How to get hired when your resume’s too good for the job
If you’re out of work and have a college degree or even an advanced degree on top of it, you’re both blessed and cursed.
You have the educational credentials that have traditionally opened doors. Some refer to them as tickets to success. On the other hand, you might owe a ton of money for student loans and as a result, feel extra pressure to replace lost income while jobless.
Most people who had to say farewell to a high five- or six-figure salary remain confident that they will soon find a similar job. When the bills start to roll in and it hasn’t happened, they turn to jobs they probably never would have considered before losing theirs.
Many highly qualified and well-educated professionals are finding that their overqualifications for jobs they’re now considering stand out like flashing red lights on their resumes. According to The Washington Post, in March 2009, the number of unemployed jumped 694,000 to 13.2 million. Since December 2007, the U.S. economy has lost 5.1 million jobs. Around 3.3 million of them disappeared in the past 5 months, the U.S. Department of Labor reports.
The statistics on long-term unemployed workers are equally grim. The number of those jobless for at least 27 weeks soared to 3.2 million in March. This represents an increase approaching 2 million since the recession began.
As unemployment stretches on, most job seekers lower their expectations. They apply for positions that don’t require their qualifications in the hope of simply being able to pay their bills. Unfortunately, most employers are very reluctant to hire them because they’re afraid they’ll soon leave for a higher-paying cubicle. Overqualification is also a common excuse for dreading to tell an applicant that the job just isn’t the right fit.
Personal finance guru Michelle Singletary has worked with a number of individuals who’ve received pink slips during the recession. She cites the example of a woman with a college degree and considerable paralegal and office administration experience whose interviewer simply would not listen to her willingness to take a pay cut and work fewer than 40 hours a week. Although the hiring official was very impressed with her resume, she didn’t get the job.
Singletary offers these tips to others who were derailed by the recession and who are applying for lower-level positions:
1. Keep your resume simple. Although you should never lie if asked about having an advanced degree, it might help you to omit your master’s or doctorate from