Have you ever been told you were “overqualified” for a job?
Overqualified?! What does that mean? Can someone really have too much experience? Surely that must be a positive thing, right?
When a job seeker is considered overqualified, it means there is not a right match between the available position and that person’s experience level. For example…
- The candidate may have more experienced than the supervisor
- The candidate’s experience may be intimidating to others on the team
- The candidate’s years of experience may warrant a higher salary than the company is able to pay
- The candidate may not be challenged by the job in the long run
- The candidate may get bored and leave the role (this is a big reason why hiring managers are cautious of hiring someone with more experience than the role warrants)
However, you’ve worked hard to gain valuable experience you can apply in a myriad of roles. Your skills are likely transferable from one industry to another, especially in the creative industry, so if you are going to accept a role more junior than your skill level, be honest with yourself as to why you want this position.
And if you are truly interested in a specific role, even if you are more experienced than the job description indicates, then you can highlight your experience so it is an asset:
- Update your resume to highlight relevant experience specific to this role
- Write a cover letter that expresses why you’re genuinely interested and excited for the role, even if it seems like your career is further along than the position would require. For example, if this allows you to learn a new industry, or learn a new skill
- Highlight how your experience can be an asset and help the team or manager
Keep in mind that your resume and cover letter are just tools to help you stand out among a sea of candidates also applying for the same position. Once you are granted an interview, the real work begins.