Tag Archives: overqualified for the role

You’re overqualified for the role

What happens when you are clearly overqualified for the role? We hear it a lot. You want to take a step back, focus on family or study or just want to take your foot off the pedal for a bit. But why is it so hard to get a job when you are overqualified?

This is a tricky conundrum for a hiring manager. While they may be able to see that you’d bring a diverse skill set to the job and could perhaps even do the job with your eyes closed, it doesn’t mean you are the right candidate for the role.

We’ve listed the most common reasons why your application won’t be successful and some ways to overcome them too:

Too expensive

Hiring managers and businesses will have a salary and budget allocated for this role. While you may look impressive on paper. They quickly assume they won’t have the funds to meet your expectations or match what you’ve previously been paid.

Make sure on your cover letter and when speaking to the recruiter you make it very clear that you are flexible on salary. Also make it clear that you understand you will be paid the going “market rate” for the job in which you apply for. Not paid for your skills.

You will get bored

This new role won’t have enough challenges for you. Which is possibly the very reason you applied. You need to very clearly state what is driving you to apply for this role and why you are wanting to look for a position that has less demands on you.

You don’t understand the role

On first glance, recruiters or a hiring manger will assume you don’t understand the job ad and that you have applied incorrectly. Make sure you acknowledge the role and the responsibilities in your cover letter.

You’d have more experience than your manager        

This has potential to get awkward. A manager could find this threatening to have someone with more experience reporting to them. You need to reiterate your reasons for wanting this role and what is motivating this career change.

You will leave as soon as something better comes along

This happens when people are unexpectedly out of work or it takes too long to find a new role. They take on a job that is a few steps back and less pay, to tide them over. But as soon as something bigger and better comes along, off they go. Hiring managers have been burnt by this in the past, and they sense that you might just be another candidate looking to “fill in a gap”. Be conscious of their concerns and make it clear why you want this exact job, for the long haul.

The key areas you need to address when applying for a role that you are overqualified include:

Focus on the employer’s needs

Demonstrate your understanding why they may have concerns (see above points) and build a constructive case as to why you are a good hire.

Clarify why you want the job

Make it clear that you want this particular job and why. Without going into too much personal information, acknowledge the difference and explain what is motivating this change in direction/pace.

Highlight what you love about the role

A hiring manager wants to know you are enthusiastic and going to be a good hire. Tell them what you like about the job and the role. Tell them why you want to work for their company. Give them no room to assume that you are not interested in the day to day tasks or will get bored.

Don’t be put off if you get rejected when you first apply for a job you are overqualified for. It may take a few applications and some clear communication on your CV and cover letter to address your reasons and be considered. As Karen our MD has always said, the right job is out there for everyone and there is a right candidate for every job. Sometimes, it just takes a little time.