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How to apply for a job when you’re overqualified

9 September 2021 at 4:43 pm
Maggie Coggan
We share some tips on how you can land your dream job, even if you are overqualified

Maggie Coggan | 9 September 2021 at 4:43 pm


How to apply for a job when you’re overqualified
9 September 2021 at 4:43 pm

We share some tips on how you can land your dream job, even if you are overqualified

Being told you didn’t get a job because you’re “too qualified” is confusing. How is it possible that you’re missing out for being too good? 

From the employer’s perspective however, if you have more skills and experience than they are looking for, it might mean you won’t hang around long as you’ll quickly outgrow the role, or you might struggle to take direction and feedback from someone with less experience.

But, if you really are keen on the job and think that you would be great at it, there are ways around the fact that you might be overqualified. 

Read on to find out some of the best ways to get around this hurdle. 

Customise your resume 

We definitely aren’t telling you to lie on your resume, but in some cases the skills and qualifications that make you seem overqualified might not actually be relevant to the position. 

Instead of listing your most impressive career accomplishments, you should focus on the areas that directly apply to the role you’re applying for.   

Address the concerns 

Rather than just hoping your prospective employer isn’t worried about your abundance of skills and experience, address concerns they might have about paying a higher wage, working conditions and career progression. 

It’s important that you also take the time to think about your non-negotiables in terms of salary and what you will and won’t accept – and that you communicate this honestly with your prospective employer. 

Think strategically 

Thinking strategically and long term about what you can offer the organisation by working in a role that you might be overqualified for is important. 

If you do have a bit more experience under your belt, it will mean you’re able to grow in the role while taking on a bit more responsibility than someone who is still learning the ropes and requires more training.  

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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