Have you ever been shown the door for being too good for a particular job? It means you were rejected for being overqualified. What gives? Shouldn’t having more skills, education, and experience than the company requires to be a good thing. Plus, there’s no such thing as possessing too much experience or expertise in a particular domain.
So, in case you are baffled by the “overqualified” sticking point, here are some concerns that recruiters or future employers may be experiencing. These could be the real reasons you aren’t getting hired.
1) You’ll Leave the Company
Recruiters may have worries over the fact that you are going to leave the job as soon as a better opportunity comes knocking. Possessing more experience and better skills than your coworkers means that other businesses in need of your skillset may try to hire you away. Since investing in an experienced employee and then losing him or her costs businesses a lot of time and money, they might prefer to keep looking, telling you that you’re simply too qualified for the position.
2) You Don’t Fit Into the Pecking Order
This comes with the disadvantages of being overqualified for an opening and may stem from the fact that the hiring company’s managers possess less experience than you. Additionally, the recruiter may think you won’t be satisfied working for someone who doesn’t have more advanced qualifications. It’s a catch-22 situation that arises from the manager’s own level of analysis and security. Will you cause problems by stating your own recommendations and opinions? Will you be okay with taking orders from them? Insecurities often cause employers to send the rejection letter stating you’re too qualified for the job.
3) You Won’t Work to The Best of Your Ability
Sometimes, being rejected because you’re overqualified means the job isn’t challenging enough for someone of your caliber, and the hiring manager fears that you’ll get bored. After all, if you’re asked to do things you’re too skilled for, you might disengage or perform at only average levels. This may not be how you work, but the person doing the hiring may have seen a negative situation like this play out before, and they want to stay on the safe side.
4) You Don’t Understand What the Position Entails
Recruiters may be concerned that in your journey to employment, you’re a little unrealistic about what the position actually requires. For instance, you might be thinking that the company is hiring you to handle high-level administrative duties when they really want someone to manage the front desk. Who’s to say you won’t be uninterested after the first few weeks? Employees may assume that you are not clear on job responsibilities and pass you over for someone whose skillset seems like a better match for the job description.
5) Your Salary Demands Will Be Too High
This doesn’t come as a big surprise as companies are concerned about how much salary you’re going to ask for. If your skills and experience are plentiful and advanced, it is only natural that you will want to earn a figure that is in line with market value. In this case, facing rejection for being overqualified means the organization isn’t willing to pay more for the experience that may not be needed for the position. While this may seem unfair at first, recruiters could be doing you a favor by saying you deserve a better-paying job.
6) You’re Not the Favorite
There are also instances where a candidate was selected before you even applied for the job. If the recruiter or hiring manager already knows who they want to fill the position, consideration of your skills may just be a formality. This typically happens in organizations where internal policies demand a thorough candidate search. In such cases, hiring managers just go through the motions out of duty. Rejection in these instances means you weren’t the recruiter’s favorite person for the role in the first place, so you needn’t beat yourself up about why you didn’t land the job. It was likely out of your control from the start.
7) You Won’t Give Buy-In to Younger Managers
If you’re more advanced in age than company leaders, the recruiter could start making assumptions. Many young decision-makers are wary about trying to supervise people with more life experience and assume it would be challenging to get buy-in from such employees. As a result, they often reject older, more experienced job applicants. The way to combat this is to make it clear in the interview that you don’t have any problems with being managed by younger individuals.
How Can You Overcome Such Rejections?
The good news is that it’s possible for overqualified individuals to overcome such rejections. It all starts with expressing real interest in the opportunity to take on new challenges and play a role in the hiring company’s success. Provide an explanation about why the job matches your priorities and expectations. This can help put the employer’s mind at ease.
Moreover, skip mentioning unnecessary qualifications. For instance, if that Google Analytics certification seems to make you overqualified for a basic social media role, omit it. Focus on the relevant skills and experience in the interview and your resume. Also, don’t expect the interviewer to read your mind, as that can lead to a whole set of misguided assumptions. Lastly, work with recruiters that specialize in connecting with companies that align with your skillset.