Tech & Work

How do you convince potential employers that you're not overqualified?

People have many reasons to pursue a job that is deemed by others to be "below their station." How do you convince a potential employer to give you a chance?

People have many reasons to pursue a job that is deemed by others to be "below their station." How do you convince a potential employer to give you a chance?

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Of all the reasons to be rejected for a job, being told you're "overqualified" really sucks. There are many reasons someone might look for a position that is "under the station" of what he normally would do. For example, managers who have had enough of the personnel issues that come up too often may seek a position that has no direct reports. Sometimes technical people discover they don't like project management as much as writing code.

Such is the case with one TechRepublic member who recently wrote to me. He said:

"I currently work as a software development manager but I don't like the job I'm doing for a lot of reasons. I've applied many times for a senior developer position in other companies and had dozens of interviews. All my interviewers were impressed by my development skills but nobody wanted to hire me. Two interviewers asked me: now, you command a large team of developers and testers and you're a member of the management of your company, are you sure you will accept to be commanded by a (simple) development team leader? I said yes. But I think they didn't believe me."

I can understand to some extent the fear of the hiring managers. They don't want to hire someone who is going to be unchallenged by the role. What I don't understand is why they can't take the job candidate's word at face value.

My guess is that the candidate's not making himself crystal clear as to the reasons he'd be happy with a less-responsible position. I would prepare a statement that explains why the senior development position is more attractive without being negative about his previous duties. In other words, he shouldn't say, "I hated management," but rather, "After a few months in that job, I discovered that what I really missed was the intensity and focus of a purely development role."

So what about you guys? Have you ever had to "sell yourself" for a position that others deemed below your stature? How'd you handle it?

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.

114 comments
The Cars Forever
The Cars Forever

I was in this position a few years ago. I had moved up from a junior tech to a C level executive in about 7 years. I made very good money and had a sizable staff in addition to managing elements of the company beyond IT (i.e., business development, marketing, PR, legal, business continuity, etc). I was one of the top three executive in a multi-billion dollar organization and well respected in my industry and community. I was very good at my job and even was offered half a years salary as a bonus to stay on 6 additional weeks once I gave my three month notice. All of this said, I got very tired of long hours (70+ hour weeks), stress of all the personnel issues, rare vacations and basically being 'owned' by the company. My wife and I decided to make a major change and moved to a new state with the express desire to make a different life as staying would have made it tough since my name was fairly well known in the business community. When interviewing for new positions, I created a resume that used my earliest title at my last company - Director of IT - and played up my technical skills and played down my managerial skillset. When interviewed the question of why I wanted to do IT support came up and the first, honest answer was that I wanted to work directly with the users again. Management is exciting, but you rarely have a dozen successes in a day the way you can when working with users directly. I also said I wanted to have a personal life and spend time with my family which was tough in a managerial position. After the adjustment financially, we have been exceptionally happy. I rarely deal with anything work related off-hours and get a ton of kudos for my work instead of working months on projects that may or may not come to fruition. This type of change may nto be for everyone, but it can be very rewarding and worth it if you are getting 'burned out' or simply want a simpler life. Chris

robertelliottphd
robertelliottphd

Several years a go I lived in a community that had been hit HARD by outsourcing. The city fathers had purchased three new garbage trucks to handle the mess from the fallout of people leaving. The city fathers had years earlier, placed hiring points based on education level along with pay points as well, on hiring for the city. Over 300 people applied for 12 jobs. The S#!T hit the fan when the city HAD to hire, by local ordnance, 3 PH.D's and nine with master degrees for the garbage collection jobs. Needless to say they out qualified even the city fathers in their elected positions. The three PH.D's made almost as much as the mayor. Besides the media and resident's outrage and costing the city five times the proposed payroll cost the city fathers tried to change the law and was stopped based on discrimination charges filed by their union. Moral Some times you stuck with internal politics or polices. Look for a loop hole where you can fit if you can. Post script I moved on to a better position. The city fathers retired the city engineer, comptroller and created a new position, director of community development (all non-union) and transfered the PH.D' to their jobs at a some what lower pay grade in order to keep from the city from going bankrupt. No one complained and the mayer was elected again and the city is better for it now.

raymond
raymond

I told them that I had "retired" and looking for a happy position. I also reminded them that with my background I can take the proposed position and work with others even better because of it. Ultimately, it is up to the company to recognize that they do have a "better" candidate in me. To try to "sell" myself in any other way may instead introduce frustration in the working relationship after gaining employment or, worse, a discovery that my company does not appreciate me (i.e, they really wanted a dummy.)

