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How to Get the Job When You’re Overqualified


There are a lot of reasons to apply for a job for which you’re overqualified. Maybe you’re making a career change. Maybe you’ve been stuck in internshipland, and you’re trying to make the jump to full-time employment. Or maybe you just plain need a job, because life costs money, and the rent isn’t going to pay itself. Whatever the reason, there are a few things you can do to make yourself a more attractive candidate.

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(Photo Credit: noii’s/Flickr)

“Whether you’re an intern or a senior-level director, having too much experience should be a boon to an employer!” writes Megan Halpern at The Daily Muse. “You just need to tell the right story.”

Do You Know What You're Worth?

How do you do that? Keep in mind the following:

1. The hiring manager thinks you’ll leave, as soon as a better opportunity comes along.

In her article at The Daily Muse, Halpern tells the story of hiring an undergraduate to intern at her company. All the other candidates had graduated in previous years, and had pages of experience. They went with the undergrad, because “none of the others had convinced us that they weren’t on the lookout for something full time — and wouldn’t jump ship if they found it before the program was over.”

Find something about the job and the company that’s uniquely appealing to you, and stress that in your interview. If you can persuade the hiring manager that you’re going to be committed to the job, you’ll stand a better chance of getting hired.

2. Frame your experience in the right way.

Look for opportunities to show how you are uniquely qualified for the job. Your experience is actually a bonus for the company. It’s just a matter of discussing your skills and background in the context of the job.

3. Tweak your resume.

Don’t be afraid to leave off previous jobs, if it makes your resume look too long (or too repetitive). Job coach Robert Hellman tells Forbes resumes should “focus on the No. 1 must-do of job search — showing how you can help the employer.”

Tell Us What You Think

Have you ever been hired for a job despite being overqualified? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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