How to Avoid the Over -Qualification Label ?
Not having enough experience is a common obstacle to securing the job you want., but so is having excess experience. ‘Over-qualification’ is a problem that job seekers can face at any point in their career. It basically occurs when your background-education, experience, or previous title or salary-is well beyond what the job requires. An over qualified person always raises a fire alarm in the minds of the Hiring Managers as they feel the candidate would move to greener pastures anytime soon or else why would anybody step down. This is a common mindset the Hiring Mangers seem to have.
If you apply for a job below your experience level, you need to prove you are genuinely interested in the position for the long term and that your advanced skills won’t deter you from performing the job, but rather add value to the company. An employer might also take a look at your resume and assume that you’re out of their price range.
Be Honest With Yourself
Firstly ask yourself, Why are you taking up a lower position. In times of recession, it is common for people apply to jobs below their skill level out of financial necessity. In some cases, mid level managerial people pick up entry level jobs to make a career change. There are also cases where an individual feels that he/she needs to work in a particular company to pave their way to the top in that particular field they are looking at. However, keep in mind, how much sacrifice are you willing to make in terms of salary package if you have to work your way from the bottom. Be very clear about this.
Showcase Your Skills
Highlight the relevant skills and accomplishments rather than your (extensive) background. Especially speak in terms of your achievements rather than qualification or designation or even compensation level. Honestly state your previous work experience but at the same time put more emphasis on your skills and responsibilities than your designation or education
Use the cover letter to your benefit
Your cover letter offers a great oppourtunity for you to remove any fears that your employers might have about you leaving for the next best opourtunity. Mention why are you interested in this position and are willing to step down. Also, highlight what you shall add value with it, such as money, new ideas, or even specialized knowledge.
Turn the Tables
What will you answer when your interviewer asks if you think you are overqualified? The best way to tackle it is to counter question the interviewer and ask them to describe their ideal candidate and later explain to them why you are the best fit. It is a good move and one can include examples of your relevant work experiences too.
Give it your best shot !
Keep in mind to mention your updated skills and expertise . Emphasize that your skills are still updated and not ancient history. If you convince them of your loyalty and alleviate all their other fears, you are sure to get the job easily. Displaying your sincere interest and passion for the open job often brings interviewers and hiring managers to your side.
Being perceived as overqualified is an bright prospect dampener in all job markets. However, convincing interviewers and hiring managers that you are sincere, loyal and highly talented often overcomes this label.