Skilled Careers


What to do if you are over qualified?

When it comes to job-hunting, much of the focus is often on candidates, trying to fill a bit of a skills gap, to convince an employer they can rise to the challenge. However, what if the issue is not that you don’t have enough qualifications but that you have too many? Being overqualified for a job means that employers will often question you, wondering why you want a role that might not keep you occupied and being concerned that you won’t fit into the team or you’ll move on whenever the urge takes you. It’s certainly a challenge but it is possible to get that role for which you’re just a bit too qualified – here are a few tips on how to do it:

Overqualified for a Job

1. Be Clear On Your Motive

The biggest obstacle to overcome is, giving the employer a convincing reason as to why you’re applying for the role. This could be anything from achieving better work-life balance, to the desire to work in a niche field or for a specific company, or to get better job satisfaction. Make this reason clear in your cover letter so there is no room for confusion.

2. Rearrange Your CV

If the issue you have is that you simply have too many qualifications then re-order your CV and move them off the front page so that they look less overwhelming. Start with your work history and skills instead and focus on those that are relevant to this particular role.

3. Sell Yourself

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. The reality is that an employer is getting someone more qualified for less money so you don’t need to apologise for your skills and abilities. Instead, focus on exactly why you’re the perfect fit with a strong opening pitch paragraph on your CV – use it to show how the role is ideal for you and also that you understand its limitations.

4. Utilise Interview Time

Use the interview properly. If you’re relieved to have sneaked through the CV stage and are now worried about having to justify your excess of qualifications at interview, don’t be. This is the perfect opportunity to put across a convincing case as to why you would be the perfect candidate and why any concerns the employer has (which they will probably vocalise) will not cause any issues.

5. Rejecting The Job Offer

You don’t have to take the role. If, during the interview process, details are revealed about the role that you weren’t aware of, such as restrictions on promotions or a geographical requirement, then you can write the application off to experience and use what you’ve learned to make you a better candidate for the next great role you come across. Sometimes it’s better to recognise the role isn’t for you and direct your energy elsewhere.

If you feel you may be over qualified for a position, Skilled Careers can offer you practical advice. For more information, and help finding the perfect role no matter what your qualifications, contact the team today.