I have been knees deep in my job search over the past two months. According to Indeed, I have applied to over 500 jobs. This includes part-time gigs at restaurants and in retail in addition to full-time careers.
Five things I have learned about "being overqualified":
1. Don't dumb down your resume: Sure, maybe I eliminate I am a doctoral student and have my master's, employers may be more apt to interview me for a part-time job. However, I need to be true to myself. I have a love of learning and classes on Thursday nights. I am not dumb, so why dumb down the piece of paper that reflects who I am?
2. Don't take it personally: It really should be used as a compliment, however, it is not delivered as one in person. I have been told I am overqualified for a few jobs in person. Cool. Why did you bring me in if you knew this? Don't you want someone who has great credentials to elevate your business? Professionally stand your ground. When I have been told this I have replied "I know" and/or "Yes, but you requested the interview, so how can I help?". The person interviewing you who says this is most likely intimidated by your experience and qualifications. Selling spa memberships is not rocket science, so if I am overqualified, wouldn't I rock your sales target?
3. Recruiters don't always read carefully: Recently, I was told my resume was overlooked. Got to love those warm and fuzzy feelings when communicated on your second round interview. In my job search, I have found recruiters or those reviewing the resumes may not be diligent readers. Although my current address is in the left hand corner depicting where I live, I am still asked if I am moving, relocating, etc. Do what you can to ensure your resume communicates your physical address and objective. It's not me, it's you.
4. You are a boss, don't forget that: If you are overqualified, you are a boss, and they need you. It doesn't feel good to be denied jobs or told you are too qualified, I know that, welcome to my life. But honestly, I am not willing to settle into a career being overqualified. I am a boss and know my life's purpose. Take some time to reflect. What words are you using in your search process? How are you articulating you are a boss lady (or man or employee) in your resume and cover letter.
5. Don't give up: I have had some low days in this process. It has helped me realize my potential, celebrate my accomplishments that I haven't given much credit to, and realize the job I am meant to have may not be posted right now. It is all about keeping a positive mindset, having job alerts sent to you and growing as a person. Pick up a book, listen to a podcast and sweat at the gym. Stimulate yourself to stay above what is happening and surround yourself with a supportive tribe!