“Sorry, but you’re overqualified.”
Yes, this is a classic phrase that very often recruiters and employers say to experienced applicants.
Instead of ignoring overqualified candidates, employers should view these people as valuable investments for their company. Unfortunately, the great majority of employers aren’t so enthusiastic.
In fact, when hiring managers talk about why they’re nervous about hiring someone with tons of experience and proven skills, here’s what they say:
· You’ll leave as soon as you get a better offer:
Hiring managers look at your stellar experience and wonder whether they will have to replace you as soon as another company makes you an offer.
· You’ll get bored with your job:
Employers don’t want you to be bored with the position, feel unfulfilled or unimportant.
· You’ll be unhappy with the compensation:
Employers want to hire the most successful candidate they can. That usually means the employees who will accept the budgeted amount of pay to carry out their job requirements. It makes good business sense. So if they feel they’ll have to offer you more money because of your years of experience, they may pass for a less experienced employee who has similar credentials.
· You’ll make them look bad:
Hiring managers are humans too, and your experience and skill might be intimidating to them.
So, to deal with these stereotypes here’s some tactics overqualified job-seekers should follow:
1. Let your network speak for you
Nothing is stronger than a recommendation from someone who knows you and can recommend you. The ideal scenario is to use your network to find someone within the organization and let that person make the first pitch for you.
2. Do what it takes to get the interview
Be prepared to deal with the overqualified issue when you call to follow-up your application and try to convince the hiring manager on at least giving you a “meeting” if not an interview so that you can show your case in person.
3. Focus more on skills and accomplishments than job titles
No matter what your age, the best way to market yourself is to showcase your best attributes and accomplishments, especially the ones that align with the job you’re appling for.
So, when writing your application or resume, make sure you address how your experience can help you achieve the duties outlined in the job description. During the interview, frame your answers around how your best qualities can help your manager achieve their goals and lead to success for both of you.
4. Be open to negotiate the salary, but don’t undersell you
Make it clear from the beginning that you are completely flexible about salary and that your previous salary is of no relevance to your current job-search.
5. Emphasize teamwork and personality
Demonstrate that you are a team player and that the success of the team is more important than any of the individual team members.
6. Demonstrate loyalty
One method to attempt to overcome the fear that you will leave as soon as a better offers comes along is to point to your longevity with previous employers.
7. Be humble
You should illustrate how you are the perfect candidate for the position without overwhelming the hiring manager with your experience or your ego. Avoid intimidating a younger hiring manager.
8. Be enthusiastic like was the first job, but show your great expertise
Nothing wins over a hiring manager more than a positive attitude and a passion for the job and the company.
Always explain life experiences relevant to the job, or moments throughout your working life in which you believe you learned valuable lessons.
Animated, engaging people are a pleasure to interview, and you shouldn’t be afraid to sell YOU, your personality, not only your skills.
After that remember to show you are a truly qualified candidate and your experience can help any manager. A great employer will want to surround themselves with expertise that will make their team look great.
9. Keep learning throughout your adult life and stay young
Look into training courses and attend conferences and seminars. But don’t just go for familiar topics. Pick something which falls outside your comfort zone: even if some of it goes over your head, you’re almost certain to pick up some fresh new ideas. Moreover get into the habit of reading at a particular time of day, perhaps on the train, during your lunch break, or before dinner in the evenings.
If you ignore the importance of continuous learning, you’ll miss opportunities to grow and you will be old.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
Originally published at medium.com