3 Reasons You Were Rejected for Being Overqualified

3 Reasons You Were Rejected for Being Overqualified

Being overqualified is something most people fear and most companies try to avoid. Yet, when a company rejects you for being overqualified for a job, they will not tell you.

You just receive the standard template, “We have moved on with other candidates we feel are a better fit.” It can be a headache especially if you are overqualified and unemployed. Even the “overqualified” rejection letter never really states what is happening. So, what are the real reasons companies reject you for being overqualified?

They fear the following will happen.

1. Fear you cannot be managed

Today’s workforce is living longer and retiring later than ever before. Not all companies have figured out how to manage age diversity in the workplace.

So, imagine you come into an interview with a stellar resume of fascinating experience but the company knows your manager is younger. The natural fear is that you will be hard to manage because you are working with someone with fewer years of experience. An “overqualified” rejection letter of some sort would never state, “We fear you will be difficult to manage.”  So, what do you do?

Calming the fear: Prepare for your interview with stories of how you handled diverse situations and worked with people across many departments and ages. Hiring overqualified employees can be a risk to company culture, especially if you are confrontational with those of lesser years of experience.

2. Fear you will get bored quickly

We all want to have a job that presents new challenges and goals. The fear of you being overqualified for a job comes from the fact that you had already completed many challenges the company is facing, now. Therefore, you will be bored with the job quickly and will leave.

Calming the fear: Come into the interview with stories of how you remain motivated to face these challenges over and over again. Most importantly, explain how you enjoy finding new ways to complete goals and get better each time at it in new work environments. Enthusiasm is key. Being overqualified for a job should never lead you to act like “you are just over the whole thing.”

3. Fear your salary requirements will be too high

This is rough if you are overqualified and unemployed. It makes sense that a company would fear a skilled employee of 15 years experience. They fear you cost too much or will one day ask for too much. An “overqualified” rejection letter will never say, “overqualified”, but it may actually say, “Your requirements are too high.”

It is natural to think one should ask for less money in order to get hired. But you do not always need to undercut yourself. We have seen overqualified and unemployed skilled workers take massive pay cuts in salary just to get hired. However, when they took a salary cut it made sense to them. If you are overqualified and unemployed there is a way to calm the company’s fear.

Calming the fear: If you must reveal your salary history, make it clear you are flexible and that your previous salaries play no part in your decision to negotiate an offer or accept the job.

Above all, remember that the label of being “overqualified” is just that...a label. Labels limit what companies can learn about an employee. Your purpose for making the “overqualified” label seem irrelevant is to get the interview. This way, they get to learn more about you!

  • How To Send an InMail That Actually Gets a Response

    How To Send an InMail That Actually Gets a Response

    You are probably reading this because like most people on LinkedIn you want to know how to send an InMail message that gets a response. We have all struggled with knowing the best way to get someone to respond. The suggestions you’ll see below will make getting a response much more likely.

    Jordan Driesen by Jordan Driesen
    Read On
  • Drop These Bad Habits to Increase Productivity at Work

    Drop These Bad Habits to Increase Productivity at Work

    Most of the time, posts about how to increase productivity at work will touch on checking email too much or using Facebook. This may only treat the symptom and not solve the problem of low productivity in the workplace. The ideas below touch on dropping bad habits, so it may appear one is doing less to increase productivity at work!

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
  • Signs Your Interview Went Well

    Signs Your Interview Went Well

    If the following ever happened to you, they were signs your interview went well. It is important to find out when interviews go bad or good. But interview feedback in such rare supply. Here are some signs your interview went well. Being asked about interviews with other companies is one of the best signs your interview went well.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
See All Articles