published Sunday, June 17th, 2012

How overqualified job seekers succeed

Today's highly competitive job market presents challenges for everyone seeking employment. Recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike encounter limited opportunities. After submitting a résumé and cover letter, these job seekers sometimes do not get a reply from prospective employers.

The tight job market can be especially hard on job seekers with 15 or more years of work experience. As they look through posted jobs, they often find entry-level openings that require less education or experience than they have accumulated.

An overqualified applicant can raise a red flag for a number of reasons.

Employers generally attach a negative connotation to overqualified candidates because they feel the candidate:

  • May leave as soon as he or she finds an upper lvel job.
  • May continue looking for employment with a higher salary.
  • Has never been promoted by previous employers.
  • Has not explained why he or she seeks a lower level position.

Change the format of your résumé

Employ a functional format tailored to the position. Applicants can include the companies they have worked for in the past without emphasizing titles that may raise concerns.

Customize résumé to each position

Be sure to include characteristics of your personality that show you are motivated, a team player and dedicated to performing the job effectively.

Along with a positive attitude, these soft skills can help define you as an asset.

Call on your professional network

Never underestimate the importance of joining a professional association.


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