IT Employment

Hiring managers should be careful not to dismiss the "overqualified"

A study from the University of South Carolina says that hiring overqualified workers does not necessarily result in high turnover.

I think one of the most aggravating things some job hunters hear is that they're overqualified for the job they're applying for, as if they don't know their own minds. If you've even been in that boat, now you have some scientific evidence to prove that statement wrong. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, the belief that many have that overqualified workers are easily bored and prone to quit is a myth. (I didn't link to the study because the scholarly paper requires a purchase.)

Dr Anthony Nyberg from the University of South Carolina, who led the research, concluded, "A manager trying to fill a job that demands less-than-top-level smarts should never reject a candidate out of hand just because the applicant's score on the company's intelligence tests labels him or her as smarter than the job requires."

The findings are based on an analysis of more than 5,000 adults' labor-force behavior over a 25-year period in a nationwide U.S. sample.

Nyberg says that hiring managers should try to understand a job applicant's rationale behind wanting a job for which they're "overqualified" because the reasons are many. It might be a lifestyle or health choice, an affinity for a company's values or just the need for a paycheck.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

44 comments
schmidtd
schmidtd

When you date someone, do you pick the person no one else would want thinking that is the safe one? If you have high turnover, don't look at your hiring process. Also don't be afraid because your employees have other options, just be happy you have good employees who chose to work for you. Either your position is long term career worthy or it isn't. If someone comes in the door and this job is "clearly beneath them, but they will put up with it for now", that is one thing. But this is an attitude problem and it wouldn't matter what the job was. Plus, jobs can and probably should evolve, you can get a more out of an employee if you don't force them to only work to rules.

Englebert
Englebert

I've seen laundry lists of requirements for a 2 month contract. Because of the large surplus of applicants to jobs, companies keep adding to the requirements to reduce the number of applicants from 100 to 5. Now, when someone is overqualified, the company should have a CLOSE look at this person. S/he has surpassed your laundry list of 20 requirements.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

First of all, MOST of the time, being told you are overqualified is a steaming pile of.... It is an EASY copout for any comopany to simply say they love your experience but think you are overqualified for a role, certainly seen as much kinder than saying you are underqualified. If they say you are underqualified, most will at least rebut and offer some form of debate explining their suitability, but being told you are overqualified usuallly ends it right there. Another problem, when working in recruiting I found that overqualified people do not have a history of staying beyond one year, whether you intend to or not, the numbers are against you. Recruiters pyrposely present overqualified candidates to potential employers. The recruiter only gets paid on teh new employees first year's salary, so if you leave a year later (as is most common)and they replace you, they are better off for it. Companies can pay lower salaty to people who have marginal quailifications. There are many reasons WHY a company won't hire you but they'll sum it up as being overqualified, just don't believe them, move on and forget about it.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

"Overqualified" = "Flight risk". I think the term "overqualified" is just a bit more politically correct. Can anyone who applies for a job they are too qualified for (and underpayed as well) guarantee that they wouldn't jump immediately for a job that would guarantee more money? Hiring managers are people too and don't like being left ass-out in the cold due to staff turnover.

mjstelly
mjstelly

Two ideas here: 1) "overqualified" is a euphemism for "we don't want to pay you what you're worth". and 2) Many managers view hiring as a burden and don't want to spend time on it, let alone repeat it for a given position. So even the hint that a candidate may leave in the near future out of boredom/better pay/better skill match would garner that candidate the label "overqualified". But for us who've been down that road, there's nothing new under the sun.

frasureb
frasureb

aits not just the over qualified, but senior citizens that are over looked in todays job market. Ther are a large number of jobs that could be part time which us loder kids could and have done for years. So dont over look any canidate for a position you might have.

plymouth
plymouth

I can see this is a situation where a direct relationship as an unknown to a new prospective employer can be a tough sell. However, using a contract employer as a front or a buffer may well help ease the entry into a job where after a period of time the "over-qualified" employee is in fact an asset and possibly a full-time hire at the end of the contract period. Where someone fears that labeling as over-qualified as a impediment to hiring, leveraging the contract employer's existing relationships may help get that all important first interview so one can sell themselves.

