What If You Are Too Qualified

Those who are looking for a job rarely *see* what commitment an employer is actually making when they take on a new member of staff, from training, to salary, setting up office space, perhaps needing more technology or other equipment. All of this is money the company spends out on hiring someone new – in the hopes that they will stay with the company for a long time and will become a *good investment*

The interviewer might sometimes see a bit of a red flag when they see someone applying for a position that they are way too over qualified for. While you might see that as an advantage – that having too many qualifications will still land you the job – the interviewer might see you as someone who will tire of the work quickly and therefore won’t stay with the company for long.

So, if you are over qualified – how can you get past this and still get the job?

For employers there can be a certain liability that can come along when you hire someone who is too over qualified. It’s not that the job seeker knows *more* than their fellow job seekers – or even those that they will be working alongside – it is more to do with an employer seeing them as a job seeker who is really looking for something better – and how long will it be till they find that *something better* and leave.

Some employers read resumes from candidates who are over qualified for the position and are worried about how long the job seeker is willing to stay. When you *add up* the costs to bring a new employee in, make sure they will be able to work well alongside other staff – and how current staff will work alongside the job seeker, they will also be wondering – how long do you plan to stay. Is this position just until you find something better?


On the plus side there are other employers out there who don’t see this as a problem. They take the time to look beyond the qualifications and assess you on other things. The job market might not be good, so you are looking for and willing to do anything, even if it is a step down. Employers will see that as willingness to work, and sometimes bringing in someone a little too qualified can help or encourage other staff to try and do a little better too.

At the end of the day the employer wants the best workers, and they want workers who will stay, and while they may face the risk of you moving on they still realise the potential you can give them and that they can benefit from your knowledge and experience. There is also the hope that they can build a solid relationship with you, that will encourage you to stay on- maybe by offering you a promotion when one comes up.

If you are an over-educated job seeker during your interviews make your career goals clear in the cover letter on your resume and during any interviews. You may be at that stage of your life where you want to work closer to home, or in a smaller organisation – so under the right circumstances you might still be a good fit for the company. Ensure you make note of your training and education, some employers actually prefer to hire someone with qualifications rather than a candidate who has no qualifications at all.

So whether you are under educated for the position or over educated just explain why you and the job would be a good match and what you can bring to the position.

Do you find being over qualified has helped or hindered you in getting a job?


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