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Samantha Greenfield

Are you 'over qualified?'

Over the past few months, I have met with a lot of people! One of the concerns I hear most often from folks is that they feel employers perceive them as overqualified candidates and therefore never get looked at with serious consideration.

There are a number of reasons why an employer may be skeptical of hiring someone who is over qualified:

Money - if you are willing to settle for a substantially lower paying job, employers worry that you will jump ship at the first time a higher paying opportunity presents itself to you.

More competition --- there is more competition then ever for jobs. You may have the skills, but a lower level position means that the number of applicants who are also qualified is much greater than if you were applying to a higher-level position

Culture -- If you have more experience than management, existing staff may feel threatened or awkward.

There are a few things to consider and change on your resume if you are willing to apply for an entry or mid-level job when you are overly qualified with years of experience:

Tone down executive sounding titles -- if you were in management, consider a job title of "project team leader."

Instead of saying you have 25 years of experience, reword your phrase to "highly experienced." Utilize your cover letter to express your over qualifications. It could pay to get the issue on the table and address why hiring an over-qualified individual will be to their advantage.

By understanding what employers are skeptical of gives you a chance to put a positive spin on what they perceive to be a negative. Good luck!


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