What Does it Really Mean When They Say You’re Overqualified?

One of the hardest blows to take when you are looking for a job is hearing that you didn’t get a position because you were overqualified. While you would tend to think that employers want someone with a lot of qualifications for a position, the hiring world really doesn’t work this way. If you are finding yourself labeled with the stigma of being overqualified, it’s time to refine your job search.

Let’s take a look at what this term can really mean.

1. You simply are aiming too low. If you have a lot of qualifications and you’re applying for positions that simply don’t require those skills, it may give the impression that instead of looking to move upwards in your career, you may be an underachiever who is content to stay in one spot and employers don’t want to see this. Make sure your skill set matches the position you’re looking for.

2. You are approaching the wrong people. It’s all too easy to get bogged down in a job search, especially if you are starting with a contact in human resources. It’s a good rule of thumb to contact a decision maker who holds a position that is two steps above your own. They are going to understand your skill set and will know exactly what qualifications are necessary for the open position. Make sure you are reaching the right people during your job search instead of being dismissed by a low level manager.

3. You are not stressing your value enough in your job interviews. Organizations want to hire people who will help their company succeed, and you’ve got to be able to market yourself during your job interview. While you may be slightly overqualified for the position, this also means less money spent in training, and access to an employee with advanced skills. It’s all in how you approach your own talent and market your abilities.

When you are applying for a job, just follow these three steps: Find the right level, find the right person and be prepared to market yourself aggressively.

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