nouahdnd
nouahdnd

You may be overqualified but then, how are you able to liaise with your co workers?. What employers need to know is boss-worker relationship. Thus share of mind.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

Most people think that their resume has to be a compendium. If you shape the resume to the job presto chango you fit the role.

thalilkrazie
thalilkrazie

i used to be a lieutenant at initech but i went for a job at intertrode cleaning the shitters, they said ke? and i told them naw i like cleaning poop waaay better than commanding a bunch of nerdy virgins. intertrode still said no, and they called my employer and got me fired. now i work at bestbuy as a "sales team" all i do is dress up in a clown suit that they provide and hold a big best buy sign in front of the store. the pay is competitive but jackasses are always throwing shit at me, i still got milkshake in my red clown hair.

alexp023
alexp023

Keep in mind that you're over-qualified, might mean that you have more experience than me, and may be a threat to me and my job in the future. I heard I was over-qualified several times and a few times I was told by the recruiter that I was threat. Let's face it, you're not going to get an offer for every job you interview for, and one of the reasons, amongst the many, just may be that you are over-qualified. What can I say, just keep plugging away.

Gnuggs
Gnuggs

The "you are over qualified" card is played -- whether it's true or not -- whenever it's a handy excuse because you don't fit an employer's needs for reasons they don't want to tell you about. Who's going to argue, feel bad or sue for being "too good for the job." How much better it would be to get an honest answer to enable you to improve your person, skills or knowledge to help you in seeking a job. It's unfortunate that our society, legislation and goverment has reduced the hiring process to such a puerile and sad game.

tekwrytr
tekwrytr

In the view of most managers, there is a fundamental dichotomy between "managers" and "subordinates." That dichotomy is as deep--and pervasive--as that between "students" and "faculty" in your local university. It is the perception of a dichotomy that must be dealt with, not convincing your prospective employer that you are willing to accept orders from someone who may be less experienced and/or less knowledgeable. In short, you must convince one of "us" that you want to go back to being one of "them," rather than being one of "us." That can be the tough sell.

leolore
leolore

Since there's no way this would fly in an actual interview, this is a nice place to be able to post this and maybe get some people thinking: Things I would like to say: "I may be overqualified, but if you don't hire me, my other options are to go to your competitors or become one of your competitors." Okay so threats usually are not a good interviewing technique ;) But in many times it is the reality of the situation, and points to the fact that someone who considers someone else overqualified is looking to fill a position in a machine, rather than looking to best utilize the employees that they have available. That's an attitude that can lose them market share. "I want the job because I want to work for this company. Yes in a year or two I may want to find a different opportunity where I can put more of my skills to work for the company, thus growing your business." Yeah, insecure managers, or those who believe that the business world is all about climbing the ladder, and other people are the rungs - they would feel threatened instead of seeing the opportunity for an eventual mutually beneficial peer relationship. Refer to the song 'Stand by Me' for a picture of how it could be. On the other hand there is some risk. It's hard to discern this from a simple interview, when you don't know the applicant well. Let's say for sake of argument, that you are a hiring manager and find actually that the applicant is qualified enough to be a director, even though they are applying for a developer position. So think it through... in a year or two perhaps they decide that they do want to go back to being a director, they apply for it in the company or define a whole new area of the company and become a director. And you're the guy who hired him, giving him this opportunity. (that's a generic 'him' btw). More, this director has spent time "in the trenches" in your company, and specifically your area of the company. Do you find no opportunities in this? Do you believe that the company grows and/or makes money more because of the inertia that you have as a company (branding, existing products, etc), or more because the people you have working there keep applying their skills to innovate, design, build, network, market, and sell? If it's the latter, why would you not want someone with extra skills working for/with you? "If you hire me, I would take some time to understand the company, working with the procedures and systems that are in place. In the process, I may find some things that can be done better, that I can draw on my experience to improve. In short I may suggest some changes. There is a possibility that after some time I may even be put into a position where I could require changes. But I understand how change effects people. I understand the concepts of stakeholders and buy-in, and I'm not interested in making changes just to be 'the man'. I also understand that my previous experience is not with this company, and so what was a change for the better somewhere else may not be for the better here. If I ever do see something that could be greatly improved, I'm going to need your help with that because you are the one who has experience and connections within this particular company." -- "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens his friend"

walker.stephen
walker.stephen

My change was for quality of life, so I told employers exactly that. I rose through the ranks to become CIO with charge over 200+ employees. The company was sold and I was faced to decide if I was going to relocate with the new company. My last child had just left our home and my wife and I were empty nesters so I took time to evaluate my quality of life. My greatest joy in my career had been managing development projects with a small team. I searched out a project management position and now manage a team of 12 doing web development. It is a blast!

