Picture this scenario: you walk into an interview, you nail every question, your chemistry with the interviewer is undeniable, you’re told that they love you and think you’d be a great fit and that you’ll hear from them soon.
You walk out the door, a smile on your face and extra pep in your step. You just nailed it. The job is yours.
In a couple of days you get an e-mail to let you know that they went in a different direction, and you’re confused about what could have possibly went wrong. You have 10 years of experience to the seven being asked for. You have a PhD, have held senior positions, and you’re genuinely excited about this role. Yes, the title isn’t SVP, it’s VP, but the company and the new responsibilities are worth it. They would be lucky to have you!
You’re 100% correct. You may have been a slam-dunk for the role, but that is precisely what may have disqualified you. You’re overqualified, and this new company is afraid to take a chance and bring you onboard because it’s worried you’ll leave the second an opportunity that aligns with your stature becomes available. Or, since you have done this all before you will get bored and make your exit as soon as you hear of role where you can be challenged. You’d be a great fit, but you’re also too great of a risk. Companies want employees they can count on for the long haul.
How do you handle being “overqualified?” You frame your resume to focus less on titles and years of experience and more on relevant hands-on skills. You let the interviewer know why that specific role appeals to you and how it will help you grow and how your experience will help the company grow. You include a summary at the top of your resume clarifying why you want that specific role and how it fits into your career path. The role in question isn’t a placeholder until you find something better. It is a part of the career you are building. You hit them over the head with information stating “I want this role, I will grow in this role, do not be daunted by my past experience, it is an asset, not a hindrance.”
Being overqualified doesn’t mean all hope is lost. It means you have to tailor your resume and your pitch to your situation and sell yourself to the interviewer. Show you are a crucial piece of their puzzle, and make the case that saying no to you would be a missed opportunity for both parties. Speak to us and we will discuss a strategy that is right for your job search and career.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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