How Overqualified Are You?
Before I dig in and get down to the example, do you understand how overqualified you are? Readers of mine know in the past I have often talked about an HR mentor and friend who helped me excel in my career. What I haven’t mentioned is her story.
After much studying and many degrees in biology and dreams of working in a research lab somewhere, this is not how my friend and mentor’s career ended up. What she did end up doing was definitely successful, although it was nowhere near the biology world; she became a vice president for one of the major apartment construction and management companies in the nation.
In her case, it really was the job pool at the time, but when seeking out alternatives, she did have to learn to show how her management skills and education would qualify her as a top leader in the apartment construction and management business. In effect, she had to downplay her dreams of becoming a biology researcher but she still won in the end with a top management salary and sky-high benefits.
Before you learn how to write a cover letter for the overqualified job seeker, why do you feel you are overqualified? Were you an entrepreneur trying to break back into the regular workforce due to a business closure? Did you hold a top management position where the company went belly up? Whatever the reason, first make two lists:
Jobs You Want – This list should only be done after you do some research on available jobs. Seek out the help of online career boards like Monster or Career Builder to narrow down possible jobs.
Why You Are Overqualified – Once you have your must-have job list, make a list including words displaying why you are overqualified. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing research assistant but in the job you just lost you were a senior marketing executive, you might use words like: SWOT analysis expert, trend analysis experience, voice-of-the-customer surveys and focus group tabulation, account recommendations, and manager of 12 staff. Keep in mind the assistant marketing job you want may include some of the more tedious duties such as database management and even some computer duties you feel are on the clerical side. You don’t have to include your computer master skills but you may need to later in your resume.