wrlang
wrlang

It's all a game the rules of which can be learned. Understand what the HR people are looking for and give them only relevant truths. If they are looking for a few years of experience and you're older, you'll need to address their concern about higher pay and more experience than they may want to consider. Why are you worth the higher pay when they want someone for less? Don't kid yourself, if they wanted someone dependable they would be looking for more experience. Address why have you spent so much time in a lower level job? (even though you may have spent years in a higher level job) While legally age shouldn't matter, it does, and there's little you can do about it. They can always find a reason not to hire someone based secretly on age. The job description may be very specific. It may say 3 - 5 years experience, which means they are looking for a lower wage worker. If you have 25 years experience but only 5 years in the area they are looking for you probably shouldn't apply. If they are looking for at least 5 years experience, that means they are open to a more costly worker. Usually the hiring manager is easier to convince because they are looking for technically capable people. They will look upon adjacent experience as a good thing that will help everyone. If you can get to the hiring manager through your network, do it. Never share irrelevant experiences or small talk. Example: interviewer: It's such a nice day I rode my bike into work today. Your bad answer: I used to ride my bike all the time before my knee went out. You good answer: Yes, it is a nice day to ride into work. Don't get into specific timeframes that may show you did other irrelevant things for some years. For example the position is just for a coder and they ask you about project management or management experience. Before answering, ask them why they are asking about project management or management experience when it wasn't in the job description and modify your answer accordingly. Example: You just asked me about management experience and that wasn't in the job description. Is this job expected to lead to a management position? Is management experience a prerequisite for the job even though it wasn't listed? Remember that you are interviewing each other, so it's OK to ask questions and really dig into what they are looking for. Perhaps they will let slip a discriminatory statement that can be used as leverage. Take the time to do something relevant at your current job or take some relevant classes. Then when they ask what you've done recently you have something to talk about. Example: you want a coder job, but have spent the last 5 years managing coders. If you've taken some coding classes and done some coding for projects on the side you will have something to talk about. Instead of ??? I've spent the last 5 years managing the people I want to become one of, you can say that during the last 5 years you've coded for projects x, y, z and taken some relevant classes on coding. Perhaps you've only had the time to coded some reports or minor modules, but it is still relevant and they don't need to know the extent of your coding unless they specifically ask.

WhitDaviesGA
WhitDaviesGA

Regardless of experience, when you are over 50, translate "overqualified" to "You're too old."

mdiaz
mdiaz

You mean, employers might actually be telling the truth when they say "No job, you're overqualified?" I always assumed it was because saying, "You smell bad/give me the creeps/seem weird/too loose/too tight/too married/too ill/too old/too negro/too latin/too something-we-don't-want-here" would get them in legal trouble. While not all said in just, in a crappy economy a CPA will work in Accounts Payable. Will they be underpaid & totally bored? Yes, but they'll have a job, and if they're REALLY lucky, health insurance and paid time off - this comment from a only slightly disgruntled Contractor with no health insurance (or paid time off) in "the richest nation in the world" - ciao!

garyvdo
garyvdo

I am a consultant with considerable credentials, and in a different angle, need to convince potential clients that having my experience is valuable rather than hiring a consultant who costs less, may have lesser skills but is adequate for for the engagement. I

KimslanD
KimslanD

I've been turned down for computer employment, due to applying for positions that are 0.5 It seems they are all amazed that I would prefer to half my pay on high ability, what-ever the reasons I have. On the occasions that I have been unsuccessfull at applying for these positions, having high ability and qualification for, a less knowledgable candidate has secured the position. With the biggest question, by the interviewers, being I could do better and earn more? Yes I know, but I prefer this position due to... Nope, that wouldn't be right :rolleyes: by the interviwer. I can't win! The last job I applied for, I left all my certificates home (who cares I thought-most don't even understand it all anyway) Guess what? I got it! How dumb.

