With so many people looking for full-time jobs and part time work in this current economy, many very highly qualified candidates find themselves in a position where they need to take jobs for which they may be overqualified.
Getting back to work is, after all, the important thing, and sometimes – especially when you’ve been hunting for a new job for some time – you’ll take just about any job you can get like engineer jobs, media jobs, sales jobs, and social worker jobs.
In many instances, you may be considering taking part-time jobs in order to continue searching for jobs in your chosen profession. Working on a part-time basis still gives you the time and freedom to continue your job hunt but also lets you keep some money rolling in with which to pay everyday expenses.
Or perhaps you’ve simply decided you no longer want to pursue a high stress, long hours career in the field in which you’ve previously worker. There are plenty of people who make a significant career change in order to pursue other interests or simply cut down on job-related stress. If you’re one of those individuals, you may have some hurdles to overcome when it comes to being overqualified for part time work.
Employers And Candidates Overqualified For Part Time Work
Overqualified candidates make employers nervous for a number of reasons. First and foremost, many employers are afraid overqualified candidates will become bored in their jobs and look for work elsewhere. They also fear such candidates would only be using the job as a “filler” until they’re able to find “more suitable” work, at which time they would resign, leaving the employer back out there looking for a new person to fill the role.
Additional employer fears associated with overqualified candidates come from the idea that highly educated and skilled employees expect more money. Many employers worry that people may take jobs at the offered rate; only to become dissatisfied with the pay later down the road.
Your Job as the Candidate
All of these are legitimate concerns on the part of employers, especially as many are proven to be true time and time again. Your job during the interview process is to convince employers of your real interest in the position and get them to set aside their fears and hire you.
Consider the Jobs for Which You’re Interviewing
No matter what positions you may be interviewing for, whether they’re social worker jobs or engineer jobs, you have to look at yourself from the employer’s perspective. Review your resume and work history and think about how that may intimidate an employer who sees you as overqualified.
Think about the ways in which you can sell yourself as the right candidate for the position you’re interviewing for. The recruiter will want to know why you’re interested in sales jobs or any other positions for which you are obviously overqualified. You must have a good reason for wanting the job, and telling the employer you’ve been out of work a long time and are desperate for anything you can get at this point is simply not going to cut it. They want to hear something more reassuring from you and want you to really want the specific job.
Explaining Your Career Choices
One of the best ways to explain why you want a part-time position for which you may be overqualified is to explain that you simply had enough of the rat race. You put in your time in that high stress, big business world, pursued your career with vigor for a number of years, and are now ready and able to cut back some on that aspect of your life in order to make way for pursing other interests, like returning to school, spending more time with family, or writing your memoirs, for that matter.
Just be sure the reason you formulate and the manner in which you communicate it to the employer doesn’t make you sound disinterested in work entirely. Assure them that you are a hard worker and will give the job your all, but that you simply did not want to continue along the career path you’d previously been following.
Another way in which to handle the question of over qualification is to emphasize your choice to pursue a new career.
If, for example, you’d been working in media jobs and are now applying for a position as a human resource assistant, your level of work experience, education and other qualifications may make you appear overqualified; however, you must start somewhere when starting along a new career path and usually that means you take a more entry-level and/or part-time position
Many employers will understand this and accept it as a legitimate reason for overlooking over qualification in a good candidate.
Career hurdle image from Shutterstock