Are You Overqualified? How to Avoid Missing Out.
Are you one of the overqualified job seekers out there? I’m here to explain why that phrase is a falsehood and how you can make changes to avoid the label in the future.
First, let me say I am basing my advice on the first-hand experience with transitioning to a new field and answering why I would want a position when I am clearly ‘overqualified.’ The question came to me during the interview process. I made it past the resume screening and to the interview with the opportunity to explain why I am applying for the position.
Tip # 1: Do not ‘dumb down’ your resume!
One common mistake is to remove managerial/leadership traits and accomplishments. Even if you are not applying for a manager position, you want to showcase leadership and how well you work with a team.
Instead, leave your accomplishments and change two areas – Professional Summary and Education.
In the professional summary add a line in the middle that you are ‘looking to leverage your experience as x,y,z into job title as you transition careers. Now you have explained your goal and that your application was well thought out. Remember this is one sentence in your robust professional summary that still illustrates your strengths that may be ‘above’ the current position.
In the Education, section remove education that is not relevant. But leave BA and MS. Place your education at the end of your resume. By the time HR or the hiring manager sees your education they will be sold on you as a candidate. The one exception is if you are using your newly gained education to make your career transition. Then place your education under the skills section and add the completion date.
Tailor your resume to the position. Remove education that is not related. Focus on customer service/interpersonal skills. Make sure your Keywords match the job description.
Tip # 2: It’s all about how you Interview!
Even if you are ‘overqualified,’ if you match keywords you can get an interview. The interview is where you explain why you want this position even if you are ‘overqualified.’
Remember the ‘real’ experience I mentioned at the beginning of this post? Well, I was hired as a case manager in career services. However, four months later my boss left, and I was promoted to manager.
Unbeknown to me, my boss knew at the time of my interview that she was leaving the company. She wanted to hire someone she could trust and mold into her replacement. Although not hired immediately as a manager I was hired for my management experience.
My advice DON’T DIMINISH YOUR ABILITIES! You never know what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate!
Until next Tuesday…
Comment Below: Name one change you can make to avoid hearing you are overqualified.