Overqualified for the Job? How to Land It Anyway

You’ve found a position you’d like, but you can tell by the job description that you’re overqualified. Before you apply for a job that doesn't require your full experience and qualifications, make sure you’re clear about what you want out of your next position and in your career overall.

Once you’re certain that you want to pursue a position you’re overqualified for, bear in mind the following so you can land it:

Start by explaining yourself

You should realize that, at some point during the process, your potential employer will have concerns about hiring someone who’s overqualified. For starters, they’ll be afraid that you’ll quickly grow bored with the position and want to leave, putting them back at square one. Use your resume, cover letter and interview to set their minds at ease.

Resume. You can leave out any older positions or qualifications from your resume that are no longer relevant to your current career path. Doing so is always good advice when preparing a resume, but it’s never as important as now when you have experience and qualifications to spare.

Cover letter. Convince your potential employer in your cover letter why you want the position. Be honest. Assure them that you plan to stick with the position if it’s offered to you and that your extra qualifications can be an asset to them.

Interview. Give yourself a pat on the back if you get called in for an interview. Like any well-prepared interviewee, be ready to explain yourself again, using the points you made in your cover letter. After all, you won’t truly know how concerned your potential employer is about your overqualified status until you’re face to face. Ultimately, you want to show not only that you’re a fit with the requirements of the current job description, but that you have the potential to grow quickly into a higher-level position.

Then address the money issue

Also be prepared to assuage another fear that your potential employer may have: that you’ll want more money because of all you bring to the table. Before you get to this point, prepare yourself. If it isn’t mentioned in the job description, research salaries for similar positions. Know the salary range so you can negotiate accordingly.  

Over-qualification doesn’t have to be a liability. But it will take extra effort on your part to allay any concerns a potential employer may have. Taking the time to prepare yourself could make all the difference and help land you a position that fits your career and lifestyle.

If you’ve ever applied for a position although you were overqualified, let us know how it went in the comments.

Related Post