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How To Find A Job When You’re Overqualified

Published: Wednesday 1st July 2015

Keywords coming out of a tablet onto a female


Although many candidates worry about being considered under-qualified for a position, it is also possible for your CV to be overlooked because of the assumption that you are overqualified. The most important reasons for this type of rejection are fears that the candidate might not feel challenged or become less productive quickly.

There are, however, some very valid reasons for anyone looking for a new opportunity to apply for jobs for which, it appears, they have too much experience. They could be looking for a change of pace, want to become more involved with a different side of the business or are looking for a job that will allow them to work more flexibly. 

Although it can be hard to convince a recruiter or employer that you are right for the job despite your professional experience, it isn’t impossible. All you need is the right strategy.

Underplay Your Experience

We’re not talking about lying on your CV here. Never lie. You can, however, choose to leave out some of your qualifications, volunteering positions, achievements and awards. When it comes to interviewing stage, you might have to discuss your experience in a little bit more detail. But that’s still better than being labelled as over-qualified straight away.

Be Aware Of Social Media Screening

We live in an age where it’s likely that recruiters and potential employers are going to be doing some online research and media screening before they even meet you. If you have chosen to talk down your experience and amend your CV, make sure to never change your job title, but the job description instead. Recruiters might be trying to verify your CV online  and they will want it to match the one you sent them.


If you are applying for a job you are overqualified for, you will have a clear reason for doing so. Make sure that you are able and ready to explain your decision to a hiring manager. If you want the job, you will have to pitch for it. In doing so, you will hopefully alleviate some of the concerns the hiring manager might have.


When you find out the skills and experience that are valued most highly, you can focus on these on your CV and in your interview. There is no point in trying to sell skills you gained in previous roles, that aren’t valuable in the one you’re aiming for.


If you are recommended to a company or recruiter by a current employee, this can go a long way in the confidence level these recruiters have in you. Your professional network will probably have a good understanding of your career goals and work ethic and might be able to convince others.

If you are looking for a new opportunity, why not download the Zoek app to let your new job find you? The app for faster, smarter recruitment can be downloaded on iOS or Android.


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