It seems that you’ve done all the right things. You got a good education, built an impressive resume, and achieved great things in your career. But just when it seems time to reap the rewards of your efforts, you hear those dreaded words, “I’m sorry, but you’re overqualified for this position.”

Here are a few strategies to avoid that frustrating result.

Understand their concerns. Many employers fear that you are underselling yourself out of desperation, especially if this occurs in a time of economic downturn. They may believe that as soon as the job market improves, you’ll be out the door, leaving them to hire and train a replacement.

Reassure the hiring manager. Try to get to the bottom of what concerns they may have (by asking!) and address them as you would any sales objection. Do they think you will be too expensive, won’t fit in or as cited above, will leave them in the lurch?

If you’re a career changer, let them know. It’s not unusual for job seekers who are looking to enter a new industry or different field to be willing to start at the bottom. Interviewers are less likely to look askance at your fifteen years of accounting experience if they know you’ve always wanted to give sales a go.

Tailor your resume. Whenever you apply for a new opportunity, you should always take time to narrowly focus your resume and cover letter to show that you are the perfect fit.

  • List only the last ten years of experience.
  • Focus on the experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Provide concrete numbers that prove your success.
  • Leave off post-graduate or unrelated degrees.

Tie it together in your cover letter. Use this opportunity to sell the hiring manager on your suitability for the job. Draw direct parallels between your listed experience and the qualifications for the position. They see dozens of resumes a day. Make it easy for them to see why they should consider you for the role by pointing out what may not be immediately obvious to them.

Work with a recruiter. If you partner with a recruiter who specializes in sales and marketing recruiting, you’ll get the benefit of their industry experience and insider insights into what employers are looking for and how you can present yourself in the best possible light.

At SMR Group Ltd, we specialize in helping sales and marketing professionals find great positions in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical industries. If you need more advice on how to present yourself to employers and win the job of your dreams, contact us today.

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