remission at least eight months later, Locke said. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program

    Banking

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]
  5. McDonald's soft serve in Florida is made with handshakes and happy cows

    Consumer

    Floridians licked nine million McDonald's vanilla cones last year.

    Calves play with a rubber toy at the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee, FL. Owners Sutton Rucks, Jr., and his wife Kris Rucks sell their milk to SouthEast Dairies cooperative, Edward Coryn of Dairy Mix in St. Petersburg buys it, transforms it into soft-serve ice cream base, and sells it to all the McDonald's. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times