More often than not, looking for a job as a fresh out of school graduate can be a daunting task with every organisation wanting to hire candidates with several years of experience. What happens when the reverse is the case and you have more years of experience than the job requires?

Most recruiters might be worried that before long you would get bored and head on to something else, or that you would demand for a salary that’s above what they are willing to pay for the position. Some other worries include whether you would be willing to take instructions from your superiors who might be less qualified than you are.
Here are some tips to sell yourself for a job you are overqualified for:

Your resume

Your resume is what gets you through the door of the job you are trying to bag. So, in order to be considered for an interview, your resume has to present you as the candidate they are looking to hire. You should never lie on your resume but it’s okay to leave out some of your qualifications to enable you fit for the position you want to apply for.

a) Make sure your resume focuses solely on the experiences that match those listed on the job description. Don’t go into details beyond what is required. Leave off degrees that are not relevant to the job. There is no need to include certifications and post university degrees that are above the scope of the job being applied for.

b) You could also leave out some job positions held in the past. However, you have to be prepared to explain what you were doing during those missing blocks of time when asked.

c) Use simple language to convey what you did in your last place of employment; this reduces the importance it might have sent across. For example, instead of, “spearheaded a transition to a new CRM system”, you can say you, “helped manage a transition to a new CRM system.”

Your Interview
d) During the interview, if the issue of being overqualified comes up, find out what exactly the interviewer has concerns about and try to ease their fears. For instance, if they are concerned about the salary you might demand, reassure them that you are willing to negotiate the terms to something that suits both parties.

Communicate your value during the interview

e) You should also be ready to answer the question as to why you want a job you are overqualified for. This is where you reassure the employer that you are not taking the job to keep busy until something else comes along. Let them see the benefits of hiring someone with more experience, such as mentoring younger inexperienced staff, helping the team achieve more, etc.

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