Typically, you would think that having a wealth of experience on a resume is always a good thing. However, there are cases where being over-qualified or having too much experience will actually hurt your chances of landing a job you may be interested in. This is due to many reasons and while not always the case, it is relatively common.
No one wants to waste money, so hiring managers have a list of reasons in their back pocket to not hire you if your over-qualified.
One of the top reasons companies sometimes steer away from over-qualified candidates is due to the demand for a higher salary. A person with 10+ years’ experience will of course ask for more money than someone who’s only been in the field for a year or two. So, if the company doesn’t NEED someone with so much experience, they won’t want to pay for it.
Similarly, companies fear that over-experienced candidates are much more likely to pick up and leave the job due to boredom or other reasons. This again would cost the company money, hiring on a candidate they most likely will have to replace sooner rather than later.
With tons of experience in a certain field probably comes older age as well and companies these days may be looking specifically for a young candidate who has room to grow within the company. Companies consider the fact that candidates already at the top of their field are probably much closer to Retirement as well. This goes hand in hand with how hiring managers worry that over-qualified candidates could get bored and quit. There is no purpose in hiring someone you will potentially have to replace.
Landing the job with “Too Much Experience”
Fortunately, since there are reasons you might be passionate about working in a position way below your level, there are still ways to convince employers you’re the best fit regardless of your experience!
Show Your Interest:
If a company has a strong, vibrant culture you are attracted to, is on the edge of doing something new and exciting, or you simply think you will be a great asset, focusing on why you’re interested in the company, rather than the role, can help hiring managers and Human Resources look past your over-qualification. Perhaps, this will even open their eyes and prompt them to offer you a position even better-suited to you!
Be Clear About Salary Expectations:
Like previously mentioned, one of the biggest reasons that companies tend to steer clear of candidates they deem overqualified is because they are concerned that these candidates will demand a higher salary than they have budgeted for the role.
This is why it’s important to be clear about the salary you expect so that there are no false assumptions built on either side of the negotiating table. Of course, don’t sell yourself short when expressing your salary expectations, but Be aware that this can be a major sticking point in your opportunity for the role. You know the kind of job you’re applying for and what a reasonable salary would be, so try to work with the hiring manager!
Format Your Resume Accordingly:
Obviously, you should never fabricate information on your resume, but you can always generalize or adjust your resume so that your experience matches up with the qualifications for whatever job you are interested in. This can be done by highlighting specific responsibilities and skills that you know will be an asset in the position your applying for.
Another way to adjust your resume when you are over-qualified is to consider leaving your actual title off of each job and instead list the department you worked for and what your responsibilities were. Again, simplify your responsibilities just enough that they more closely match the job description.
Being overqualified does not need to detract from your hiring potential. As someone with a wealth of skills and experience, you have a wide array of options for how you present yourself to potential employers. By adjusting your resume accordingly, being clear about expectations, and showing your interest in working with the company, they will be more likely to look past the fact that you are over-qualified and use it as an advantage!
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