“You’re Overqualified”: How to Beat the One-Liner and Get the Job

In the current economy with layoffs, downsizing, and the flat-out lost job, there are a lot of professionals hoofing the street for a job as well as skilled laborers and unskilled workers. If all you’ve ever done is something as specific as, say, Title Insurance, how do you get the job at something “less” prestigious?

The first step is to get over the idea that your former job is at a specific social standing that you have to match with your new job. The next step is to get your new employer to believe the same thing. How do you do that? You build a dichotomy between your previous job and the one you’re after:

  • You’re expanding your skill set

  • You’re n
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5 Responses to “You’re Overqualified”: How to Beat the One-Liner and Get the Job

  1. Lizzy says:

    I think a potential employer (especially in these economic conditions) telling an applicant that they are overqualified may have just as much to do with longevity. Why would you hire someone even if they are fabulous, if you know they are going to jump ship when a better opportunity comes along?

  2. Karen says:

    @Lizzy (and all who share that view): Isn’t that a risk every employer takes with every employee they hire? Some people are truly interested in starting over in a new career, not just collecting a paycheck until something better comes along. It is that narrow-minded attitude that is KEEPING many people out of work.

  3. Karen says:

    Not to mention, is the available job so bad that employees want to run at the first chance they get??

  4. Rob says:

    Being told you are overqualified is insulting. It’s like saying that because you have held a higher paying position in the past, you’re exempt from getting a lower paying position. This bogus Employer attitude is making the unemployed middle class, who have worked hard to achieve high standing in the past, the new lower class. Thanks, society, for making me broke, depressed, pessimistic, and credit challenged.

  5. Ben says:

    Lizzy may be right. A lot of hiring managers for “low end” jobs only will hire really stupid people for them. They have this irrational fear that “smart” people will abandon ship at the first opportunity.

    Here’s how you deal with that: Put your “stupid” mask on.

    Strip all the “overqualified” stuff off your resume. Drop your college credentials, drop your master’s degree. Convert your job descriptions into something really stupid sounding.

    Ridiculous? Yes. And it’s much harder than it sounds. Does it work? A lot of anectdotal evidence suggests that it does.

    Hey…if they want stupid people…you gotta act stupid.

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