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How to Handle Being Overqualified
Chief Executive Officers are working at McDonald’s. Department managers are working as administrative assistants. There are thousands of applicants for every job. Bills need to get paid and families need to eat. As a result, applicants are reaching out and trying to secure any job they can. As the economy continues to struggle, making it difficult for ends to meet, applicants are trying creative methods just to get a job and pay the bills. Many job seekers are finding it very frustrating to be told that they are over qualified for the position.
The Dumbing Down of Resumes
Some higher skilled workers are resorting to dumbing down their resume and applications. By not showing their true skills sets, they believe they stand a better chance of securing a position. They strategically leave off vital information showing they were once a highly paid member of management.
Why? An office manager is looking at two resumes for an accounting position. The first resume is from a former Chief Financial Officer of a large company. The second resume is an administrative assistant who performed accounting duties in her prior job. Chances are the office manager will tell the former CFO they are overqualified for the position and hire the administrative assistant. The manager knows that once the hiring situation improves, the CFO will leave for a more appropriate position. They also know that while the CFO would be happy with the income in the short term, long term contentment is not likely.
Is there a better way to handle being overqualified?
Many job seekers are beginning to feel penalized for having the level of skills they do. While there is no perfect solution to the situation, it’s all about the presentation. It is about convincing hiring managers that you are interested in the job, and not just a temporary stop gap measure until you find something better.
Leaving off certain details such as degrees and management titles is certainly one way to skirt around the issue. You run the risk however, of lying by technicality.
Convincing an employer that you bring added value to the organization is another. If they are looking for an entry-level employee, offer that for the same money, they can hire an employee with more experience who can hit the ground running.
High unemployment is also a time of re-invention. Share that you are changing careers and realize that you need to start in a more entry level position.
Spending more time with your family is also an excellent argument. In your previous high level, fast paced position, you had little time to spend with your family. This position will allow you to spend quality time at home.
It may take the economy time to recover and unemployment to decline, even when it does it may never get back to the level it was. You may spend more time in the position than you anticipated.
Take heart however, more and more employers are realizing the benefit of hiring the “overqualified” worker (for less money). They realize they gain wealth of knowledge for less money.
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