Key Advice for Overqualified Job Applicants by @nkwebbgroup1

Key Advice for Overqualified Job Applicants

by Nicole K. Webb | Featured Contributor

In today’s economy and sometimes tricky job market, it’s not uncommon for job applicants to apply for positions in which they may be considered overqualified. Instead of meeting the minimum requirements for a position, they exceed them by twice the amount of experience requested or more. The truth is, some overqualified job seekers actually prefer lower level positions as a way of reducing stress, decreasing responsibilities, minimizing their daily commute, or gaining more work/life balance. Unfortunately, recruiters and hiring managers may actually disqualify these individuals from the applicant pools.

Some of the common questions recruiters ask themselves when reviewing overqualified job applicant resumes are as follows:

  1. Why would they apply for this position given all of the experience they possess?
  1. If we hire this person, how long are they likely to stay employed before moving on to another employer?
  1. Will this person be able to be managed by someone who is equally qualified or potentially even less qualified than they are?
  1. Will we be able to meet this individual’s salary demands?
  1. Is this person a problem, which is why they are applying to lower-level positions instead of those on the level that meets their current qualifications?

Being able to answer these questions for your potential employer before they’ve even had a chance to ask will eliminate them from having to wonder about whether or not you’d make a suitable candidate. It’s important that you include the answers to all five of these questions in your cover letter and job application, specifically in the section that asks your reason for leaving your current employer. Here is a quick example of how you can include the answers to these questions in your job application documents:

I applied for this position because I have the experience and can hit the ground running with your organization. Ideally, I see myself in this position for the next 3 to 5 years. If you are willing to employ me for the position, this will provide me ample time to make a positive impact on your organization. I am a team player and know that my experience can add value to the current team that you have in place. This position is not only perfect for me as it pertains to the essential job duties, but also the advertised compensation is comparable to industry standards. Finally, I have a great work history and would be delighted to gain experience working with your organization. My professional references can attest to this and I am certain that you will be impressed with their comments.

Minimizing the areas for recruiters and hiring managers to speculate will certainly increase your chances of being considered for an interview and of earning the position at hand.


DSC_0688-2 sheownsitNicole K. Webb is a former “Perfect Patty” who was committed to doing everything by the book because of her fear of failure. However, in 2012 she faced some life-changing decisions that revealed to her that although you can try your best to do things perfectly, it’s impossible to be perfect at everything. For the first time in Nicole’s career, she struggled with a job in which she was not a good fit and was able to recognize this for herself. Nicole decided to resign from what many would consider a dream job in human resources in order to take time to figure out what to do next.

After being unemployed for two months, she found herself a great career opportunity in the human resources field. She also began to follow her dream of becoming a business owner. She opened her very own human resource consulting and career coaching business, NK WEBB GROUP LLC. Since launching her business, she has authored The Workplace Playbook: Strategies to Help New Employees Win In Their Careers.

Nicole has over 10 years of experience in human resources. She has an MBA from University of Baltimore and a BA from Coppin State University.

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