What overqualified really means

Okay, if you have been searching for a job long enough chances are you will hear this dreaded phrase, “Sorry, but you’re overqualified for the position.”

Sure on one hand it is a compliment that someone thinks you are too good to be working for them, but on the other hand you still have to eat and being overqualified is not putting food on the table.

In case the term “overqualified” has been an enigma wrapped up in a mystery for you, let me tell you what employers really mean when they throw that word around.

Let the demystification begin… (Insert the sounds of monks chanting here)

  • You’ll be harder to get rid of if things don’t work out because of discrimination issues. Gee, its difficult to get more blunt and to the point than that. A lot of times, it all comes down to prevention. On down the road if the powers that be want to use their mighty axe in cutting jobs, it is to their advantage to let you go in favor of someone cheaper and umm… more easily bossed. Of course there are certain agencies such as the EEOC that would have a field day with this, so why even create a minefield to step into later?
  • You’re going to drop them as soon as a better job comes along and no employer wants to get somebody “broken in” only for him or her to leave in a short period of time and go through the process all over again. (If you are single and looking to get married, you may be able to identify with this one better than the previous example.)
  • With your experience, no doubt you would be an expensive hire and they are not trying to spend any money, especially on your paycheck. If it’s not your paycheck, then raises designed to get you back to the compensation you are accustomed to or even sick leave.
  • You’ve been there and done that and you’re going to get bored with the job as it is beneath your talents. Not only will that make it hard to motivate you, but also you might become something like an apathetic virus infecting the rest of the crew.

Dealing with these issues and fears will take a great deal of tact and care, but remember that you have the upper hand; you just have to convince them of that.

Tell them how much money your experience will save them and give examples where you improved profit margins and business processes. Point out that you are looking for a “home” and not a “job” and that you believe in what they are doing so much that you are willing to take a cut. Stress how much of a team player you are and how that as an “overqualified” worker you overwork to get the job done, something exemplified in your resume, references and letters of recommendation.

Like anything else it is a sales pitch

But at least by addressing the four issues mentioned above, you can muster a good defense with a strong first striking offense.

Get ready to rumble!!!!!!!!

Whoops, sorry, forgot myself there…. Next topic please.

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3 thoughts on “What overqualified really means”

  1. Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  2. Jim

    Nice article. ‘Over-qualified’ is one mother of a euphemism and I’ve had it too. Too expensive to hire was I!

    FYI, Google Dabylbfocketfaminoj is an uber-spammer. You might want to research it.

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