CV writing: Overqualified for a job? Let's deal with it! - CV Plaza

CV writing: Overqualified for a job? Let’s deal with it!

author Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert         date 17 Jan 2021

Are you overqualified for this job?

Being overqualified simply means that you are just too good for the job you are applying for. It means that you have received a lot of education and you also have a huge amount of previous work experience related to the job you are applying for.

I know this may sound like a compliment, but – unfortunately – this is not an impression you want to give through your CV!

Here is the reason: being overqualified rings alarm bells with potential employers because it shows that you are really desperate.

  • Why would a former Marketing Officer apply for a job as a Marketing Assistant?
  • Why would a former CEO of a multinational organisation apply for a job as a small division Manager?
  • Why would a former IT Project Manager apply for a job as an IT Technician?

You may have the best reasons in the world – and many people have – but an employer will think that you have such low self-esteem and personal value that you move down your career ladder rather than going up. Their immediate thought might be; ‘Gosh, what is wrong with this person? Something is not right.’

How to deal with being overqualified on a CV

The good news is you can do something about this!

You may not have control over your past education and work experiences, but you sure have control over what you write – or do not write – on your CV.

Here are some useful tips to avoid being seen as overqualified on your CV:

  1. Do not mention in your CV or Cover Letter – ever – that you want to be challenged! (downgrading shouldn’t be a challenge)
  2. Focus on the things that really attract you to the job rather than on salary
  3. Put less emphasis on things that may indicate you are overqualified
  4. Emphasis your willingness to mentor less experienced co-workers
  5. Demonstrate loyalty – assure the potential employer you are not simply here to pass the time until something better pops up in the job market!
  6. It’s all about attitude: show great interest, enthusiasm, and passion for the job

Once you have applied the above-mentioned tips in your CV, you should stand a pretty good chance of reaching the interview stage without your CV being thrown into the rejection pile because of being ‘overqualified.’

All the best!

Written by Sobhan Mohmand
Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).