Tribune Media Services
June 4, 2012
You've just been interviewed for a job, you're confident that you performed well, and then you hear these shocking words: "I'm sorry, but we think you're overqualified for this position."
Nothing is more frustrating than knowing you're probably the best candidate to fill an open position, yet the company refuses to hire you because you have too much experience or too many skills.
When an interviewer says you're overqualified, they are most likely concerned about one or more of these factors: You won't be satisfied with the salary they're offering; You'll be bored in this position; You'll leave as soon as you find a better opportunity; They'll have to once again go through the time-consuming and expensive process of hiring and training someone.
If you get stamped with the "overqualified" label once, you may be wary of getting it again. If you're applying for jobs at a lower skill level than your background skills, education and experience would normally exhibit, you may be tempted to "dumb down" your resume and omit things. However, lying about your background isn't the way to go.
Here's a better strategy: "Face the issue head-on," suggests Bonnie Lowe, author of "Job Interview Success System" (Lowe-Commotion, $39.95).
"Be the first one to raise the ‘overqualified' issue with a potential employer," Lowe says. "If you bring it up yourself, you can discuss it openly and convince the interviewer that it won't be a problem."
While it's important not to omit things from your resume, you can still tailor the resume to highlight skills and talents that will be essential to the position you're seeking, says John Hill, alumni career services director for the Michigan State University Alumni Association.
"Tailor it to the position you are applying for," suggests Hill. "If you were a CEO in your past job and are applying for a position as VP of marketing, showcase your core competencies that fit with a VP of marketing. Whether you learned those as CEO or not is irrelevant. It's the fact that you have those skills sets which is important."
Copyright © 2013, Tribune Media Services