vonrosenchild
vonrosenchild

I agree with this article, I have often been told that I am "overqualified" for many positions, such as CIO, CTO, CISO, etc.., although I do not have my MBA and PhD "yet." I do have 20 years of International Business Experience, and I haved worked in the Private Sector as well as for the Federal Government, but I am only 38 years old. ] Society and portions of our government says, take any job. However, when a professional tries to take any job, we get, your "overqualified" for the position.

joseph_mcmanus
joseph_mcmanus

WOW, I just got through reading the post titled "Another Point of View" and being out of work for almost 96 weeks (NOT including the 12 weeks I was working at a job that I got laid off from just 3 months ago) all I want to do is slit my wrists!!! With all of the experience I have, both work and life, all the BS I have had to take all the years I've been working for idiots who thought they could manage their departments or businesses (not JUST in "IT," I have done a few other things in my life) just so I could stop hearing the "I'm sorry Mr. So-in-so, but you do not have sufficient enough qualifications to fill this position," you're telling me that I should dig out my resume from when I started looking for a job in this field right out of college, just to get a job from some jerk that can't appreciate that people have lives, and that if he/she can fill a position with someone who is "Overqualified" it might just make him/her look better to his/her bosses. The way I see it in this economy, with well/"over" qualified people out of work by the battalion-full and looking for a way to get their foot (no, make it just their toes) inside the door of a company, ANY COMPANY: most of the hiring authorities in the department that you would be working in DO NOT want to bring on anyone that MIGHT be able to replace them IF the said "new" person should happen to get noticed by the higher-ups as being smarter or MORE qualified than them, it's called "Protecting ones rice bowl."

