Applying When You’re Overqualified

By   |   April 7th, 2017   |   0 Comments

overqualifiedWhen applying for any jobs, the number one thing to keep in mind is selling to the employer’s need. This is also the case when applying for a job when overqualified. There are many reasons why a person may be applying for jobs when they are overqualified, including:


– Changing careers

– After a lay-off

– After completing a contract position

– Relocation


In these situations, jobseekers may be fearful that they are taking a step down in their career path, earning less money, and could be bored with reduced responsibilities. While these are genuine concerns, there are some positive aspects to applying for positions when overqualified:


– Hiring manager may see you as better suited for a different type of position that has not been advertised

– Advancement opportunities

– Possibly less stressful than a position with constant challenges

– Start contributing right away (less onboarding and training time)


So, what can a person do to successfully apply for these types of positions?


Qualifications Summary: Start your resume with a quick summary of the qualifications you have that are relevant to the position. Be sure to use keywords that are used in the job posting.


Focus on Skills:  Highlight skills necessary for the position by writing “accomplishment statements” in your resume. Look at your experience and pull out past accomplishments that would be relevant to the job you are applying for. Always keep keywords in mind that match the job posting, and use similar terminology.


Re-order Resume Sections: If your academic credentials make you appear to be overqualified, include your education at the end of your resume. It may be tempting to omit higher qualifications, but in doing so, it can appear that you have something to hide. Try to sell your most relevant skills and qualifications first.


Cover Letter: This is the place where you can make a convincing and honest explanation for why you are applying for the position. The cover letter is essentially where you answer the question, “Why do you want to work for us?”.  This is also where you distinguish yourself from other applicants, but be sure to not repeat information contained in your resume. What attributes do you bring to the employer and what are you hoping to get out of the position?


There are many situations that can lead to a person applying for positions when they are overqualified. Some of these situations can be stressful for the jobseeker. At all times, customize all communications, resume, cover letter and interviews to the position being applied for. You need to show the prospective employer what skills and qualifications you will bring to the organization while also helping them understand why you want to work for them!


Check out the thousands of openings on and be sure to upload your resume to the resume database as well!

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