No User
No User

Is simply because they don't want to pay much. It's typically followed by we want somebody who is a little greener to grow into the job. Since they have substandard pay they expect that you will leave at your earliest convenience. The odd thing is they typically advertise that they want skills well above what they are willing to pay for and thus the vast majority of applicants get rejected out of hand. Which begs to question if your resume reflects skills and experience well beyond what they are willing to pay for why would they go through the trouble of setting up an interview? The only thing I can come up with is they are hoping to luck into someone who is over qualified and over a barrel in a desperate or unusual situation that they can snag for a couple years. Outside of that why would you dummy yourself down? It seems counter intuitive to go backwards. You go to school to learn a trade and then work hard all your life practicing that trade and advancing your career to suddenly go backwards what is that all about? The only thing that makes sense about that is that you ARE in a desperate situation and simply need a paycheck. In that case you do what you gotta do but keep in mind that you are plotting, scheming, lying and actually shall leave at your earliest convenience. Typically an employer tries to avoid that and in this scenario they would be sniffing that out big time. The longer your career is the harder it would be to cover up and at some point in doing so you look like a dunce. You have a BS in computer science and 20 years experience and your applying for a help desk or PC tech job come on!!! You were a CIO but now you just want to "work" for living come on!!! That brings to mind the saying that you can't put silk stalkings on a pig. No matter how you dress it up it just wont sale.

MavMin2
MavMin2

After hearing that so many times, I have come to the conclusion that often it is just a "positive affirmation" thing to reject you, but not demoralize you, when they don't have anything specific or don't want to reveal that they saw something on Tagged, Facebook or MySpace that turned them off like, lads, you dressed in that pimp suit with straws up your nose or ladies, your rear or other parts hanging out at some party. Sexual or inapproriate Tagged lines don't help either. Being a member of the Citizen's Militia group on any site will squash many an offer as well. That may be illegal but you have to be able to prove it and unless they mention it in the interview that will be tough. Of course, in my day, they didn't have that resource, but you get the idea. Some of the rejection letters I received would have been gratifying and heartwarming if they hadn't meant that I was still unemployed. I told one lad that I did not have such a luxury as my family didn't think I was overqualfied to feed them nor did my bill collectors take to forgiving my debts since I was overqualifed. Know when to hold'em. Make several resumes, one loaded for bear, one very simple and one middle of the road. If you are applying for a "desperation" job then don't put your PhD in neurology on a resume you are submitting to Bob's carwash. Don't show up in your Armani applying for a clerk job at Wal-Mart. You want your foot in the door so that you can keep that foot fed for the real race. Save your ace in the hole for when you really need it. You can be selective without being deceptive. To avoid discrimination I have had to drop a few adjectives out of my college's name and my degree. Unless you went to Yale or Texas A&M, most employers don't know the little colleges and seldom look them up as they don't really care. Often all a degree is used for is to sort out having to interview high school grads and drop outs. It narrows the field a little and advanced degrees can hurt you if the interviewer is intimidated or as the article is saying, thinks you are overqualified. A lot of people think that the only job a "doctor" is qualified for is teaching or writing books. My sister-in-law thought I had become a MD when I got my doctorate. Keep it simple in the resume and research the company and the job. Knowing about the company most likely will impress them from an ego level and showing genuine enthusiasm about the job may sway them as well. Attitude is a key factor. If they think you really find the job exciting (don't fake it) then they may feel that you will stay with it for awhile no matter what your pedigree shows. In the end, it can often be more about connecting with the interviewer than about your papers and answers. Good luck!! May you get the job of your dream!

yves
yves

> ... hiring managers. They don't want to hire > someone who is going to be unchallenged by the role. they also don't want to hire s.o. who may be challenging *them*, and that's not specific to IT development.

mickeyk
mickeyk

Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to get that point accross to the potential employer. I have been on both sides of that fence and I understand the reasons that the employer would not consider a person that is "overqualified". They feel that they would be investing into that person only to have the person leave when they find a "better" position or that they will be bored and leave. With all the candidates that are available for the role it is much easier to find someone with less skills or expertise that is looking for a challenge then to hire someone that can "hit the ground running". Most times this will happen long before the candidate even gets the opportunity for an interview. I have had this happen to myself many many times, and it is NOT something that I like to hear. I have even had to change careers due to being "overqualified". The best way around this that I have found is through your personal network of people that know you and may be able to provide an "inside track" and a reference at a potential employer. You never want to tell an interviewer that you have had enough of the higher level roles or present yourself in any way that would lessen your ablilities or drive in the interviewers opinion, because that will just make it easier for them to say "NO". This will just show them that you have no drive to improve yourself. You do want to show them as much enthusiasm for the lower position as possible to demonstrate your passion and enjoyment to provide outstanding performance in the role you are interviewing for.

