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How to get the job when you're overqualified

Sarah K. White | July 2, 2015
The idea of being ignored for a job because you’re overqualified may seem counterintuitive, but there are a number of reasons a company might overlook your resume for that exact reason.

Try an internal transfer

An internal transfer may be more successful than sending out your resume to other companies that don't know you. You're going to have more luck at a company that already knows your strengths and has documented proof of your successes. If you're happy at your current company, but want a change of pace, try feeling out other departments to see if an internal transfer would be a better option.

Most companies don't want to lose employees, even if it means letting them move around and take on other roles. You already have valuable knowledge of about how the company works, and sometimes you can bring more to the table if you understand how other departments operate within the company. If you're lucky enough, your company may even let you create your own role within a department.


If you aren't having any success with traditional methods, try reaching out to your professional network. It can help you get a foot in the door at a company if you have someone on the inside vouching for you. It's a similar tactic to an internal transfer, but it will help you get into a new company.

"When you come recommended from someone on the inside, it will go a long way in terms of the hiring manager's confidence in you as a candidate," says Palmer.

Your network of peers and colleagues also have a history with you and might better understand your goals and work ethic. Try reaching out to people in your network to increase your chances of landing a job you might be otherwise overlooked for because of your experience.

Don't get discouraged

The most important thing to remember for any job seeker is to avoid getting discouraged. If you aren't having any success with sending your resume out or reaching your internal network, maybe you need to reconsider your approach. You can try talking to people in the industry you are interested in to get a better sense of what skills and experience you need to highlight on your resume.


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