SamFrench
SamFrench

Anyone being told (s)he is over-qualified by a hiring manager (s)he's never met rightfully owns all the blame for that interview not happening, the boilerplate rejection letter that came a little too quickly or failing to make whatever (that "next step" would have been) happen. Why? Because you are the one who told that hiring manager just how over-qualified you are and how little that opening actually means to you. The posts I've read so far are all about "I just wanted my foot in the door" or "I needed the paycheck" or "I was looking for something meaningless to do three nights a week while I finished school and got caught up on my bills." And because you used to manage a development department, run a help desk, code installers or administrate a Class-A network for a Fortune 150 global enterprise, you think any hiring manager who wouldn't feel lucky to have you taking calls at the help desk is being short-sighted? GET SERIOUS! No, really, you should take a more serious approach to what it is you're asking for and from whom you're going to get it. If what you're applying for is a job that's truly beneath you; one you could excel at with one hand tied behind your back and a patch over your right eye, or which you only intend to hold for a finite amount of your time or will only endure until a specific goal (pertaining to your REAL LIFE) has been met, then you need to hide those truisms so well that not even you will be able to find them for a while. You also need to find some "white-out", a red pen and a copy of your resume. Starting with your name and address, you need to create an 'alter ego' by identifying EVERY FACT ABOUT YOURSELF that can be gleaned from your resume and altering it --downward to an altitude egos don't frequent. Change Rebecca to Becky, Robert to Bob, Antoinette to Ann --you get the idea. Remove your middle initial if it's there and reduce the font size by half. Remove any stated objective or career goals and get right to a bullet list of qualities which make a help desk worker (for example) good on the job. If you're under 24, make a point of stating which high school you graduated from, what the worst subjects you studied were and somehow tie your major to what you were doing the following September. Since you obviously went to college, you'll need to make that much less obvious. If you held down a mindless job while in college, limit your exposition to just the job. Otherwise, forget about college. Forget your major, your minor, your entire curriculum, everything you researched, everything you wrote about and almost everything you experienced for the first time --except what it was like to be broke and really far from your parents. Channel those memories as much as you can. Remove all job titles and any descriptive text about positive things you accomplished while employed in any capacity. Names, departments and dates are all that should remain. Add a "personal" section to the bottom and point out your love of reading, your passion for spending time with friends, your good health, your willingness to travel and how quickly you can master anything that's not under the hood of your car. DO NOT SAY YOU WILL PROVIDE REFERENCES ON REQUEST or infer in any way that you have ever been (or intend to become) married or pregnant. Whenever you print copies, use the cheapest plain white paper you can buy in reams. Save it in MS-Word, paste it into Notepad and save another copy from in there. Do not create a .PDF file of your resume, format it using HTML, or play with it in Publisher or Power Point. But do consider changing the name at the top and sending it to your mother. If she recognizes you, you've probably been too specific SOMEWHERE. Once you've got the simpler, less complicated version of your career blandly stuffed into the framework and format of a non-fat vanilla resume, it's time to start asking yourself the hard questions --over and over again. Because there are two responses to every question: a good answer and the real one. You need to formulate your GOOD ANSWERS to: - Why do you want this job, to work with this company, to do ________________ or to spend your day with ________________ ? - Why should I hire you? - What do you bring to this company/position? - Where do you see yourself in five years? - Tell me about a problem you're proud that you solved and why. - What are your five strengths and weaknesses? - Are you a team member or a star player? - What do you do if you don't know the answer to a question or the solution to a problem? Honestly answering any of those could easily convey your truly overqualified status or send up a cultural red flag that spells DANGER to one hiring manager and doesn't affect the choices made by another. Prepare a short list of (ABC) qualities you admire in yourself. Don't point them out as your strengths, rather mention that you're working to become more (ABC). THAT?S how you brag about yourself ! As preparatory exercises: Imagine your children, partner, house and other job will be taken from you the second you mention any of them during an interview. Forget every shell command you know for every computing environment you've worked in since the 4th grade. Display extreme familiarity with and knowledge of something totally bizarre like agricultural practices from the 1800's still in use today or brag that none of your friends have spent a dime on small appliance repair since you took that self-study course through the mail. ACCENTUATE THE MUNDANE, ELIMINATE THE URBANE. In summary, if you: (a) can successfully represent yourself as less dynamic, having fewer goals and happy to live free from the burdens that seem to plague those who're obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder or frequently moving from job to job; (b) can convert your concept of the job interview from the opportunity to speak highly about your favorite subject to a necessary dialog between two boring individuals about a boring job; (c) can restrain yourself during one of life's few processes you're actually expected to masterfully "blow your own horn"; (d) can keep those responsible for filling employment vacancies convinced you would be neither the smartest nor the dumbest person in your department; and (e) can eliminate the companies you apply to --without doubt-- from any list of those you'd be interested in later working for in your usual/former capacity. ...then ?you're too qualified" and ?you?re over-qualified? should disappear from the reasons you?re not being considered for positions much lower on the org. chart than your name is typically featured. One last thing to remember: Every time someone temporarily accepts a menial job and quits as soon as someone flashes a shinier piece of bling or because the boredom becomes insufferable, the individual responsible for filling that opening becomes acutely aware of the vacancy, the need to fill it (yet again) and exactly why. Harmonizing one?s departure in such a way that you?re not ?ruining it for the next guy? creates positive vocational dharma. Those of you who TRULY ARE OVER-QUALIFIED to collect paychecks for work you would have sneezed at five years ago in another economy should take the high road when evacuating these second-class service shelters. Consider staying on until your replacement has been hired, adequately training that person or contributing to the growth of a position by expanding its job description. The next person might not find it so boring. If you create a positive experience as the over-qualified holder of a tedious title, when the position comes open again, you might see a little less prejudice towards over-qualified applicants. QUOTES ABOUT QUALIFICATION: After Reagan, everyone looks qualified to be President. I think. I am therefore obviously over-qualified. Qualified success is an oxymoron. You can?t be the ugly American. You?re over-qualified.

mattshreve
mattshreve

I just recently started working again, part time, as a network admin after being off for 20 months due to medical issues. I was told not to go back to the stress of running a department, or even being an admin. I have tried to tactfully explain my situation, but get the overqualified response or more often the "We're looking for someone who more closely matches the job description.". It's frustrating, I'm getting jerked around by Social Security, and with 17+ years of being in the IT business, I have too much knowledge. What a slap in the face. Thanks for the postings. GL everyone.

