Are you over-qualified for the job?
When people think you are over-qualified
Over-qualified – I have worked with clients who had outstanding CVs having worked at very senior level. They had had 20 years plus of experience and had managed large teams and very large budgets – £10 million plus. But they had decided the time had come to go for something that didn’t mean quite so much stress and left them both time and energy to spend with their family and on pursuits outside of work. They found themselves being regarded as over-qualified.
For many though, it is not a choice to look for work at a different level. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in March 2014, 35.8% of unemployed workers actively looking for work had searched for more than 27 weeks and 26.7%, or 2.4 million people had job-huntd for more than a year.
If you have looked work for a long time, it makes sense to change your approach. You should certainly consider refreshing your job search material including your CV. You may also be wise to adjust your expectations and look for work at a different level.
My advice to people making this choice has been to edit down their CV taking out references to the size of teams and projects lead and the size of budgets managed. Instead, the CV should show how your experience can meet the needs of a particular employer at the level of the job advertised or just marginally above. Show how you can deliver more for the money but keep it at the margins. Don’t lie and certainly not about your age or the dates of qualifications etc. Just don’t volunteer those dates or your age.
Recognize that it is reasonable for an employer to worry that if they hire an overqualified person, they will lose them to a better job very quickly. It is up to you to discuss this concern head on. Explain how you think you will do a better job than someone more junior. Make a commitment to stay in the job a reasonable time and make sure you mean it!
You never know what your new opportunity may bring; certainly new experiences and contacts. For those who are looking for work this might just be the way into an opportunity you didn’t expect.
Other resources for the job seeker
As a job seeker, there are lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.
A concise and practical little work book. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.
Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues.