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Overqualified? Here’s What You Can Do About It

Overqualified for a job?

Sounds crazy, we know, but believe it or not, there is such a thing as being overqualified for a position. Usually we think the more experience we have, the better, but sometimes being overqualified can actually hurt your chances at landing a job. We’re here to tell you why this can be the case, and what you can do about it.

What about salary?

If you are considered overqualified for a position, that can lead the prospective employer to worry that you would demand too high of a salary if hired. If your qualifications typically mean higher pay, the employer might need some convincing that you would be willing to accept a lower salary or whatever salary they are offering. So what should you do? Convince them! Talk about your salary requirements and how they fall in line with what’s being offered. Ease their fear that you would demand a higher salary so soon into the game. Another fear an employer might have is that you would want to be promoted right away. This goes hand in hand with the higher salary demand fear, so your job is to put the employers fears at ease by effectively communicating your willingness to fully accept the position and all that goes along with it.

Don't leave us

Another fear a prospective employer might have, is that you might take the job, and then quickly move on to a higher-paying and more advanced job. In your interview you need to be able to effectively communicate the idea that this is the job you have been looking for, and you are not looking to move on from it any time soon. While of course you don’t need to make any longterm promises, you simply want to quell the fears of the employer by letting them know you would be more than happy to be working in this position.

Tailor your resume

You might also want to consider toning down your resume a bit. We know that sounds a bit counterproductive, but the truth is, as long as your resume accurately depicts your career history, you are free to focus on whatever points you’d like. So if the position you are applying for involves teamwork and collaboration, you should elaborate more on your collaborative roles and less on your leadership roles. Tailor your resume to focus more on the responsibilities and accomplishments that align with the specific position you are applying for.

Prepare yourself

Lastly, we suggest being prepared to answer some difficult interview questions. Chances are the hiring manager might be somewhat baffled as to why someone with your experience and qualifications is willing to take on a lower-paying and less advanced role. You should have a great answer for why you are willing to do so. Remember to focus on the positives the position you are applying for has to offer, and effectively communicate why the position is so attractive to you.

Essentially, in addition to selling yourself, you’re also selling your genuine desire to land this job.

My name is Joost and I have been active as a recruiter for the past 5 years. At, I share my experience, tips and the "secret" tricks to help you get a job. Do you have questions? Please send me an email via the contact form.