Does Overqualified Mean Too Old?

When you are told you are overqualified by a potential employer it can make you feel overwhelmed. The word “overqualified” can mean so many things, and determining which one a recruiter means can pose a big challenge.

The word “overqualified” is universally used to mean things like old, not willing to learn new things, too expensive, not interested in taking direction, and more.

Does Overqualified Mean Too Old

It can also mean you are quite simply “overqualified” for the position, and a recruiter doesn’t want to push you through for a role that would make you bored, since you would be more likely to leave that role after just a short amount of time.

What You Should Do

When a company uses the word “overqualified” to describe you, it’s important to press them to find out the exact meaning they put on that word. Send a note to the recruiter or the hiring manager asking if they can share any further details that may help you as you continue your job search.

The fact of the matter is this, if you’ve given the company your time and energy to interview, they should be willing to give a few sentences of feedback that can help direct your job hunt.

Also, try to use any information they do give you to rebrand yourself inside places ranging from your resume to your social media accounts. Make sure you come across as a strong employee with years of qualified experience for the jobs you are going out for.

By breaking down the word “overqualified,” you might be surprised by what it actually means by the company using it to describe you. Don’t automatically assume “overqualified” means old, but do make changes to your job search when you are given more details by the companies you have interviewed with.

How To Get A Job You Are Actually Overqualified For

There are many reasons why you might really want that job you are actually overqualified for. There are some tricks you can employ during your interview process that can make you more desirable in the eyes of a future employer who is tentative to hire someone who could do work far beyond that which the job entails.

First, be open about the situation. Explain why you want the job, even if it isn’t the perfect match experience-wise. Just like addressing stereotypes head on, this tactic will catch a future employer off-guard, and get them to really look at you for who you are as a person, not just who you are on paper.

Second, tell your employer you know you will be underpaid, and explain why you are okay with that. This might seem like an over-share of your financial situation, but it is a way to put a potential employer at ease if you are working hard to land the job.

Third, be open about how long you plan to stay with the company if they’ll have you. See if you can sign a contract. By giving the company years of your time, you are saving them the cost of training someone else if you leave.

Keeping an open mind about “overqualified,” and asking a potential employer to do the same, can change the course of your conversation and the outcome.

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