Being qualified usually works in your favour, except for when you’re too qualified. Recruiters don’t want to hire someone with too much experience, because “they think [that] person is unlikely to be happy, won’t stay long, might want the interviewer’s job or may expect fast promotion,” says Robin Ryan at TheLadders.
When you are faced with the “you’re overqualified” statement from a recruiter, the best thing to do is give a reasonable explanation that will convince them as to why a demotion is an option that you want right now.
Ryan suggests this example:
“My current position as Regional Sales Manager requires me to cover 14 states, and the job had grown into 15 nights of travel per month. This has become an increasingly difficult sacrifice for my family. I have decided to seek a major accounts-rep position that allows me to focus on my strengths — selling, sustaining top-notch client relationships and up-selling — but also allows me to go home most evenings. This is not an option at my current job. It requires a lot of out-of-town travel to do the job, which I am no longer willing to do. I believe my extensive marketing and sales skills would greatly benefit your organisation in a positive way. I see this as a win/win situation for both of us.”
The worst thing you can do is make the recruiter think that you’re taking a job just to take it. Despite being overqualified, you still need to tailor each resume, cover letter and interview to that specific position.
Don’t come off as desperate, but do show that you are a good fit and that you not only can do it, but that you want to do it.
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