paper.bill
paper.bill

I backed off the management ladder 20 years ago and stayed on the technical track. Now they want to know "how come you're not a manager?" because they are measuring me against their own career choices. Mind you, I'm very expensive for a "developer" post now!

zalavijay
zalavijay

Well, truly speaking I am also searching for such answer. Infact, I have only two yrs of experience in "clinical research", and with that I hold graduate and post graduate degree in pharmaceutical science (b.pharm & m.pharm) along with recent MBA from University of Glamorgan, UK. To my surprise, I have been told plenty of time to be overqualified for certain position, for which I believed my profile will match closely and will be in benefit of the organisation hiring me. I could think of the one reason that my previous job has given me the designation of SCIENTIST-II, CLINICAL RESEARCH, along with plenty of experience and responsibilities in less than one yr of span. Even you will not believe that, but I applied for one more qualification in University in Netherlands...i.e. Doctoral position (PhD Project) and in initial telephonic conversation they argued like "I am overqualified for project proposed by them....!!!", I tried to convience them and almost 2 months later they decided to invite for face to face interview at their dept. I went there from UK to netherlands to attend the interview, to my satisfaction I performed well, but they replied in very much sophisticated ENGLISH LANGUAGE, "After the interview last month and several discussions within our panel group, we came to the conclusion that our PhD project does not suits you well". I mean, I stunned, they have proposed more than 15 projects as part of one "Escher Project" and top of that they proposed me somewhat different project related to that theme, and ultimately replied me like that. What presently I am doing is to convince other recruitment agencies and prospective employer to elaborate abt my experience and trying to justify my importance within their team if given opportunity, even if it as the entry or junior level. One more thing that I have marked in UK, is about the CV. they want your CV individually different for different post. But I cant understand whatz the reason behind that. It comes to my knowledge that they just analysing your CV against the responsibilities and criteria they mentioned, but in reality, they just looking for same words and phrases mentioned in yr CV whether it is matching or not. In INDIA, it is considered to be a virtue if you comes from the diverse background and having plenty of knowledge to support the progress and growth of the organisation you are part of. and even it can fuel your own progression. Hope we all will get some good answer from an experienced HR MANAGER only...!! your further comments are welcome to my e mail address: zalavijay@gmail.com (NO SPAM...PLEASE...!!!)

javadev71
javadev71

I think they reject you, because they have a reason. Most IT manager do not have development skills. They may have overall about some kind of programming language, but not expert as a senior developer. Therefore, if they hire you, they will pay more than hire other senior developer, and you cannot do the job as other senior developer can do. This is very true. I am working in IT area for more than 14 years, and I know that what my comments is make sense 99%.

dean.owen
dean.owen

Fear that you'll quit as soon as a job fitting your resume becomes available...fear that you'll try to manage your manager...fear that you won't take direction...fear that you're smarter than your manager! Dumb down your resume . . . downplay your experience . . . sometimes honesty works but thats usually a longshot.

deb_ellen
deb_ellen

Iread this discussion with great interest as I am currently in the process of looking for a job under what my qualifications & experience fit me for. I have copied three pages of data from the replies posted (sometimes just a few words other times whole paragraphs). Some of that information (re-phrased) will be included in my exit interview. Some will become excellent interview questions, and some will be included in my resume as an objective -perhaps to head of the whole question of being over qualified before it becomes an issue. Thanx very much.

stwelch
stwelch

Take an agressive position and develop the strategy of preventing the interviewer from coming to that conclusion. Be assertive and control the interview from the handshake on by visioning yourself in the job and giving the interviewer no chance to think you would be anything but a huge asset to the(remember sell the sizzle not the steak) company. Reading this forum has given me twelve ideas that I plan to use. It is easy to forget the applicant has any tools but the cliche ones, but we do if we choose to be brave enough to use them....go on some interviews where you do not want the job to practice tecniques.

