Tuesday, February 16, 2016

3 Keys to Getting a Job When You're Overqualified

When you're out of work, it's tempting to apply for anything just to be able to get a job and pay your bills.

But when you apply for jobs where employers believe you are overqualified, you greatly diminish your chances of getting a call for an interview.

The reason is because the employer looks at your experience and job titles and says, "Whoa. I can't begin to pay this person what she was making in those other jobs. This person must be desperate, and will leave when a better job comes along."

Don't deny it -- you know that thought is in the back of your mind.

So, how can you improve your chances of getting a job when you need it the most?

First, be honest. They know and you know that you're taking a job that will pay you less or have less prestige or responsibilities. Try to address those concerns in your cover letter and say it's OK with you. You've figured that into your plans, and you still want to apply for the job.

Second, address the things that really make this job attractive to you. Perhaps it's working for a smaller company and you like the idea of working with a smaller team. Or, the company is doing some important work within the industry. Perhaps you heard the CEO speak at a conference and was really impressed.

Third, reach out to your network and see if someone can speak for your enthusiasm -- that you place greater emphasis on being able to contribute than you do a job title. If someone can provide a LinkedIn recommendation to this effect, that's even better.

Finally, it's really important you've given a lesser salary or job title some real consideration. If you know you're just lying to get what you want for now, it will be evident to an interviewer. But if you really think about how you may be able to learn new skills, work with great people and make a real contribution to a company's success, then that can lead to a more positive mindset and help you get a job.

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