You have been working in a regular job for a couple of years now, and during that time, you have gathered quite a bit of experience. You might even have a PhD under your belt, for all those specialized jobs requiring an advanced degree.
With all this expertise and all these skills, you apply for a new role at another company. But to your dismay, the employer seems to shrug off your job application without as much as a phone call.
You try again, and this time you make it through the application process but you are rejected during the interview. In a moment of frustration, you ask the interviewer why you were not selected for this position.
“You’re too overqualified for the job”, the interviewer calmly replies.
But I’m Different!
Wait, what was the point of including all those accolades, achievements, and educational qualifications in your resume? Didn’t you want to show the employer that you are different from the rest? That you have something special that they don’t?
Sure, you have got a lot more going for you, but perhaps being rejected might have something to do with the way that you are approaching the job, and not because of your qualifications.
How to Draft Your Resume
Your resume is the first document your employer will come in contact with. It gives a prospective employer an impression about who you are and what you’re looking for in an organization.
You need to show your employer what you can bring to the table and how you will make a difference. But while doing so, don’t oversell yourself.
Figure out what this new role requires, and highlight the necessary skills in your resume. There is no need to include all your past achievements and accolades that have no importance for this particular employer. Simply describe how you can make a difference in their organization, and they will not need to worry about whether you are overqualified.
Besides drafting a more focused resume, here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when you are applying for a job that you might be too experienced for.
Define Your Reasons
When you are overqualified for a position at a new company, try to figure out why you want to make this career switch. If you can come up with a few reasons why you are deciding to switch to a lower-level position, you’ll be better equipped to handle the interview.
Once you have figured out why you want a particular position at a company, you will need to communicate these reasons to the employer.
Explain to them why you have decided to make the switch. Perhaps your previous jobs had you working long hours away from home, or maybe you’re just looking to pick up a new skill in a new area.
It will always work out in your favor if you can effectively help your employer understand your motivations for switching companies and positions.
Don’t Sound Desperate
It is fine to negotiate and reach an agreement that may be more in an employer’s favor, but avoid sounding desperate when you are applying for the position.
You don’t want the employer to think that this job is just a way for you to make money in the short term while you’re switching careers. Sounding desperate might lead the employer to believe that you are looking for something temporary, just until you are able to find a job that pays better.
Respect Your Former Employer
Under no circumstances should you badmouth your previous employer when you are applying for a new position. Not only it is extremely unprofessional, it could also give your new employer the impression that you were fired or left due to some misunderstanding with your previous employer.
And there you have it. Some tips on how you can land a new role, even if you might be overqualified for the position. Keep these tips in mind, and remember to be extremely communicative. With the right mindset and approach, you will have the edge over the competition in the job search.