thomas.peterson
thomas.peterson

These are very deep comments and speak to a psychology of interviewing that is rare. I've often found that when I have a job, I have the confidence necessary to approach the hiring manager more 'matter of fact' and direct. Often times this results in their realization that I am not going to just occupy a seat, but rather contribute to the team, even if it is to challenge their basic assumptions. Once they realize that I've already put myself 'in the job' and I'm prepared to work with them on Day 1, they are more prone to stay engaged for further interviews and discussions. One of my most 'prized' questions in an interview is to get an early read of where they think I stand. I usually play this with about 15mins left in the interview and it goes like this: "Given my background, my industry experience, and this interview, how long do you think it will take me to ramp up in this position?" Their response will be very telling. If they say, "Oh, you are perfect for this and I see you up and running in a week or two..." They have high confidence (perhaps unrealistically!) in your qualifications. If they say, "You know you aren't even going to understand our operations for 3-6 months.." Simply reply, "Interesting, is that acceptable to you?" I've had a number of interviewers tell me YES, they don't expect me to be fully functional in their environment right away. In fact, I've walked away from more engagements where the managers said that they expected me to be fully engaged in the first few weeks, because I realized that they set unrealistic expectations for me, and that I would immediately be walking into a minefield. This will help you gauge their perception of you before you get the 'over/under qualified' letter/email. Besides wouldn't you want to know these things while still in the interview where you can do some damage control and present a better picture or more appealing side of yourself? YMMV.

steelejedi4
steelejedi4

You are to over qualified for this position, is a statement I never get mainly because I'm probably not. All the tech jobs I have been lucky to get interviews for, haven't seemed to worry about my qualifications. They all turn me down on lack of experience, which I find very annoying as they had to start some where with no experience when they first decided on their career path. But they just don't seem willing or able, or maybe both to give anyone a chance whose decided to better themselves, by paying for their own quals, doing in their own time. Which means you can't do both you either get the experience and no quals, or the quals and no experience. I have experience in a lot of things life mainly, and other fields of employment, but not the quals. I suppose I could forget all the hard work I've done studying for IT and go back to what I know. But know even those positions want me to have quals. Where will it end, when will some-one give me abreak.

MajitoQuerido
MajitoQuerido

Right on...just recently had an interview and was told that i had all of the requirements and then some but they did not feel i was a match for the job 'coz they wanted someone with less experience...right away i knew they wanted to pay pennies on the dollar...what really surprised me was that this was a technical support position for a global company...so they rather have folks that can't answer questions to their customers, just to save some bucks in pay...sad...very sad...

TekyWanabe
TekyWanabe

Pretty long thread this is turning out to be but I must say that No User's post has been one of the most 'spot on'! Given the dynamics of the employment market, 'dumbing down' a CV in looking for a job (sorry...paycheque) is more of a doing-what-you-need-to-do-to-survive kind of move. Painful, yes, but with bills to be paid...

Beoweolf
Beoweolf

Ad: We need MCSE, CCNE, Novell expert, with programming ablity in Perl,C#. Must also have 3-5 years expereince with MySQL,Oracle. To run Network/LAN and help desk. Web administration. On call so must be flexible. 15 - 20 hours per week. no managers. I actually saw a similar ad recently. They also went on to explain the Drug and background check would be required. I think the bar was set just a little too high. The required skill set a little too broad. And as best I could surmise, the compenstation (part time?) weak.

chas_2
chas_2

Thanks for a very thoughtful layout of how to approach this. I've not been in a situation where I've been told I was overqualified, but this is helpful. It seems to me that the job hunt is really a big game, unfortunately - with equal parts acting, psychology, and detective work. In the U.S. it seems that folks with The Power To Hire make assumptions that are very limiting, particularly for someone wanting to shift gears or whose career path didn't fit a nice, "linear" path of development (like mine). Another poster used the word "ego" and that's a key insight - it's not just hiring managers that have egos, companies do as well. Perhaps the workers of a particular company, when it's 5pm, don't give a flip about the company for real, but while they're at the office, at least are willing to assume the intellectual posture that seekers must impress them somehow. The job hunt is about human nature, now, more than ever. (sigh)

stwelch
stwelch

Non verbal communication is certainly the most important...since I like to change jobs pretty frequently I definitely use a resume that has just the skills to get that particular job. Extra degrees and certifications are never used unless ad requests that qualification. It is what it is; this method has worked for me for years. If you are presented with a bill in a restaurant you certainly do not leave more cash on the table than the bill.Give them what they ask for.

T.Walpole
T.Walpole

"...and I know that what my comments is make sense 99%." Em, I'd say maybe closer to 20%. I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

robertelliottphd
robertelliottphd

Last year I was hired for a fortune 50. Six weeks into the project I was managing I had to go to a Sr VP. for a briefing on my project. I was busted! The man I had to brief was a person I had to fire on ethics issues 6 years ago in a past position. Needless to say I had been in a position much higher than he back then. He had violated Government contract required ethics standards. He provided our competitors with inside government information on a sub-project we were bidding on in hopes to get a job with them if they won. I was shown the door by security half the way through the meeting.

