Have you ever been told that you were overqualified for a job or position that you really wanted? If so, there are a few things you should be aware of in order to avoid that situation in the future.

There is a belief in the business world that hiring an overqualified employee is not good practice. The assumption is that someone overqualified is more likely to be or become dissatisfied, which will lead to them leaving before the company has been able to recuperate their investment. However, some studies suggest this traditional belief may not be correct.  Businesses are finding that employees considered overqualified can be a great asset to the company. To clear up this disconnect, we should examine what it truly means to be overqualified.

Typically, companies compare a resume to a job description to determine if a candidate is qualified. If the resume indicates the candidate has more years of experience than what’s being asked, they say the candidate is overqualified, and then they start making a number of assumptions. This may be a flawed approach, but it happens.

If you are applying for a job where you have more years of experience than what is required and you want to ensure you’re not labeled as “overqualified,” there are a few things you can do to avoid losing the opportunity.

Demonstrate Enthusiasm

First, make sure you’re passionate about the job you’re seeking. Aside from proving your abilities to perform the job, demonstrating that you’re willing to do what it takes will help show your value. Even if you believe you deserve better or bigger opportunities, you still have to show enthusiasm for the one in front of you.

I work with many people who interview for jobs they’re overqualified for because of unexpected layoffs. They’re willing to take a temporary pay cut until they can find something better. They confidently go to the interview, articulating how qualified they are for the job, but ultimately are not offered the position. They have no idea why.

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