In preparation for writing this article about being over qualified for a job vs. being just plain qualified, I was just doing some research to make sure I wasn’t way off base.
So, I went to Monster.com and searched out some jobs. Using the advanced search tool I selected some industries that I know require a lot of education and experience and that are proving challenging for people. I then navigated to “Career Levels” and selected “Executive” which includes VP’s, Senior VP’s etc. I then searched the jobs generated by Monster searching for one thing and one thing only… what level of work experience each position was asking for.
The answer was not surprising (thankfully). What I found was company’s are asking for experience ranging from as little as 3 years to as many as 15 years with most of them sitting somewhere between 5 and 10 years. Remember, these are “Executive” positions.
I then adjusted my search and asked it for only the jobs that required 15 years of experience and more. Do you want to know how many jobs “popped” up? Four! Four Jobs.
Now you’re probably asking, “That’s all well and good, but what’s your point?”
Here it is. If the HUGE majority or job ads area asking for 5-10 years of experience, why does every other resume I look at have a headline that reads something like “OVER 25 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE?” Somewhere along the line everyone started to think that the way to get hired is to show how over qualified for a job they are instead of being just plain qualified.
I say it every day and I will continue to say it every day – being OVER QUALIFIED FOR A JOB will get you eliminated from the job as fast as being under qualified. If they wanted 25 years of experience, they would advertise for 25 years of experience.
Here is something that you probably didn’t know. When a company posts a job they post their “wish list” as it were. So if they post “must have 10 years experience” they will settle for less, let’s say 7 or 8. But they ARE NOT looking for more and definitely not 20+ years.
Being over qualified for a job says a few things to an employer:
- I really need a job! Look, I’m way over qualified BUT I’d work for you…
- Man I’m a good deal. And look at all of this experience that you can draw upon.
(What the hiring manager hears, “I am going to challenge everything you do and constantly interrupt you with a stream of “helpful” ideas.”)
- I didn’t really read your job advertisement. I am just applying to everything I see. I hope you don’t mind me wasting your time?
Having “over 25 years of experience” definitely gets you eliminated by being over qualified for a job. Don’t believe me? Here is another article I found on Career Hub, 5 Reasons Your Job Search May Not Be Working that has some pretty good info too.