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

hirers would take such interest into whether or not the applicants would fit the Type A profile of up, up, up. Those types always move on after 2 years, and yet they still recruit more. I went through a pile of resumes with a previous boss and I could easily show him which ones would stay and which would move on after our time investment in him. Steady Eddy, the go-to, day-in, day-out workhorse who is happy with his work-life balance, may not rise to become the next division director or CIO, but he is indispensable as well because of the retained overall scope, training ability, and more. Pity The Powers That Be only seem to reward the "I'm outta here in 2 years" types. Maybe it's because paying a new guy costs less than keeping the old guy (excluding the ad for the position, etc.)

john.a.wills
john.a.wills

In 1991 for family reasons I relocated to Britain and repeatedly got told I was overqualified. After a while I got told that my skills were stale. That led to 68 months unemployment of a valuable programmer - I eventually found a good job in South Carolina. Later on, in California, I was 18 months unemployed except for sporadic Census work and a job that lasted 4 days: it ended when the HR manager actually saw my CV and pronounced me overqualified. But I was doing that low-skill job quite well, actually being complimented by customers for my manner.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

I currently assigned a very simple project. I was told that I was overqualified at the interview. I took the job anyway because there are some things to learn from working with different technologies but more importantly it is my way in to an IT dept. that was otherwise "not hiring". I certainly hope that everyone likes me and finds a permanent position for me when my project is complete. I have heard of the possibility of openings and I would think that being on the team will help my chances to land the better position when it is available.

bkindle
bkindle

I find it an insult to be told that I am over qualified. I would rather hear under qualified. As you stated in the closing line of your post, it could be that the person applying just wants to work for your company for x reason(s) or is just looking for a way to make a paycheck. I personally view the over qualified statement a sign of a company willing to promote and nurture failure, and not a place I would want to work for. So what if a person with an MBA wants to be a janitor?

SamFrench
SamFrench

Sorry, guys, I had to weigh in again in response to the many posts which followed mine. First off, my post was generally geared towards the people who were getting a "you're over-qualified" response BEFORE AN INTERVIEW. The suggestions I gave and the experiences I drew upon were all about hiring prejudice being based upon the information candidates put in front of a hiring manager (or HR person) ahead of themselves. Once you've been granted face time, the whole scenario changes --in your favor, if you manage the interview correctly. Absolutely, as one poster put it, take control of the interview at key places. After all, you're dipping your toes into the pool to see if the temperature's right just as much as the person on the other side of the desk. There is a proper time to do this (generally, once they're done asking all about you.) But, hell yes, get a feel for the culture you're hoping to become a part of. If you realize that people are generally promoted out of the position you're hoping to fill within two years, make it clear you see yourself moving up within 2? to 3 years, but within the same company. Most "hiring managers" dislike the "hiring" part of their title, but they're also realistic about how often that becomes necessary. Even at the help desk level, we're looking for SOME ambition in those we hire on. Second, once you've been given face time with the person you'll actually be working for, if the "over-qualified" thing comes up, this is an opportunity to cut a deal, not just let the opportunity hit the floor. For example: If, during the interview process, you've been able to ascertain that most people in this position move on within a year, CUT A DEAL! Tell your [would-be] manager you're willing to devote a year and a half to the position, on a contract basis if necessary. Sell the fact that your background and qualifications translate to less training time and higher productivity within a narrower window. What you're really trying to get past at this stage is a fear that you'll bail on the job, before it's time . If the position generally becomes available again within x-amount of time, offer a commitment of x-amount + a couple months. Once that's on the table, yes, they should be happy to have you. Lastly, the quotes at the end of my post were merely hits from a query against my TAGLINE database using the search key: "qualified." I meant no disrespect, nor did I intend to move my post into a political arena. There are PLENTY OF boards I could have begun those arguments on, if that's where my desires lay.

JamesRL
JamesRL

But note that overqualified, and likely to be unhappy with the role and become bored, or overqualified and want too much money are both valid from the hiring manager's perspective. I have hire overqualified people on contract in the not too distant past. They started out all gung ho, and went above and beyond. But after 6 months of a 1 year contract, they got bored, felt underpaid and stopped trying. Their productivity sank like a stone. So I did put in some time trying to coach and cajole more work out of them, but in the end, I had to terminate the contract early. I had made it clear in the interview that the nature of the job was not going to offr big challenges, and they had accepted it when hired, but couldn't live with it.