T.Walpole
T.Walpole

There is no requirement that you detail all professional experience you ever had and there is nothing wrong with tailoring your resume to fit the type of job you are applying for. If I am not applying for a management position why on earth whould I submit a resume that includes a lot of management experience? Focus the resume on your experience that fits the job in question.

stwelch
stwelch

The qustion about ramping up time is a great transition to get employer seeing you in the job.......I would take it a step further if they seem to have a positive attitude....I would immediately come back with "and when do you want me to start?" With a casual laugh this will let them know you too are still interested....they prob are not gonna tell you a date but you have moved the interview along another good step toward that goal. The economy today is not good enough to fool around and appear as a milk toast applicant.....

mdiaz
mdiaz

Good post. I can remember being told I was under qualified. It's a frustrating situation, especially if it's a good job/a good company. Unless somebody gives you a chance, you don't gain the skills and experience to move forward in a meaningful manner. You might want to consider applying to smaller companies, where you HAVE to wear different hats, do different things and thereby gain the skills you want. Even if the money and benefits might not be as good as a bigger outfit, you have a job and most importantly, you LEARN! Best of luck!

DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

Catch-22 is what it is... Can't get the job for lack of experience, but can't get experience if not hired. If can't get hired for lack of quals. (the papers from the university that says you learned everything needed to qualify for that designated degree or certificate.) you still can't work without a overwhelming track record. cant win either way... so go to work for yourself? Um, sure... fight for a customer/client base from companies with more capitol. Pray that you can get them, otherwise you're starving.

DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

Hence the outsourcing movement to India, and other countries where 90% of the "tech support" employees barely speak english (and of those who do... very few speak it fluently)... combined with the only knowledge they have of a product is what pops up on their screen in combination with lesser general knowledge than a salesperson. CHEAP EXPENDABLE LABOR that doesnt require benifits, and is easily replaced if they get smart and demand more.

stuffinator
stuffinator

Well, I haven't personally experienced it myself since my resume magically and realistically keeps putting me in higher and higher positions as the jobs go up. But I know some sensible reasons to take on a lower job, and I understand all of them personally. 1) The 'big' position that you took was actually for a smaller company In which case the size of your step down is a relative matter. What does it mean to be "demoted" from a manager to a supervisor when that manager managed like 8 people and the supervisor has to check on about two dozen? 2) The big position makes no business sense. The hours and pay that you took for the big position was not worth your time and lack of comfort. If being a manager meant that you worked 60 hours a week, PLUS on-call and under fire, and your actual pay increase is less than 1.5 times a 40 hour supervisor (by way of example), then it's ridiculous to take or keep the job at just face value. Bosses have a tendency to act like they own you. They don't. 3) The money loss is insignificant, the time gain is excellent If you're already well-to-do and feel more or less set even when you lose money, then it doesn't make sense at all to keep the extra. Diminishing returns is important here. You won't feel 1.5x happier because your pay increases 1.5x. Depending on the size of your actual pay, you might feel anything from 1-50% happier, or maybe even none at all. At least for single folks who have all the basic amenities set, this situation actually comes up a lot more often than you think. 4) You're a coder, not a manager Some people are oranges. And other people are apples. Some business people have no idea what it's like to be "in the action", and feel that there should be a natural progression of people responsibility with time in the company. Let's put it simply - this is ridiculous. While many people would like to move up, managing people is a totally different job from managing code. If you wouldn't be caught dead doing someone's makeup for a living, it would be easy to understand why some people feel the same way for "holding meetings" and wearing suits. 5) You're even bigger than the manager. You have your own business, a wife, or a life priority that is simply more important than anything the job asks of you. Consequently, you can't afford to be on-call and legally liable for whatever troubles the business faces as an upper echelon of that job. I mean, your business comes first. Life is not some silly game of ladder climbing and point-collecting, where points is money. And you don't need anyone telling you why they think their particular thing should take precedence over the other things in your life.

abbi
abbi

The ad you 'exampled' sounds like it was written for an in-house person. Many times this is a way to promote in-house while "CYOA" legally.

