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  • Writer's pictureKaren Suarez

Do You Feel Overqualified for the Job?

Updated: Feb 16

are you overqualified for the job

What happens when you find what you think is the perfect job listing and learn you have more experience than the employer is seeking? They may be looking for someone with five years of experience, and you have been in the field for ten years. Will you avoid applying because you feel overqualified for the job and think they won’t hire you? You don’t have to let that stop you from applying. I have known people who have been hired because of their extensive experience.


It could be worth applying if you are truly interested in the role and are willing to make a few compromises. After all, you have nothing to lose. If you want the job, there are several things to consider.


  • First, think about the job itself. If you can add value, emphasize this in your resume by highlighting your accomplishments. In the interview, state how you can bring the skills they need and let them know it doesn’t matter if the job title is a bit ‘lower’ than someone at your level would typically want.


  • Sometimes, you might want fewer responsibilities, less pressure, and a better work-life balance. Let’s say you have been a manager in charge of direct reports throughout your career. If the industry and work still appeal to you, and you are burned out overseeing others, it’s ok to want fewer or no employees to manage. Perhaps you want to sink your teeth into the projects.


  • Another reason may be that you are interested in changing careers. In this case, beginning at a lower level might be necessary. It could be worthwhile applying if you can demonstrate your interest in moving into a different sector and using your transferable skills. If you have taken courses, obtained certifications, and upgraded your skillset to meet their needs, this will show interest on your part.


  • On the employer’s side, they might be skeptical about your interest in a job requiring less experience for a few reasons. For example, they may think you are too expensive, that you might get bored on the job, or that you will want to move up the ladder too quickly.


  • Regarding salary, it might be lower than someone at your level would seek. Sometimes, the benefits of having a job you want outweigh the lower compensation. It is OK to negotiate the salary but understand they might not be willing to pay what you want. If you can afford it, let the employer know you are willing to take a pay cut because you want the job.


To convince the hiring manager to consider you, show enthusiasm for the role and let them know you are aware of their concerns. If you are genuinely interested, they may give you a try because they recognize you can bring more to the table than someone with fewer years of experience.


Contact me if you would like to schedule a free phone consultation.


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