Human resources experts often warn against pursuing a job that you are overqualified for, but as the employment market changes, both employees and recruiters are rethinking the concept.
Overqualified candidates can actually yield exceptional results for a company and recruiters are realising that simply disqualifying a candidate for being too experienced or too senior for a position may be doing the organisation a disservice.
Studies in the past have shown that the risks of hiring someone who is overqualified are more perceived than actual and that overqualified employees actually outperform their colleagues.
Tips to bust the overqualified myth:
If you are an ‘overqualified’ job seeker here are some ways to debunk perceptions.
- Clearly communicate your motivation to the recruiter for wanting the position.
- While the recruiter may suggest that you should be holding out for a more suitable role, you may have specific reasons – such as lifestyle, health or career reorientation – for why the position suits you at this time.
- Remember that your experience will save the company on training expenses. You can offer new insights about the position and potentially improve working practices.
- Leadership and mentoring opportunities. While the role may be less well paid or a lower responsibility level, it allows you to be act as a mentor to junior staff, but also push senior staff to achieve higher levels of performance.
- Bringing new skills. Experienced staff can bring new service opportunities to clients or help improve working practices.
- Remind the company that you are bringing new leads and an extensive contact base with you.
The key is to help the recruiter understand how transferable your skills are while also presenting a view of yourself that is in line with the goals of a prospective employer.