Dear Working Wise:
I didn’t get the Marketing Assistant job that I applied for recently and I got the impression that they thought I was over-qualified. I have just completed my MBA plus I have some related experience. The fact is, though, I need a job. Do you have any advice? Signed, Eager to work
Yes, it’s possible that the employer decided not to hire you because they thought you were overqualified.
The employer may have been concerned that you will:
· Expect a quick promotion;
· Want more money than other applicants;
· Leave as soon as you find a better job;
· Have had performance issues at your last job;
· Become bored with the job too quickly;
· Want to take their job.
However, there are many good reasons people apply for jobs that they are overqualified for, including:
· New graduates with a lot of education, but limited experience;
· Recent immigrants who need Canadian work experience or need to support themselves while they earn their Canadian credentials;
· Changes in your personal life, including a family relocation;
· Desire for less responsibility/overtime and better work-life balance;
· Desire to change careers or work after retirement.
Here are some tips to help you reassure employers and get them excited about hiring you:
· Target your resumé to the position and company’s needs--focus on how your experience will benefit the organization. Keep it short—two pages or less.
· Focus on employers who will value your skills and experience—highlight them.
· Develop a career plan with clear goals.
· Be ready for the question, “Aren’t you overqualified for this job?” Explain why you want this job and how it fits into your long-term career plan.
· Reasons you want this job could include: new career direction, new industry, new skills, excited about the company, attracted by the job duties, need Canadian work experience, or you are looking for better work-life balance, etc.
· Show your excitement for the job and how you can contribute.
· Let the interviewer set the tone and lead the interview to show that you have no problem taking direction and have no plans to take over.
· Talk about situations where you have worked successfully with co-workers who had various levels of skill and experience.
· Ask the interviewer(s) if they have any remaining doubts that you are the perfect person for this job.
If you want any other job search tips or advice, check out the tip sheets on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site at http://alis.alberta.ca.
Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.