Jen Teague/ March 31, 2014/ Everything In Between/ 0 comments

The Grindstone by Waponi
Photo: The Grindstone by Waponi

You’ve applied to a few hundred jobs and been told over & over again that you’re over-qualified. Now, before you scream age discrimination, have you thought that maybe you really are over-qualified for those positions? It has become a buzz word like synergy and seamless, but, unlike these buzz words, it actually exists. Most times, however, you can actually have more experience than necessary for a job. And this is not a horrible thing.

Please understand that the point of this post is not to bash those with experience. In fact, I applaud the fact that you have stuck it out through the years in the working world and adapted to ever-changing technology. My goal is that this opens your eyes and gives you a different prospective for your over-qualifications. How do I know anything about being over-qualified in my mid-thirties? I was already being told that I was over-qualified for positions at age 27. I know the frustration of this phrase on a personal level and the truth behind it as a recruiter but I also know I was saved from many dead-ends because I was over-qualified for positions that I was applying for. I needed to go for jobs that helped me grow. Consider some of these points about the “O-word” and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

– Most recruiters are ethical and do not take age into consideration. Sure, there are some out there that really do discriminate but your average recruiter will not. Your age is not important, but your decades of experience is. I’ve placed people as young as 17 all the way to folks who could have been my great-grandparents. The recruiter knows the position better than you do. A job description in a posting only lists the main points of the job. When you walk into an interview, you only know the surface information. But the recruiter know the position and the company.  Plus, they have a lot to lose if they intentionally discriminate, so for most, it’s not worth it.

– You see this job see as a foot in the door, but recruiters see you as another flight risk. You’re applying just to get into the company but the company is actually looking to fill the open spot. It takes a long time to recruit, interview, place, and train one person in a position. It is down-right draining. Why place someone who is not genuinely interested in the position when there are plenty of others who have sticking power that want the job?

Hello Office Space by Martin Cathrae
Photo: Hello Office Space by Martin Cathrae

– Companies want to save money. That is the hard, cold truth. Why hire an over-qualified person for $25 an hour when they can hire someone else to do the exact same job for $18? Age or not, of course the person looking for a lower salary will get chosen, all things considered. There are college grads out there waiting for an opportunity to use their newly-gotten skills. If you have been in the field for 5+ years, you are no longer considered entry-level by today’s standards. Don’t apply for it. Period. You’re more advanced than that.  This is a time for you to stretch yourself. Try applying for a job that will utilize your skills and get you out of your comfort zone.

– Change your attitude!! This is a big one. If you don’t get hired for a job, don’t assume the worst. Sometimes, you aren’t the right candidate because… well, you have too much experience. You will get bored in the position and the recruiter knows that. Realize that you are not always the best candidate for the job and keep your social media clear of complaining and bashing a company for not hiring you right now. You may not have worked out for this position, but something could open up in the future. You just never know.

Don’t Lose Hope,

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