schmidtd
schmidtd

It really isn't a concern, I know that is hard to believe but it is true. If you are talking about someone who is truly highly skilled in a job (as opposed to someone who thinks the job is beneath them or is taking a job way outside their field to pay bills), you won't have a problem. 1. Don't confuse skills and attitude, bad attitude (this job is beneath me) is toxic, skills never are. 2. Highly skilled employees take less training time, so even IF they were to leave sooner you get more out of them in that time. Even skill in another field help. 3. They really don't leave any sooner as research shows, high turnover has to do with position and management. People have inertia and they don?t just leave a good environment because they make few bucks more somewhere else (if they can make mounds more somewhere else doing something similar, are you sure you are paying enough?) 4. Most positions can be morphed to get more out of someone. If you manage well, you can get way more than you bargained for, in a good way. This engages the person and helps them stay longer. Is your position really so brain dead that you just need warm body to fill it? You can?t get anything more out of a skilled worker? 5. Even in the cases where they would clearly be looking for different jobs long term, consider this. Lots of service jobs hire college students knowing full well they will leave some day, but still appreciate their them while they have them. Know your positions, if they MUST be the type that can?t turn into a career, make sure you get continuity elsewhere. 6. Final trick, just tell them you want to support them and if they keep you in the loop when they want to leave you will gladly help them out! Seriously, most humans won?t leave you in the lurch if they can avoid it and you have been supportive all along. Heck they may even be willing to help find their replacement.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Don't deal with hiring managers, prospect the business owners instead. If your resume is passed DOWN to a hiring manager for their consideration AFTER you have dealt with their boss, things get pretty damn easy. (and don't try to tell me they can't be worked around, I've proven it for many times) conduct the interview yourself instead of letting the interviewee take over. Stay in control and lead the interview in teh direction YOU want. They'll give you about an hour, use that time to LEAD their questions in order to provide the informaton YOU want to get across. With a bit of practice, you can make a simple comment that will in turn get them to ask you exactly the question you wanted to answer. Getting a job is not a matter of asking to be considered for a position, it is a matter of selling yourself, not your skills. -Find the boss. -MEET the boss, set an appointment, again forget HR altogether, they are usually a total waste of time anyway. (sorry HR staff) -Present your offer (don't even acknoledge that you know they are hiring) -Dig into the company while meeting with the boss to establish their real needs and wants, not just some list of musts that they have listed (they are all the same anyway). -Lead him/her into asking you questions you WANT to answer -Close the deal Getting a job is simply being a good salesman. If you have issues with speaking up (which MOST people do, it's no big deal), take the Dale Carnegie course or something, I've seen it help many in all walks of life, whether focusing on sales or not.

JamesRL
JamesRL

At the interview to my current job. I told them that coming from the the high tech sector, I was looking for something more stable, and that I was confident I would stay to find more opportunities in the organization. Must have worked, I'm still here 7 years later.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

When asked about salary or even before, if teh opportunity is there... "I am not choosing a new role simply based on income, I never do that because I prefer to take opportunities where I am happy with going to work each day, which means more to me than dollars. Of course I need to pay rent and be able to live without starving but money is not my motivator, I choose your company for....(culture, reputation, stablity etc)" Carefully presented with key leading words such as 'I chose' puts them in a buyer's position, not a seller's. From reading through the replies here, I get the sense that people do not conduct/control intervews and instead they see a job interview as a plea for work. Inteview the company instead, stay ahead of the conversation and lead the interview, not rudely but by offering information that answers questions you WANT to be asked and leading the conversation to where YOU feel comfortable. As soon as the hiring manager gains control of the conversation, the ball's in his/her court, and you are just pleading for employment.

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

Unless you have been CEO of a major corporation, I can't imagine you are overqualified for being CIO of an organization. Could it be that saying you are overqualified for CIO is their way of brushing you off nicely? Maybe the "I am better than you" attitude is what you have too much of, not international business experience.

