Overcoming the Risk of Being Overqualified in your Résumé


Being branded “overqualified” can be a most painful experience for job seekers.  After 20-30 years of having steadily risen through the ranks in various job promotions with various training certificates and accomplishments, never in your wildest dreams would such credentials in your résumé be an impediment to getting the job you want.

Employers are often less than willing to take in people who have reached a salary level commensurate to their seniority and consequently, would prefer younger candidates with all things equal.  If the vacancy calls for an engineer with 3 years of experience in the field, employers will consider an applicant with 6-8 years of experience overqualified. This puts applicants who have been in the workforce for more than a decade at a disadvantage when it shouldn’t.

So how can you best prevent this from happening? There is no correct or wrong way to deal with overqualification.  The first instinctive solution is to revisit your résumé and trim down on the job experience details.  While this can work and is the more prudent thing to do, employers will know you’re cutting down when it’s plain to see you’ve been in the workforce for the last two or three decades.  Bear in mind that any gap in your résumé won’t look good at all. So if you plan to take out some job experience details, be sure you can explain the gap in your covering letter.

The more relevant solution is to indicate in your résumé that your salary is negotiable and that you are perfectly content to harness your skills and knowledge in the position with the challenges being the rewards in themselves.  This can assuage employers that getting you can provide the best deal if salary is not an issue.

Category: Resume Articles

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