Why Won’t You Hire Me? Part 2 – You’re Overqualified

Finish LineSo, you’re overqualified. You need a job. How do you get one?

It isn’t an easy process. Mine is only one view, but worth considering.

The first thing we need to address is; why are you looking for a job for which you are overqualified? I see two answers to this question.

1. I’m done being in charge. I just want to work, put in my hours, and go home.
2. I’ve lost my position and there aren’t many opportunities for me to find the same level of position. I need a job, any job.

Many times when you’re searching for an opportunity for which you are overqualified, you can’t even get an interview. Your cover letter can really help you. In the cover letter tell me why you are applying for the position. Keep it to one page or less, but the information helps a recruiter make the decision to interview you, or maybe not. Randall Hansen, Ph.D., founder of Quintessential Careers, offers some suggestions as well.

If you’re person #1 from above, you’re at a different point in your career. You can prove your worth and dedication through longevity in previous positions. Some people really do make this type of move. It’s usually because they’re getting closer to retirement, want more time with their family, or simply tired of being the boss 24 hours a day.

If you’re person #2, the process can be more difficult. I’ve hired plenty of people that are overqualified and will be paid much less than their previous position. As a candidate, you need to prove that you will be a worthwhile investment for the hiring organization. The biggest fear is that you’re going to leave as soon as you get a job offer for the position you used to have, or for 25 cents more an hour. If that’s the case, you need to consider positions that typically have a higher turnover, where the front end investment for the organization is small and they expect people to leave within a year.

You might consider an organization that would retain you in a part time or per diem status even after you leave for the better job. You could explore temporary assignments to fill your time. What you want to avoid is burning bridges. This in- between job will bridge a gap in your employment history, so make it worthwhile. Better yet, aim for the jobs that have a career path within that organization and take a chance at learning something new, filling a void for that employer and expanding your skill set while you climb their corporate ladder.

Originally posted on Recruitalicious

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