Monday, September 20, 2010

Ease the “Overqualified” Concern

As a job seeker, you would think abundant experience and knowledge would be viewed positively by potential employers. Instead, some job seekers are finding their knowledge and experience has employers viewing them as overqualified.

Employers are concerned that, once the market turns around, overqualified candidates will jump ship for a higher salary and more prestigious title. Some doubt an overqualified job candidate can be a team player able to work with those in less senior positions, and others are concerned that overqualified candidates will not find their positions challenging. An overqualified job candidate can also pose a threat to a hiring manager who is not secure in his/her role and is intimidated by a more knowledgeable candidate.

Understanding these concerns and using the tips below can help a job candidate tackle the “overqualified” objection:

  • Point out longevity: For those who have a track record of working for recent employers for five or more years or a single employer for 10 plus years, it's wise to point this out as a sign of your loyalty to employers.
  • Sell your value: Prospective employers might think you’ll require a higher salary than they’re comfortable paying. Therefore, it's extremely important to sell your value—with tangible examples where possible. For example, a candidate who mentions being responsible for saving $15k on a past project by negotiating lower vendor fees is providing a positive incentive for measuring his/her value.
  • Talk up team contributions: Share examples of how you’ve worked successfully on cross-functional teams, including individuals from management through administrative roles.
  • Share how you help your superiors shine: Articulate your interest in understanding and supporting your manager’s goals with an eye toward helping him/her shine in front of superiors.
  • Be specific about your interest in the company: Provide a few specific reasons about why the company interests you, such as its progressive history, nimble product launch ability, outstanding quality record, etc.
  • Align your resume to the position: Highlight the parts of your resume that resonate with the job requirements and consider leaving off those things that magnify you being overqualified, like a master’s degree.

No comments:

Post a Comment