It’s hard to find a job. Companies across the nation have cut down on who they are willing to employ, Layoffs are the word of the day. To find a job in today’s economy, you have to apply to whatever looks good, and this means applying to jobs that you may be overqualified for.
Problems for the Overqualified
When you are overqualified for a job, employers are become worried about your ability to hold down the job long term. They recognize that you probably have the intelligence and the work experience to succeed, but they are concerned that you will:
- Become bored and produce less than your abilities.
- Demand higher salary over time for your hard work.
- Ignore instructions from your supervisors.
- Leave the position as soon as a higher paying position opens.
As a result, as much as some companies may want to hire you for the position, they will not because they do not expect you to stay long or work well with the team.
How to Apply as an Overqualified Applicant
That is why if you are overqualified you must dumb down your resume in order to get the job. The more the company realizes that you are overqualified, the less likely you will get selected for an interview. Below are several tips for helping your resume look more attractive to the employer.
- Change Your Titles
The first step is to edit your titles. “Chief Financial Officer” shows too much responsibility. You can change it in two ways. You can simply change your title to something that is basically the same, such as “Manager of Finances” or “Financial Manager,” or you can use a title that you used to have before you were promoted from within the company. For example, “Assistant Finance Officer.” Changing your title will not put up as many red flags.
- Focus on the Job
Many business professionals create their resume beforehand, showing off all of their accomplishments in bulleted list form. If you are overqualified, it is a good idea to scrap your professional resume and create one from scratch that only highlights the achievements that are relevant for the position. For example, if the position are applying for does not require management experience, then there is no reason to put “Managed a Team of 200 Staff Members.” It isn’t relevant for the position and makes you appear overqualified, so it becomes superfluous and unnecessary information.
- Remove Education/Jobs
As long as it doesn’t cause you to be underqualified for the jobs, it is acceptable to remove some of the unnecessary information from your resume. For example, feel free and remove any advanced degrees (like Ph.D. or Masters) if they will not help you get the position. Remember not to make yourself underqualified for the role, however, and if you are asked what degree you received during an interview it is important that you tell the truth.
Use the Same Tips at Your Job Interview
These same resume tips are also effective during your job interview. Focus only on the qualifications you have that are relevant to the job, don’t volunteer any over-qualifications (though always be honest when asked) and keep the interview focused on why you are right for that job, not why you are taking a role you are underqualified for. With the right changes, you will have both a successful resume and a successful interview.
Take Away Tips
- Overqualified applicants should change their titles.
- Overqualified applicants should focus their achievements on the job.
- Overqualified applicants should remove any unnecessary information.