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How to frame a job application if you’re overqualified

Published: Tuesday 25th August 2020

Being overqualified for a job can be a big source of frustration for job seekers. You may have put a lot of time and effort into your job application, only for it to be rejected because you are deemed to have surpassed that level. You may be looking for a change of career, a new start or even a guaranteed source of income in tough financial times. Therefore, it is important to follow our application form advice to give yourself the best chance. 

It is incredibly important that you do not lie on your CV. You may even be able to secure a job in this way, but this will catch up with you eventually. However, you can alter the format or design of your CV so that it creates a more seamless link to the job or jobs that you are applying for. Some companies may be deterred from hiring candidates who may see a potential role as a temporary solution. They could also worry that candidates may get bored or will not be able to take direction. Here is our application form advice to get you to interview stage. 

Tailor your job application accordingly 

diverse people, job seekers thinking and being pre-occupied

It is important to show how your experience is a close match to the role you want on your job application. If you are a marketeer who is looking to move solely into SEO, make sure that you focus on your experience of SEO-related software. Similarly, if you are looking to focus more on the design element of marketing, then you should demonstrate your knowledge of the latest trends. If you decide to place some emphasis on other less relevant areas, employers may quickly decide that you are over-qualified for a job. 

You should not be afraid to leave some sections off your CV. This can include years of education, achievements, skills or even earlier job roles. Doing this will allow you to focus on the skillset that is required for certain jobs. If you are sending an application or CV to multiple people or agencies, make sure that you have tailored your writing accordingly and not simply produced a mass send to all outlets. 

Take the opportunity to address any issues

man reviewing CV while sitting at desk with laptop in the background.

Your CV or cover letter is likely to be the employer’s first chance to get to know your skillset. Therefore, it is important to second guess any concerns at the start of your job application. This is where you can use your CV summary section to your advantage. Stating your preferred job title and your desire to develop your career within a particular industry is a great starting point. Furthermore, it is recommended that you get straight to the point and avoid any unnecessary filler content. 

You may also want to reference the fact how certain job roles have led to promotions that have taken you away from your key interests. Your cover letter is a great way to explain this and how the role you are applying for is more in line with your desired career path. 

Research the company before submitting your job application

Whether you are applying for roles in E-commerceBusiness DevelopmentSales or Recruitment, you will need to do your research. If it is a larger company, it always pays to look at any industry-related business news. However, the level of research required is significant regardless of the organisation. Tailoring your job application is important, but it is important that this is combined with a solid understanding of the challenges that your potential new company faces. 

male job seeker searching for a job or working. job searching while overqualified concept.

Make your CV more functional 

The main difference between a functional CV and a chronological CV is the layout and appearance. Placing more emphasis on your skills and achievements can help employers to see your suitability for a role. Furthermore, this approach is very much to the point, which can make your job application easier to read. This will also reduce the potential impact of a chronological CV reflecting that you are too qualified for a role. 

Don’t forget to check out the latest UK jobs, or for more tips and advice you can take a look at our Info Hub! 

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