Can you really be ‘over qualified’?

Yes you can.  Don’t waste your (and the reader’s) time) applying for positions that might have worked for you 20 years ago, but are for someone 20 years younger than you are now.  This is a particular problem, of course, for older applicants (younger applicants may often think they are over-qualified, but they are totally mistaken in all cases, said the 52-year old blogger).

It can be tempting to apply anyway, if you see something moderately interesting that is conveniently located, in your general field, and if you’ve been looking for a while.  But in the same way the question for the under-qualified isn’t ‘can you do the job?’, it is ‘are you arguably one of the best applicants for the job?’.  Age does play role here; if the organization is thinking the position is for someone in his/her 20’s, having a youthful attitude as you show up in your walker will not be enough.

Also, think of the employer: they want someone who will be happy to have the job, not just for the first paycheck or two, but for quite a while and then, ideally, move up to something better within the organization.  Even if you can make yourself believe that will be the case for you, can you make an interviewer buy it?

Upcoming posts:

  • Should you include a picture on your resume?  (The answer starts with the letter ‘n’)
  • Targeting your resume - can there be too much of a good thing?