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Are you an Overqualified Applicant? Here’s how to draw in a new employer.

overqualifiedToday’s job market is tougher than ever, and for many, finding that perfect dream job is simply not in the cards. In fact, many individuals these days resort to applying for positions that are much lower than their skill level and pay grade in order to secure some type of employment. For these individuals, it is often just as hard to seek positions below their skill level, though. Many times, employers refuse to hire them simply because they are ‘overqualified.’

There are several reasons why you might be turned away by an employer who views you as overqualified. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Are You an Overqualified Applicant?

While you might have spent years working in a certain field, only to find yourself unemployed and back to job hunting recently, your extensive experience and knowledge aren’t always a good thing in an employer’s eyes. In general, they view job seekers with these qualifications in one of five ways.

  • The Take-Any-Job Applicant- If you have too much experience for a particular job, some employers will see you as an applicant who would be willing to take any job that comes along. While this may help them fill their empty position right now, they may turn you away because they are worried you will jump at a better opportunity as soon as it appears.
  • The Incompetent Applicant- While working at the same level for years at your previous job may have given you plenty of experience, it also shows future employers you never took a risk to get ahead or earn a promotion. They see this as a liability and will wonder if you will only provide them with the minimum amount of effort as well.
  • The Applicant Who is Over Confident- Yes, you may be twenty years older than the hiring manager and might have been working in this field when he was still in diapers. That doesn’t mean you are the responsible for every success in the field or still don’t have anything to learn. Go into an interview with this attitude and that future employer will walk in the opposite direction.
  • The Costly Applicant- When you were let go or quit your last position, you probably made a significant salary, thanks to your years of hard work, impeccable skills, and knowledge. Asking for a lower paying job now will make employers feel uncomfortable. They may not be able to pay the salary you are used to, and will worry that the smaller salary will result in short term employment.
  • The Experienced Applicant- Those years of experience say something about you. They say you are hard working, you understand your field, and you aren’t afraid of a little responsibility. So, when you apply for a position that demands less and pays less, employers automatically assume you are burnt out, washed up, or simply old.

How to Handle the Overqualified Stigma When Applying for Jobs

If you have no choice but to seek out a new position that is lower in skill, demands, and pay than your last position, don’t fret. It can be done, and without the normal stigma that comes along with it. Here’s how.

  • Explain it- Don’t leave anything to the imagination. Explain to your future employer exactly why this is the position you want, despite your background. Perhaps you enjoyed this part of the work, and found your position was tedious and boring once you earned that promotion. Or perhaps you want to reduce your stress level. Whatever the reason, highlight it in the interview and on your resume.
  • Simplify the Resume- While you should never lie on a resume, that doesn’t mean you have to include every bit of the truth. Focus on including the skills that are part of the job description, while avoiding and downplaying other, unnecessary experiences and skills.
  • Be Prepared- If the employer comments on how overqualified for the position you are, and expresses his concern that you might become bored and leave, make sure you have an explanation prepared. Don’t talk about the economy or how lucky you would be to have any type of job. Instead, discuss why you want to work for the company, in this position. How you would be willing to take a pay cut because you want the opportunity to work with a strong, stable company like theirs.

Are you ‘overqualified’ for a position? Use these tips to understand how employers may view your experience and what you can do to obtain a better position.

Having trouble finding that perfect temp to hire or permanent position because you’re ‘overqualified’? Let our Sarasota professional staffing services help. We can help match you up with the right employer who will see your experience and skills as an asset, rather than a hindrance to your new temp to hire or full time job. HH Staffing Services has several locations ready to serve you. Whether you’re looking for employment in Orlando, Clearwater, Bradenton, Tampa, or Fort Lauderdale, we’re here to help.

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