3 Things You NEED To Know About Being ‘Overqualified’Ariella Coombson May 21, 2024 at 2:30 pm Work It Daily


As a seasoned professional, being labeled as “overqualified” is frustrating. You have the experience, so why don’t employers value it?

Let’s face it: Today’s job search is much different than it was 20 years ago.

Here are few things you need to know about getting a job when you’re tagged as “overqualified.”

1. It Takes More Than Experience To Get A Job

Sure, you can have all of the experience in the world for a job, but when you’re not actively keeping your skills up to date, that’s where you run into problems.

It’s a fast-paced world, and if you want to find a job, you need to keep up. Figure out where you need to upskill in your industry and start advancing your skills. You should also look to develop new skills so you can stay relevant at work.

Think about the technologies you’d need to use, tasks you’d need to complete, and projects you’d need to finish. Where would you struggle? Start there.

2. Nobody Wants To Overpay For Services—Especially Employers

Unfortunately, the hard truth is that you might not make the salary you had at your last job. Employers are finding job candidates with the skills they need for less money. Paying more for someone who can do the same thing isn’t exactly something employers get excited about.

You need to understand what salaries are competitive for that role in that specific industry, then find ways to market yourself more effectively. You are a business-of-one. As an employee, you provide a service to an employer. So, in your job interview, you have to prove to the employer the services you can provide for the company will either save or make them money.

Employers need to justify paying you what you’re asking for, so figure out what you can bring to the table that other candidates can’t.

3. It’s Not Your Age That’s Holding You Back. It’s Your Strategy.

You can’t change your age, but you can change how you approach your job search. As we mentioned above, the job search has changed drastically over the last 10-20 years (and even in the last few!). If you want to stand out to employers and get interviews, you need to ditch those old job search strategies in favor of new ones.

What used to work for you likely won’t work for you now. Today, you need to get your resume past the ATS, write disruptive cover letters, and build your professional network so you can use backchanneling to get on a company’s radar. It’s about working on your career every day because if you want to win, you’ve got to “work it daily.”

If you’ve been called “overqualified” before—or think you could be called “overqualified” in your next job search—make sure to remember these three things. You (and only you) have the power to change employers’ perceptions. Show them what a great job candidate you are today!

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