America’s slow-growth economy in the past few years has led to a job market where experienced, well-educated people may find themselves looking for entry-level jobs. Whether you’re seeking to start a new career — which often means re-starting at the bottom of the corporate ladder — or just need a lower-level position to pay the bills, here are some tips for people who find themselves described as “overqualified” for a job.
Commit To The Long Haul
When an employer labels you as overqualified, they’re really saying they’re worried about how long you’ll stick around.
They don’t want the expense or hassle of replacing you after a short period of time. Make it clear that you’re willing to commit to a long term at the job — in writing, if necessary — and that they don’t have to worry about you leaving after a year or two.
Relish The Challenge
When a job candidate has plenty of experience, even at higher-level positions, the potential employer might also worry whether a lower-level job would provide enough of a challenge to keep you engaged. Stress how much you’ll enjoy the challenges of the new job, and include lots of specific examples of goals you would like to set and ways you can raise the bar for yourself.
Don’t Knock The Salary
Finally, your future employer may worry that you won’t be satisfied with a lower pay rate. Emphasize that you aren’t as interested in the money as you are in the challenge of the new job, and be honest about it. You want them to know you’re focused on working for the right company in an enjoyable position, not just the size of your paycheck. If you think your employer might have some qualms about your step down the career ladder, do everything you can to make sure they know you’re serious, committed and could do a great job for them. An honest, heart-to-heart explanation of why you want the job can do a lot to calm their fears.