Have you ever been told you’re overqualified? Don’t you hate that? Why wouldn’t they want someone who they don’t have to train, right? Well today I’ll explain WHY the employers are so hesitant, and then specifically HOW you can address this objection.
From the employer’s perspective, hiring someone who is taking a step backwards can be scary because logically, why wouldn’t you want to progress forward in your career? The logical assumption is that you’re taking this job to pay the bills while you continue looking for something better…so when you find it, they will have to refill this position.
From personal experience, a couple years ago I hired an assistant who had previously been the executive assistant to the president of a major corporation. She had a huge salary, and I was just filling a lower level assistant position. My role was definitely a step back for her.
She said all the right things and insisted she wasn’t just taking this while she looked for something better and I thought, “Alright great! I’m getting someone with advanced level experience and I’ll save time training her.” I was really excited about hiring her and felt very fortunate.
Even though I didn’t have to train her on some of the spreadsheets, I still had to show her our applicant tracking system and how that worked, as well as how we handle calls, how we present our correspondence, and lots of other stuff specific to our firm. It took about a month of intense training to get her fully ingrained in the system to where she was starting to be effective for us.
Just about that time, she got an offer for a position similar to what she had before, and she left. So after spending a month searching for someone, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, and another month on-boarding, doing the paperwork, training her, etc., etc., all of which pulling me away from doing my main job, I had to start all over! Super.
I didn’t even mention the training process itself. Have you ever been excited to show something to someone, to teach them how to use something that you’re hoping that person will be excited about, and they just keep saying, “yeah, yeah, I’ve done that before.” That’s just not fun for anyone. It just makes for a toxic experience for everyone, and employers just don’t want to deal with that, so, they pass because you’re “overqualified”.
How do you get around this?
Once you understand the perceived risks, now you can address them BEFORE they become an issue. Keep your focus during the interview on WHY this type of work is truly what you want to be doing. You can even acknowledge that it could be perceived as a step back, or a shift from what you were doing before, but it’s more important to you to enjoy what you’re doing than to have the money or the title that came with the previous position.
Give them examples of interesting stories that show your passion for this type of work, which will help them understand that it will be a good experience hiring and training you on their systems. When you do, they’ll stop seeing the risks of hiring an overqualified person, and they’ll start seeing the potential value of having you on their team. Give this a try, it will help.
If this article was helpful for you, please click Like and Share this so the people in your network can find it. Thank you for your help with that and remember, being overqualified doesn’t have to be a roadblock, you just have to attack it the right way. You can do this. It’s time to get to work.