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Appear 'qualified,' not 'overqualified'

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Published: July 9, 2012

(2) read the postings and write desired qualifications, skills, etc. on the left side of a piece of paper;

(3) cross-reference the list with your qualifications, transferring the items you possess to the right side of the piece of paper, and crossing them off the left side of the paper;

(4) for items that you “sort of” have, “move” those to the middle of the paper.

This “master list” will then illustrate an overview of your qualifiers (right side of the page), disqualifiers (left side of the page), and potential disqualifiers (middle of the page).

These keywords and phrases then need to be incorporated into your résumé, being very careful how you handle or perhaps address items that remain on the left side of the page or fall in the middle.

This exercise will provide you with a roadmap for the language you need to speak to develop a targeted résumé based on your areas of interest.

This exercise will also showcase whether your career targets are too diverse. If you find yourself writing furiously by the time you are mapping your sixth or seventh job posting, then perhaps you need to take a closer look at the target of your job search to ensure you are positioning yourself as something and not everything.

Walk a fine line between qualified and overqualified

I fear, based on your impressive qualifications, you are applying for positions and being deemed overqualified. It is important to note that an overqualified candidate is less likely to receive a call than an underqualified candidate.

When you are overqualified for a position for which you are applying, the hiring manager may feel that the open position may not be a challenge for you, that you may become easily bored, that it may be a stepping stone while you find the “right” opportunity, and that you may not be willing to accept the salary for the position.

It is unfortunate that these are assumptions that are made, but you need to be aware that these thoughts may be going through the minds of the reviewers if you are applying for positions for which you are vastly overqualified.

The keyword mapping exercise above will help you make certain that the content you present is in line with the requirements for the positions for which you are applying.

Once you define your target and identify the language that needs to be spoken, you can rebuild your résumé using your most applicable transferable skills, hopefully positioning your job search for success.

Best to you.


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