It would be hard to imagine someone like Bill Gates of Microsoft, walking into a temp agency and applying for a job as an administrative assistant. It might make for a funny SNL skit though. He has mega-experience in running one of the most highly successful companies in corporate history. He also doesn’t need the money.
What about you though? In this “New Economy”, finding a job can be difficult, if not totally frustrating. Maybe you’ve applied at some jobs and either got a call back or were told in your initial interview, “You’re overqualified”. This comment comes from employers who look at your experience and your training/schooling and think “If I give them this job, they’re going to get bored or lose interest in it. It’s not enough of a “job” for them.” They may even feel that if a “better job” comes along, you won’t stay but will quickly exit. This might be true, but the fact is, you want and need a job now.
I had a situation in my working career where something similar happened to me. I applied for a job that was possibly 1 to 1/2 step below my previous job, but I needed to get work. During the interview, the employer told me that they thought I was overqualified for the position. A big part of this position was handling customer service responsibilities. So I told the interviewer that with customers calling in, you never know from one call to the next, who or what situation is going to be on the other line, and that would create a challenge that would not bore me in this role. I got the role and was with the company for some time.
What can that mean for you? If you’re applying for a job and they tell you the same thing, “You’re overqualified”, think of some ways that you can explain to them how this job really interests you. How you see that you will be challenged by the role and describe your passion and vision so that they can “see” how attracted you are to working for their company and taking on this responsibility.
This isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get the job. Sometimes though a little creative thinking and planning can get you a job that for some, might not have been possible. Work for your work!