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Are you “overqualified”? State your value!

June 6, 2013 By admin | 1 Comment

Are you hearing that you are “overqualified” for the opportunities you are applying for? Here is an approach to consider.

First, If you’ve ever been left with the impression that a hiring company rejects candidates based upon that candidate being too old, young, tall, short, fat or thin versus a potential shortcoming in their education, training, experience or attitude,  this should raise the critical question “Do I REALLY want to work here?”

While “overqualified” may be a euphemism for being too old, young, tall, short, fat or thin, you cannot control the lack of professionalism and integrity of the interviewer. However, if the rationale for rejection is truly “overqualified,” the interviewer feels that you would not be happy in the role, or the compensation is not suitable to your career level, they are simply looking to minimize the expense of staff turnover as soon as something closer to your career aspirations comes along.

What can you do to address being truly “overqualified”?

The biggest issue facing ALL organizations today is PROFITABILITY!  Focusing on the value you would deliver to a hiring organization, how you would impact their bottom line, can take away concern about your over qualification.

To illustrate, imagine the interviewer saying: “Mr. Smith, I am afraid that you are over qualified in generating profits for your employer. You simply produce too much revenue or you are far too effective in streamlining operations and workflow to minimize costs!”

If you can clearly articulate your value in dollars and cents and show via your resume how you have been instrumental in solving the profitability problem for your previous employers, then you will be sought out and secure an opportunity in a timely manner.

Please do not think that you did not help with profitability in previous roles. If you received a salary or wage then you contributed to profitability either via revenue generation or cost containment in some way. For if you truly did not contribute then you did not have a job – you had a hobby and the money you received was a charity gift!

So let us just remind ourselves of what the word “value” actually means to the hiring manager. The dictionary provides us with 18 definitions. From the multiple definitions of the word, the THREE common elements for at least eight of those definitions are monetary, worth, represented by a figure.

Now, go and look at your resume.

Is there a clear statement of your “value” measured in dollars, represented by a figure?

Graham Riley

Follow Graham @GrahamKRiley

CareerToolbox international, LLC

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Comment (1)

  1. Kent Vincent says:

    I never know quite what to make of these discussions of “overqualified”. Are there really employers out there who say this out loud any time since the year 1998 or so? I haven’t encountered them. And if they believe that why are you even in the room or on the phone with them? What they tend to say instead is that they need someone who is “promotable” and has runway or headroom left in his/her career to grow with the company and into a future role that is above the one you’re interviewing for somewhere down the road. When couched in that manner, any restrictions or narrowed criteria the employer has in mind to put that plan in action seem perfectly justified, practically and strategically. (An honest third party recruiter will certainly tell you that without any apologies.) You’d probably be better served going after things where solving the problem or achieving the aspiration of the moment is first and foremost.

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