Even though it is easier than ever to find open jobs around the world, it still remains difficult to find one for your next career move. Today’s unemployment rate is hovering around 3.7 percent, which means more people are currently employed than ever before. That said, new jobs are created every month thanks to the need for top talent and even technological advancements. Last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 164,000 jobs were created in various industries.
While it is great for our country that unemployment is so low, it may not be so great for your career trajectory. Finding your next career opportunity may be more difficult and you might find yourself underqualified for some opportunities, but overqualified for others. Being underqualified is one thing; the answer to meeting qualifications is more experience or education. When you’re overqualified, you might find yourself in a difficult situation.
You would think that the more experience you have, the better chance you have at getting a job, especially one with high pay. However, having too much experience may actually hinder your job search. On the employer side, potential employers might hesitate to extend an offer because they worry you will demand a higher salary or even be bored in the role and move on quickly.
Have you found yourself in this situation? If so, there are some things you can do to show an employer that you are still the ideal candidate, even if you have more experience than the rest of the competition.
Do A Self-Assessment Before Applying
If you’re considering applying to a role, you must ask yourself if the position is one that you would really want. Are you applying for the sake of doing so, or are would you actually accept the position if offered? If you can answer “yes” to the latter, you should apply.
Most job applications still require both a resume and cover letter for consideration. While it is usually optional, you should use the cover letter as the opportunity to pitch yourself as the best candidate for the job. If the position you’re applying to has a lesser title than your previous role, your cover letter should explain why you want the role. According to Kelly Donovan of Kelly Donovan & Associates, you could say “Although I’m proud of my work managing a marketing department, I’d like to be able to focus once again on my favorite aspect of this field – executing digital marketing campaigns.”
Don’t Oversell Your Resume
This may be counterintuitive to all other career advice you have heard, but if you’re overqualified for a job, you have to tailor your resume accordingly. To do this, highlight the roles you have done that align the best with the new opportunity. Your resume must absolutely be an accurate representation of your career, but you can sort of pick and choose what to emphasize.
“Why Do You Want This Job?”
An interviewer will most likely ask you why you are applying to the role, especially if it is lesser in title than your lost job. If you know that you are overqualified for the role, you can expect to be asked this question at some point in the interview process. According to Laura MacLeod, HR expert and consultant:
“This is the first question the employer will ask…[the] worker needs to be prepared with a strong and credible answer. Consider the employer’s concerns: You are only taking the job until you find something better; you’ll be difficult to manage because you’ll feel superior to team members and maybe even your supervisor; your attitude will be poor…and you’ll eventually become lazy – dragging others down with you.”
Once you address the fact that you know you are overqualified, you can then show why hiring you will benefit the company.