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You’re Overqualified: Should You Take The Job?

With increasing unemployment numbers, it’s becoming harder for almost everyone to find a new position that’s also a great fit. This week, Nick D’Ambrosio, president of First Hire, a career development firm, talks about whether it’s better to take a job you’re overqualified for. As a candidate with over-qualified credentials, how do you convince a potential employer that you won’t leave when the economy brightens? A smart employer will see this current market and realize they can now get quality talent at a discount and accept the fact that they may only get a year or two out of this person.

You can say anything you want and spin it anyway you want but the people doing the hiring recognize what’s happening in the market. You are better off being honest and talking about the things you clearly bring to the company and how you will immediately make an impact.
What’s the downside of accepting a job you are overqualified for? This is a difficult question to answer. Going from a VP of a major corporation to a sales person at Target may not be a wise move. Ideally you want to stay in the same industry even if it means going down a notch or two in salary and title. This will be explainable down the road given the current market conditions. It’s easier to explain why you took a job you were overqualified for, then to explain why you were unemployed for two years.
In this economy are most people taking jobs that require significantly less experience than they possess? In this market, almost everyone is willing to take a job they are overqualified for. People need to make money and have limited choices. Look at the unemployment statistics. You have to be willing to take jobs you are overqualified for. I saw a similar situation in Silicon Valley in 2002. Forget the past. The alternative is to potentially be unemployed for a long time. No matter what the market is like, it’s always easier to find a job when you have a job.
With so many impressive candidates in the market, how can you deal with rejection if you’re not chosen? You need to be slightly detached from the results while still remaining passionate about the day-to-day activities needed to find work. The people I see landing jobs in this market do more then just network, visit job boards or meet with recruiters; they proactively find new companies to market themselves to–both inside and outside of their present industry. They are unafraid to pick up the phone and call a potential employer, and they excel at presenting themselves.

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Filed under:Career, Coaching, Job Search

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