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

I really think extending unemployment benefits has something to do with why people are out of work for so long. We have open positions where I work - outside of my department now - and it takes forever to find someone. I hired two people recently, and it was hard to find someone to fill the positions. The overqualified people ask for too much money so we weeded them out because of salary, not overqualification. I think it is human nature to look at unemployment and think, well, if I take that job, I will only be earning $3/hour or $5/hour, because the difference in unemployment insurance and the job is only $3/hour or $5/hour, and my time is more valuable than that. From the employer's standpoint, they are offering you $50K, not $10K. If someone wants to work, I can't imagine being out of work for nearly 2 years. I mean, take a week or two and get good at looking for work. Purchase a good book ("Knock 'Em Dead"), network, figure out what you are doing wrong in the job search. Because an IT professional should not be out of work for that long.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Anyone who says they are applying for a job, working for someone else, for ANY reason other than paycheck is an instant liar. "I really want to wake up and travel to work each morning to do something that gets another person ahead in the process." is a pure lie. If you didn't need a paycheck would you work for someone else? Of course many people love their jobs but they wouldn't do it for free, unless as a personal hobby or interest that THEY reap the rewards for. Even when you work for yourself, it's not so you can "be your own boss" it's because you need a paycheck! You don't go to work everyday for any reason other than to earn a paycheck. Our society has developed in a way where we MUST pay for things these days and we are 'forced to' work, whether for ourselves or others, to pay for the things we want. I still do a lot of work on the barter system, but it is personal/side work I do for people in trade for their services. I even go as far as targeting a specific market to find someone I can trade services with in order to get something I want. I have access to boats, condos, concerts, building supplies, tools, parts even my rent is ignored sometimes by bartering, but that's not the way it goes when you work for someone else. the only reason ANYONE works for someone else is because they HAVE to in order to see a paycheck. When asked why I want the job, my instant response is "for a paycheck, why else?" Why did I seek out that PARTICULAR employer from the others is a more relevant question.

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

I agree with a lot of what this comment says, but when he started a sentence with, "If what you're applying for is a job that's truly beneath you", it reminded me that hiring managers can smell contempt. They can smell people who believe that a job is beneath them. If you are one of those people, don't take the job. If, however, because of situation or changing goals, you actually want the job and will trade your time (and some effort) for the paycheck, then the job should not be beneath you. I agree with dumbing down the resume - but it is okay to show compassion or a can-do attitude. Hiring managers - most of them who don't work in an area of high turnover - generally hate to hire people. They want their team, and they want to do whatever the team's goals are. Help desk, making widgets, whatever. A lot of hiring managers see hiring as a distraction (recruiting a team member to help with the widget making should be seen as their job, but it isn't). Just make their job less painful. Show you can step in and contribute immediately and that you are not going to be a pain in the ass (looking for that promotion or a way out the door in 5 months).

bfunke
bfunke

Really, was the comment about Reagan necessary? I understand your political positions are the hazard of living in San Francisco. Were you trying to fill a word count quota? I could say the same thing about Carter.

tanernew
tanernew

I agree with your comments. Specificly ego part. For every people there is a balance between work and skills. If you spend so much time for the company, by time, your skills can be out of date. At the other hand, some people spend all their time to learn new technologies and improve their skills. When they get everything from the company they move to the next target by leaving a lot of job unfinished. After a time, they can not move to any other place. Because other companies do not want to take a temporary member. All people know when this member finds a better place that fits to his skills he'll move to next target without any gratefulness. Current surveys can show different values but I'm sure that overqualified members can not move due to this fact. I mean they're not accepted by another company anymore. I've seen samples from my friends. After they graduate, they apply a lot of jobs and learn so many technologies. But just after 3-6 years they can not move to another company and they need to stay on their back or they're unemployed. They search a new job desperately and at the end they accept any job for paycheck. For a stable company it is a big risk to take these merciless people. I am just an employee but I guess if I'm a boss I don't take any people like this. Why spent a lot of resource to train and to share knowledge with some people? No company has this money to waste.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Most companies these days don't want Steady Eddie. They know he'll collect dust for decades and be happy with it, but in such a competitive business market, they want those that will strive to exceed and eventually outgrow a role. If you are overqualified from the start you may be attractive too though, however will usually become complacent as you look elsewhere. THAT'S the employee that a recruiter feasts on though! One year in and a new hire for next year, keeps the recruiter generating revenue. Recruiters don't make any money from employees that stay on. What's good for a business is often bad for a recuiter, which is what most companies don't seem to realize these days as more and mroe turn to recruiters in an attempt to save time and money. That's why I never work with or apply through recruiters, I just pick up the phone and call owners and managers instead. I find I often bypass recruiters and jump into a role at the last minute, after they have already conducted second or third round interviews with the recruiter's candidates. I don't feel bad about taking someone's hopes of a job away though, when they are called for multiple interview and are certain that they have the job. If they are unable to get their own job and simply rely on recruiters or a company's HR team to help out, they are too complacent anyway.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Don't assume that being on the team will see you promoted, that's a common mistake of people that are frustrated that they constantly get passed by when the company decides to hire from the outside. Be clear that it is your objective to move into IT and speak with the OWNER, not department manager or HR about the future with the company. If the owner likes you, he can quickly push you past other applicants, regardless of what HR or your immediate manager feels. Just don't get passed by for sitting on your hands.

