How To Apply For A Job When You’re Overqualified

Three applicants apply for jobs: the underqualified, qualified or overqualified.

In this article, the focus would be on how to apply for a job when you’re overqualified.

To understand this, it is best to understand what it means to be overqualified for a job.

Well, they say too much of everything is bad, and I’m afraid that is pretty relatable in this context.

When you’re overqualified for a job, it simply means your experience, skill, and technicality exceed the job’s criteria.

Read through as we guide you on practical ways to apply for a job when you’re overqualified.

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How To Apply For A Job When You’re Overqualified

Here are practical steps on how to apply for a job when you’re overqualified: 

Review The Resume Format

Functional and combination resumes can demonstrate your strengths correctly to the hiring manager. It is best to research to find a suitable format for your needs.

There are several ways to format your resume, and some of them can help highlight your extraordinary potential.

Read also: Is Applying For Multiple Jobs At The Same Company Bad?

Remove Some Jobs

You can remove jobs from your resume that make you look extremely fit but be aware that doing so can make companies wonder what you did at those times.

Be prepared to explain during the job interview.

You do not have to put all the positions you have.

Go Functional

A performance resume can help reduce the impact of your most recent topic and your commitments. Combining a functional or mixed resume in the desired area is best.

The restart can be in various ways, from performance-based performance to skills-based skills to a timeline that counts tasks.

Show Emphasis In The Summary Section

You must introduce yourself and provide a quick summary of your transition goals in this new position.

The abbreviated or intentional paragraph section briefly describes who you are and what you are signing up for, usually in two to three sentences.

Read also: 7 Reasons Why You Are Still Unemployed

Explain In The Cover Letter

You might want a career shift at this time for many reasons.

Maybe you have a personal passion for a position or a company, or you want to get back into a lot of work in the field and leave the managers behind.

The cover book is an essential part of your application because it provides a place where you can explain why you are looking for the job you are most qualified for, even if you are doing something at a high level.

Be Clear And Concise

Clear and concise information will enable your hiring manager to review your resume quickly and leave a good impression.

Use simple language that is attractive and not too advanced.

Highlight Relevant Experience

You may have more information in an area incompatible with this function. If so, stop the details and highlight your most vital areas.

Know the job you are looking for and the specific knowledge you have gained to improve your application.

Delete Unnecessary Details

Some things are better not to mention. When you are overqualified, non-essential information can jeopardize your goal of getting an interview.

You should avoid writing down all the degrees you have. Quit college degrees if you think you don’t have to get the position you want.

You do not need to advertise that you have more information than your employer wants. You also do not want the employer to expect you to earn a higher salary because of your qualifications.

You may want to leave information such as improved job-related information and study dates, which may advertise your age.

Read also: Describe Your Average Work Week

Discuss Being Overqualified During An Interview

Your interviewer may think you are more qualified because you have a degree qualification, not knowing that it is in an unrelated field.

During the interview, if the topic of being overly qualified arises, ask for details as to why the respondent has such concerns; this will allow you to give the best answer.

Take time to prepare your answer to the questions about merit so that you are ready to answer.

Why Organizations Reject You When You’re Overqualified

Many organizations find accepting applicants overqualified for a job challenging, and they even question their motives. After all, it is logical to think why overqualified applicants would want to settle for less. 

Nevertheless, below are practical reasons organizations are likely to reject you when you’re overqualified:

Fear Of Short-Term Commitment

The organization may think you have started applying for jobs below your level to get a job and the associated income.

It is what scares most employers into hiring people with high degrees. They worry that you will only get a job because you do not get what you want.

It means that you’ll be gone as soon as you do, and they’ll have to rehire someone else.

Potential Boredom

Your new job may not be very fulfilling if you take a job that is a step down instead of a step up.

Being special at work may be fun initially, but it is not surprising. Going past hurdles from time to time makes work so rewarding, and it is not challenging; you risk boredom.

Unwillingness To Submit 

If you are so good at your job that you are not willing to follow specific rules and you have to decide how you will do things, this could lead to a rift within the group.

Your colleagues will expect you to work at their level, and it can be frustrating if you do not. It involves following the entire team’s direction to achieve a particular goal.

Read also: How To Make A Job Posting


Some employers will inquire about salary earlier to save time later in the hiring process. If they know you are not willing to please a lower salary, there is no reason to continue the application.

Your experience level is likely associated with higher wages, and employers may be concerned that you will refuse what they promise you a salary or ask for more than what they can offer.

Negative Motives

By taking some work, they may gain access to the company’s internal information to use it for malicious purposes.

If suspected, companies will research the background of the selected person by looking at their online accounts.

They do this to understand their personality and past behavior better.

Sometimes dishonest people seek out highly qualified positions to help them achieve their goal of self-employment.

Although these situations are less likely, candidates can apply for lower positions to oust another candidate they know.


On paper, it is impressive to be overqualified for a job.

However, it is practically not so unique for the organization.

Organizations are more comfortable with applicants that just fit the company’s requirements.

Nevertheless, if you use the techniques explained in this article, you will have a better chance of landing the job you are overqualified for.

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