Could a Graduate Degree Hurt Your Job Hunt?
So what can you do about this potential graduate-degree-backlash? If the job requires a graduate degree, particularly one in a specific field, and you have that degree, then make sure that is clear. If your graduate degree is completely unrelated to the job you are applying for, do not focus on it, because the hiring manager will just wonder why your graduate degree should matter and it could work against you. If this is the situation, it is likely that the interviewer will ask why you are pursuing a position unrelated to your graduate degree, so be prepared to answer that question.
If you have a graduate degree that is related to the job you are pursuing, but it is above and beyond what is required, it could help you stand out from the crowd, or it could bring to mind concerns we just talked about. If this is your situation, you should focus on your specific qualifications for the job that is posted. If your graduate degree exceeds the preferred qualifications, this does not mean you should lie and say you donï¿½t have one, it just means it should not be your primary focus. Your primary focus should be on how your work experiences, skills and education specifically match up to the minimum and preferred job requirements. When discussing your qualifications that are above and beyond what the hiring manager is looking for, use that information to illustrate how you could exceed expectations in the role you are applying for, rather than the promotions you hope to get. Demonstrating that you want a future in the company is a good thing, but donï¿½t make the hiring manager feel as though the job you are applying for is just a means to an end.
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