shirish.veta
shirish.veta

This is really big problem of industry Some were they told you are over qualified and in my case I had treated as under qualified I don?t know what is an relation with my graduation with my Technical skills

kashishraj
kashishraj

it could be that the person applying just wants to work for your company for x reason(s) or is just looking for a way to make a paycheck. debtadviceni.com

pivert
pivert

Would "not a good fit" be a better description instead of the over/under qualified reason? HR doesn't spend much time on people they are not interested in so over/under is an easy way out I guess. It's like saying "too smart" or "too dumb".

DigiTechDude
DigiTechDude

I've been off and on looking for a second job, just something easy to do nights and/or weekends. Haven't found much IT related that interests me at all, and anything I do find (level 1 help desk type stuff) I am way overqualified for and honestly would be bored out of my mind so aside fomr being turned down at a few places for being overqualified I haven't pursued this too far. So I've been looking for something automotive since a hobby and side job is building engines, transmissions, car repair, restoraing, etc. I figured something easy that would keep me interested, like a parts man or a tech at a repair lube shop. No one will even consider me for that. They either won't consider me because my day job is a Network Admin or because if they look at my automotive experience that makes me overqualified. Their thought process is "Why would a guy who builds engines, transmissions, and axles want to sell parts or change tires and starters, etc." Bottom line is I need to the money to pay off student loans and finish school so I can get to where I want to be. I'm a hard worker, don't change jobs often, deliver what I say I will, but I'm overqualified and any job I am qualified for is always a full time day job. Very frustrating.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I agree wholly, in fact that's exactly how recruiters are focused, as I am sure you've heard me say before. However, because it is such a common issue, it makes it that much easier for employers to use it to say 'No', politely. Unfortunately it does lead to false hope when perhaps people should be looking in other areas of their field. if you are under qualified, the worst that you can hear is that you are overqualified, it will lead you in the wrong direction. I will always claim foul if I am told I am overqualified. I'll say "I appreciate the ego boost but really, there has to be something else that has lead to that decision." It's like a customer walking into a store, the salesman walks up and says 'Hello', almost as an instinct the customer says, "I'm just looking around". In SOME cases it's true, MOST of the time you just need to find out exactly what they are looking around for. When selling on the phone, "Hi this is Bill from PLI International calling...." "I'M NOT INTERESTED" They aren't interested in what? You haven't even offered them anything to NOT be interested in; you could be calling to say their overseas investments have tripled or collapsed. THE KEY IS DIGGING OUT the REAL objection? What they are saying is, 'I am not interested in speakinG to a telemarketer because I hear that a lot of people get ripped off that way. When I managed a call center, where they sold business to business long distance service for Canadian carriers, reps were constantly told 'I'm not interested'. In what? Saving money on thier existing services? It's a reactive comment, not a thought out one. They clip coupons to save 25 cents on groceries, why not save more on your telephone bill, or at least hear the caller out? I agree some are real shite salespeople and have no business working in the field but most aren't. People don't offer real reasons up front, they must be dragged out of them. Whether a customer or a potential employer, the truth is out there. ;) Sorry James, I know this doesn't address what you said. I'm just getting frustrated with people's pathetic excuses for why they can't find work. In short I agre wholly, unfortunately it creates an easy out for the employer too.

