3 ways to overcome being an over-educated, under experienced mature candidate who is asking “how do I get a job.”
Between my two companies (Headhunting Firm and S2A) I talk to a lot of people who are looking for work, many of them have a very similar story.
“When the economy tanked I got laid off and decided to take some time to travel. When I was done with that the economy was still in the tank so I went back to school and got a (another, a third) degree.
So here I am 2 years older, with a new degree, no practical work experience in the area I studied, no prospects, no one will even call me back and no job. How do I get a job with all of this education?”
And that is the million dollar question!
Here are my top 3 ways for the over educated, under-experienced to overcome the hurdles standing between you and “how do I get a job with all of this education.”
1. Be focused on what it is you really want to do.
I mean completely clear. No more wishy-washy resumes and interviews where you commit a whole 50% of your heart and soul to getting the job you really, really want (or what I call trying to not get eliminated) because you are too concerned about “if I commit too much, get too detailed and say the wrong thing I might get eliminated.” Committing is what gets you hired. So if you want to know how do I get a job when you are over-educated and are 100% sure this is the job you want to do, your resume, your interview answers, your questions should be solely focused on this job. You should sweat and bleed this opportunity, show your passion and focus about doing it in every aspect of the hiring process.
If you are asking how do I get a job, then focus on getting hired instead of not getting eliminated.
2. Only highlight the eduction that pertains directly to the job you are applying for. Being under-qualified is one thing. But being under-qualified and over educated is an BIG HILL to climb.
Now I know you have spent years and years accumulating all of your education. The fact is… it scares the crap out of pot employers. Most people potential employers. They’re afraid to hire someone smarted than they are. Being over educated will get you eliminated as fast as being under educated. So if you think you’re impressing hiring managers with all of the fancy letters, degrees and accolades you have have gathered over the years that do not directly relate to the job you are applying for, you’re not. It’s the reason no one is calling you for interviews.
Here is the biggest change I will recommend for those of you asking “how do I get a job with all of this education? Change your “Education” heading on your resume to “Related Education” and ONLY LIST THE DEGREE’S, DIPLOMA’S AND COURSE WORK YOU HAVE THAT DIRECTLY RELATES TO THE JOB YOU ARE APPLYING FOR.
No where is it written that you have to put every piece of education you’ve collected over the years on your resume! Hiring managers are only concerned about if you have the education they need – not all of your education.
You can learn more about resume writing in my blog 5 DEADLY RESUME WRITING MISTAKES here.
3. If you lack experience – SELL POTENTIAL.
Of course you will have done the work to shape your resume and highlight all of the transferable skills you have by using as much of the lingo from the industry and ad you are trying to break into. BUT, even though you have spent thousands of dollars on a degree/diploma, without experience you are still a work in progress and an investment to an employer, so sell potential.
For some really super cool interview techniques hat will help you with your “how do I get a job” situation from an unlikely and one of my favorite sources, check out this article from the one and only Simon Sinek about How To Talk About Your Weaknesses.