How to successfully apply for a job when you are overqualified

Posted on Friday, July 8, 2022 by Love Success CandidateNo comments

More and more, post-pandemic, we see candidates that had retired looking to come back into the job market at a lower level for less stress. Additionally there may be other reasons why you want to apply for office support jobs in London when you appear overqualified. It could be because you are a parent looking for more flexible options or aiming for a career change.

Here we look at how to make a successful application when an employer thinks you are overqualified.

Why is being overqualified a problem?

Usually, when we are advising candidates applying for jobs in London we tell them to make their CV the very best version of themselves. However, before you send out an all-singing-all-dancing CV, stop and think about why employers can be reluctant to recruit overqualified candidates.

It’s easy to think that employers are missing a trick: getting a better qualified and experienced candidate for less expense. But employers have genuine fears when recruiting people who are overqualified. The most important thing you can do is address these concerns.

In the first instance, you may be clear in your mind that you will accept the market rate salary that the role brings. You may be very willing to accept a lower salary than you’ve earned previously. The employer doesn’t know this. As such, they believe there is automatically a problem of mismatched salary expectations. Be clear about your expectations and let them know.

Secondly, there’s a harder problem to manage. Those with experience may, in practice, present a difficulty for management. Previous senior staff may find it hard to be managed by a less experienced colleague, someone who would have been junior to them previously. Hiring managers have genuine concerns about the hierarchical tensions this may cause.

Employers may also be worried that overqualified candidates will leave quickly, expect rapid promotion, or become bored or disengaged.

To make a successful application, you need to address these fears. Now we look at how you do that.

Tailor your application

The most important thing you can do is tailor your applications. In this way you can put only the applicable skills and experience for the role you’re applying for. Look at the job description and highlight these skills. It takes a more muted approach to writing your CV, without a focus on your career high points. This shows already that you won’t be ‘too big’ for the role, but can already adjust your behaviour for this job with this employer.

You may find it helpful to use a cover letter or contain a brief sentence in your personal statement about your over-qualification and why the potential employer doesn’t need to be concerned. Show that you are actively choosing this role and why. The key is to show you aren’t being forced into it because you can’t get a job at a higher level.

At interview, be candid about your over-qualification and demonstrate how you will manage this in role. It’s a tricky situation, especially if an employer is particularly interested in potential, but this is your chance to show that your communication and manner will fit into the business hierarchy.

Get support

Whenever there is a gap between employer and candidate, dedicated London recruitment agencies can help. We can help you get the role you want.

Get in touch.

Love Success is London’s leading recruitment agency.
Our expert recruiters can help you find permanent and temporary jobs in London including
Personal Assistant Jobs, Office Support Jobs, Marketing, PR and Accounting and Finance Jobs
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