CAREER DEVELOPMENT / OCT. 16, 2013
version 12, draft 12

Overqualified Workers: A Sign of the Times

Graduation, or a recent lay off from work, can leave you in a vunerable position in the world of employment. You are well educated and may have years of practical experience under your belt, but when there are few jobs to be had, you are going to take whatever position is available to you.  Over qualification has always been an issue, but with the present economic crisis it is becoming more common.

Why employers might not want to hire overqualified job candidates

An employers concerns when hiring overqualified candidates are.... 

A) Expense

B) That the employee will be bored and unhappy in the job

C) That the employee will consider the position as temporary until a better offer comes along

Where in the world are the most over educated workers?

A recent report by OECD on job skills around the world shows that the rate of over educated workers are highest in Japan with 31% of employees feeling over qualified for the job they do. The lowest is Italy with 13%. USA and Norway tie with 20%

Though this is an ongoing issue, it doesn't mean there is no solution for it. When applying for a job, it is important for your to make your employer aware of the reasons you are applying for a specific job. 

How can you assure your potential employer that you are the right candidate? 

A) When filling out the salary requirement box, be realistic about what the position requires. If the job entails less time, stress or experience than previous employment, then that should reflect in the payment required for the position.

B) Be upfront about your time commitment to the company. It is best to be honest about this so that your employer will know if your timeline works with their plans.

C) Make a convincing case as to why you would be the best candidate for the job. As an overqualified employee you have a larger pool of skills to dip into. Organisation, problem solving, and people skills are the kind of qualities that are relevent to most positions.

Have you ever been turned down for a job because of were considered ovequalified? Share your stories in the comments below.

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