Menopausal
Menopausal

Managers don't want to hire ex-managers for technical positions because they know that managers don't know the details. It's a different way of thinking. Strategy and politics vs. nuts and bolts. They think that since they don't know how to switch gears, the applicant won't either. Then they'll end up with an employee that is used to a management-sized paycheck and yet who isn't as good at technical details as the other guy, who would be happy with a developer's paycheck. This is short-sighted thinking, but that's what a lot of people do.

mdiaz
mdiaz

Too bad that rat had the upper hand on you(after giving intelligence to the competition!), and true to form, showed he is a low-life total no-class scumbag (not to mince words). How did that shitbag get to become a Sr. VP? Maybe he just interviews really well and aside from being into espionage, is fairly competant. Sad & sordid tale, tho I'm glad you posted it. Can't you sue them for wrongful dismissal? I know most jobs can be termed by either party at any time for any reason but, Damn! That dirtball deserves to have his ass hauled into court. You might try to find a good labor-law shark and go after him, tooth and nail. Even if they settle out of court it could be well worth your while. Also, the reason for his vindictive action (not tied to any performance or behavioral issues on your part) will certainly make him look less than savory, which is not hard to do, since he is a power tripping a-hole. Best of luck. Hang in there.

mariotrz
mariotrz

you've already lost your job, so there is nothing wrong, or nothing bad can happen to you anymore, to expose the guy! But that would be me! I thing that a good fight is better than a bad deal!!! What is VERY dumb nowadays and always!!! .... but I would!!!

rm.squires
rm.squires

I knew of someone that had a university qualification and she went for a simple secateries job. She worked there for years before management somehow found out that she has the qualifications. Then they automatically promoted her. After a couple of years she left, she did not want that as she was happy with the original job.

MavMin2
MavMin2

Yep, been there, done that and wore out the T-shirt.

bluegalcc
bluegalcc

Many unions need to upgrade and have negotiators that quit spinning and get real

stwelch
stwelch

Do not underestimate the capabilities of foreign tech support if their companies invest more in those employees. The IT industry is alive and well there, not just these low level jobs, but have you checked the city of Bangalore where a flourishing economy of technical research, software development and increasing numbers of middle class of this industry exists. They have and will continue to take American jobs and to upgrade their knowledge as they do work for much less. Some of the software and EE's I have worked with there are top notch. GM and IBM have had a huge presence for over 10 years, the bulk of GM's R&D is there now. Combine that with the high tech factories that GM operates in China and you quickly become aware that the Americn IT professional will increasingly be working in Asia. The funniest thing I have run into over there is that Sara Lee, the US company, owns the number one canned Asian food company operating in China.

MavMin2
MavMin2

Outsourcing will continue as long as unions and some government officals see it as evil that the rich and corporations profit. Keep hammering these folks and wanting to excessively tax them and guess what, they will go where they are wanted (developing countries). They may even get a tax break or pay no taxes since taxes will come from the employees. When is the last time you got a job from a poor man? The rich will always be rich so attacking the ones that supply the tools and the jobs is only cutting off your nose to spite your face. If Labor unions would not be so crazy and wanting maximum buck for minimal work fewer cases of outsourcing may occur. I have watched unions actually close companies due to unreasonable demands. Do companies make unreasonable profits? Possibly, but then you go into business to make a profit. You are no different. You have certain skills and assets when you apply for a job. Do you want $30,000 a year or will you go where they will pay you $150,000? You want to make $120,000 more profit then, depending on where you live, you might really need to survive. You are planning ahead for retirement, disability, bad economic conditions and such so you want to make all you can now. Corps are no different. It is just their larger numbers that make us question their "right." Their right is to sell their product for whatever the market may bear. When you trade in your car, you want top money. If you are an author, you want people to pay the $25 cover price not wait until it hits Half Price books. Find ways to lure the companies here and that is not by having the third largest tax rate in the world. Simple math and common sense. You don't beat or stalk a woman to cause here to desire you in marriage. You can't do the same type of things to corporations and expect them to want to build here.

MavMin2
MavMin2

After all the talk about grammar on dis heah forum, it was interesting to read this response with the varied colloquial expressions and epithets. Try those in an interview or on a resume. ROTFL

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Since it was a contract gig, he'd need to have a clause that validated breach of contract on the part of the company though I think. I'm no lawyer though.

Beoweolf
Beoweolf

I can understand not wanting the added responsiblities. With responsiblities come obligations, not to mention a pay cut sometimes. As a "salaried" worker, you are not entitled to overtime. Technicians, true to the stereotype, may not understand what motivates (or demotivates) some workers. A great, competent Tech does not guarantee a great manager. In the case cited above, as a EA, sec. she was probably able to balance her life in a predictable way. Not always true when you are in management.

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