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May 2012
You're Overqualified, So Unemployed!
by Susan Reynolds

I just heard it again today. A very capable, professional, trained job seeker was told, "You're overqualified. No thanks."

Why are organizations afraid to hire someone who could provide excellent service to the company, above and beyond the call of duty? I probably hit the key word in that last sentence... afraid.

They're afraid that if they hire such a person, that they've signed themselves up for lots of trouble. And such trouble, they surmise, would come in the form of costing them money. Maybe just a little money. Maybe a lot.

So just what are they afraid will happen, and what can you, the job seeker, do about it?

Firstly, they're afraid that while you claim NOW that you just want an opportunity to get in the door...that you just want to be employed... your initial gratefulness will quickly convert to unhappiness. You'll complain constantly to anyone who will listen, inside or outside the company, of how underpaid you are. That doesn't do the company a bit of good in the dimension of employee motivation for the entire team, nor does it bode well for community p.r.!

Or you'll just quit, as soon as a better paying opportunity comes your way. They're afraid that you'll never really stop job searching, and as soon as possible, you'll ditch for higher compensation. Then, their fears will have been realized, and they will have to start the entire process all over, having lost precious time in finding and training a more appropriate person.

So what do you do? Search for a new career diligently, realistically, and strategically. Research appropriate positions at appropriate companies. Find specific connections with your target so you can initiate and conduct candid conversations about how you can fulfill their needs. Conjecture what they need and don't over-or-under sell. That way you can successfully join an organization, not as their employment nightmare, but as your dream job!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at NewMarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search, career strategy, and resume-writing firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers. She can be reached at or 661-755-3308.

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Where Are the Interviews?

Are There Any Jobs?!


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