joseph_mcmanus
joseph_mcmanus

I agree with you that an It person SHOULD not be out for that long, and believe me when I tell you I DO NOT want to be out of work, if you will excuse the language, IT SUCKS!!! I live in Northern New Jersey, and in the New York Metro area there are allot of people out there that are even MORE qualified than I am, and when I tell you that the HR departments are "Cherry Picking" the most qualified people for the least amount they can, believe it! If your company has jobs open in the $50K area, and it's in the NY, NJ Metro area, PLEASE send me the info on your company, and whom to speak to, I would REALLY appreciate the help! I got a job in July, but the gentleman who hired me was let go, and the new guy who took over decided to realign the service territories, and at a breakfast meet & greet I was informed that "My services were no longer required by the company," that was October, and so it's back into the hopper looking for a decent gig. Please let me know about this, I need to get out of the house, the Wife & the Mother-in-Law are driving me NUTS!!! Thanks

ericnilsson
ericnilsson

I agree with most of the GreenPirogue's post, but there are some valid reasons for not working. Chief among them is a disability that falls somewhere between the ADA's "reasonable accommodation" and very expensive surgery. There are some things that can be done, such as keeping abreast of current events in the IT field (sharpening skills) and also looking for ways to transfer acquired skills to a new type of position or industry.

schmidtd
schmidtd

In context of the other quotes, I think it was meant to be partly ironic. Speaking of which, is anything considered a cheap shot against a President anymore? Apparently there aren't cheap shots against cities.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Don't believe everythign you are told. Overqualified is seen (by them) as a compliment. It's an excuse, they might not have liked your skin colour, age, sex or anything else but they usually caan't get away with it. Saying you are overqualified is an easy/polite/ politically correct way to say "No thanks, we just don't want to hire you."

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

The article was about hiring managers. In my experience, HR does not peg someone as over or under qualified. They look at the minumum education and experience (and whatever other parameters the hiring manager deems appropriate) and filters based on that. I once got an applicant who was a quality control specialist at a dairy farm because we were looking for someone with healthcare quality experience. Sure, we have lactation specialists at our hospital, but someone ensuring that cow milk is pasteurized probably has experience outside of what we were looking for. HR may weed out applicants that ask for too much money, but that is not directly being overqualified. That is just wanting too much money for their time.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

You really think you are more qualified for automotive repair than oil changes, simply because you can rebuild engines or transmissions, or at least you think you can? I rebuilt my first semi tractor when I was 15, I spent 4 years in high school level career automotive at a technical school, qualifying me for second year apprenticeship training straight out of high school. When I entered post secondary trade school some years later, I soon learned that a 10 year history of rebuilding and restoring cars, even in a career automotive program, had taught me only the very basics and I had to relearn everything I thought I knew already. Lube shops don't want to hire 'here today, gone tomorrow' employees either. They already have a problem keeping staff, they don't seek people they KNOW won't stick around. Most prefer to hire apprentice mechanics, register for your first year apprenticeship and you could probably get a job pretty quickly in a reputable Lube & Oil shop. A licenced shop CAN'T hire you as you are not a trained journeyman and are not in teh automotive emplyees union. A shop having an untrained/unlicenced mechanic on staff will jeapordize their businesss licence and can be sued if someone dies in an accident that is pinned on their recent repair. I've seen hundreds of unlicenced "mechanics" try to fix brakes ('it's easy' they say, and it is but still must be done properly) 99% don't know that even a little bit of grease or oil on your hands from removing a caliper can can cause complete brake failure if they aren't cleaned before reassembling the brakes. Even journeymen that do know often ignore it due to time restraints but insurance will at least cover the shop in such cases.No ticket? No payout from the insurer. You probably would be best off looking for a parts or delivery role. Without specific training as a service advisor, you could get a job delivering parts for someone like AutoZone. [i]"They either won't consider me because my day job is a Network Admin or because if they look at my automotive experience that makes me overqualified. Their thought process is "Why would a guy who builds engines, transmissions, and axles want to sell parts or change tires and starters, etc."[/i] Don't fool yourself. For a guy who hasn't even started in the trade, you seem to feel that you know a lot about how they think. You are underqualified to work in a shop rebuilding engines and transmissions and such. You are not a tradesman so the worthwhile Lube shops have little interest in you. If they hire a first year apprentice, the wages are often subsidized by the government.

joseph_mcmanus
joseph_mcmanus

Thanks, you're the first person to even see it!!! Take Care!

JamesRL
JamesRL

In 2002/03, I was out of full time work for 60 weeks, but luckily for me, I was able to get some contracting gigs which reduced that to 40 weeks. And by contracting, you add to your resume and get more contacts. Sometimes contractors get lucky and get offered ful time positions.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

If putting up with the wife and mother in law for that long is not an incredible skill, I don't know what is! Chin up, times change, I know it's hard to believe but things WILL improve, they always do.