Over the years I have heard job seekers marvel when they don’t get invited to job interviews for positions in which they are overqualified.
Here is how the conversation unfolds:
“I have no idea why I’m not hearing back from employers. I’ve sent out more than 50 resumes and have not even heard back from the ones I am overqualified for. I could do those jobs in my sleep.”
Understand employers’ motivations are to hire employees who are a good match for the position. Being overqualified for a job is not a good match.
Hiring decision-makers will see red flags when they receive applications from overqualified applicants. It screams “I’m desperate for a job and I hope you won’t see right through my desperation and offer me a job.”
Employers want to invest their resources and training budgets on employees who plan to invest in their careers (or a significant portion of their careers ) with those companies. Overqualified candidates do not stay: They get bored, become resentful and move onto the next “best” opportunity.
Consider that it can cost an employer up to $650,000 to bring a $60K per-year employee up to speed over 18 months according to Mark Murphy with Leadership IQ. If that employee leaves the organization during that time, the employer has wasted valuable resources (and the employee).
Don’t risk damaging your professional reputation by applying for jobs you are overqualified for. Human resources departments are extremely busy places and do not enjoy sifting through resumes of those individuals who are clearly overqualified for positions.
I know a recruiter in my city who has received dozens of applications from one applicant in this very way. He was either overqualified or underqualified for open postings. When my recruiter friend receives this person’s application, it is immediately discarded because this applicant has established himself as a nuisance.
Save your reputation and the time of busy human resources professionals by carefully evaluating the job description to determine whether you meet the requirements. If you exceed the requirements, then you are not qualified.