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Posted 12/15/2016

Overqualified – The Backhanded Compliment

“I’m sorry, you’re a great candidate, but . . . We can’t make an offer because you’re too good - you’re overqualified.” Is that a compliment? Or an insult? Does it matter? The job you wanted and knew you could do well went to someone else, and you’re still looking. Frustration. Discouragement. Defeat. Wait. Don’t give up yet. It’s time to “take the bull by the horns” and win the job you want. Follow these ten steps and turn your “overqualified” label into a “welcome aboard.” 1. Understand the potential employer’s perspective. The truth is, they would love to hire you, but they have legitimate concerns:
  • They can’t afford you – your current or last salary is considerably higher than their budget will allow.
  • They’re concerned your expectations are for rapid promotion, but they need somebody for the position that’s open – not somebody who will be disillusioned when the rapid promotion doesn’t happen.
  • Various scenarios run through their mind, such as . . . they hire you, train you, and just as everything gets comfortable and efficient, you get bored and move onto greener pasture while they are left to start the hiring process over again.
  2. Now that you understand the issues; address them. Head-on. 3. The money issue. So you are willing to make less than you are/were? Why? If you have a legit reason – the shorter commute allows more time for your family, etc. then speak up. Maybe you want to change career direction, and you realize you have to begin at, well . . . the Don’t wait for the issue – be open about it from the get-go – sincere honesty is a great door opener. 4. If you do require a higher salary than first indicated in the job description, be prepared to demonstrate your ability to save the company money in other ways - with real evidence from previous positions. 5. Skip job titles and focus on skills and experience pertinent to the position. Discuss accomplishments, proficiencies, etc. that match the job description. Use the words they used in the job description and gloss over the ones not required for the job. 6. Be humble. If you’re a potential “over-qualifier,” you may very well be older than the interviewer. Don’t intimidate them or come across as “been-there, done-that know-it-all.” Yes, show how your abilities are a great match, but do it with the right attitude. 7. If you have a record of longevity at past jobs, don’t be afraid to point it out as evidence that you are a loyal employee. 8. Be willing to sign a contract of commitment - pledging to stay an agreed upon length of time. 9. Don’t neglect networking. Praise for, and testimonials about you from others regarding your team spirit, commitment, loyalty, accomplishments, etc. weighs more than anything you can say. 10. Finally, be enthusiastic and energetic, genuine and sincere, pleasant and professional – you get the picture. A winning personality can override potential deal breakers. Don’t be afraid to bring your “over-qualifications” to MPS Technical.  We specialize in finding the right clients for our candidates and the right candidates for our clients. If you have the skills, we have the position. Contact us today – we have an office near you.