The Perfect Hand: Can You Be Too Qualified?1 | 2 |
Just don’t go overboard when finessing your resume, Cometti said.
“On the hiring manager’s side, when they start the process up, they may not have a clear idea of what they’re looking for,” he explained. “So if you tailor [your resume] too closely to what their description is, you may end up cutting your own throat.”
Once you do make it into the interview process, you should work on positioning yourself in the best possible light: You want to sell smart, not up.
“Don’t overstate what you do,” McCreight said. “Don’t make your past job sound as if it’s so much bigger than the one that you’re interviewing for. What the candidate is needing to do is to package themselves from the perspective of the person interviewing them. In other words, make it clear that you can do this job [that you’re interviewing for, and that you would] be very proud to be doing it.”
As to whether the interviewee should address the issue of being overqualified up-front, the answer is a resounding “no,” according to experts. Interviewees should wait for the interviewer to bring it up and deal with it then.
“Don’t rush to judgments here, and don’t let the person interviewing you rush to judgment,” McCreight said. “We would encourage people: Don’t be defensive. Make sure you get the job you came in for, but then help them have an open mind and help them think about you in a broader context.”
In fact, convincing the employer of your own flexibility is key, Cometti said.
“I try to tell people I’m open as far as what the role really looks like,” he said. “That strategy helps them in other areas as well.”
In fact, in today’s economy, IT professionals are increasingly expected to wear many hats, so you could use your vast experience to your advantage.
“A lot of companies are trying to go with leaner staff, and they want someone with a more diverse skill set,” Cheedle said. “Even if they don’t need those skills today, they never know what they’re going to need down the road. From a return on investment [standpoint], you should be able to show that you’ll be able to increase productivity on the job, be able to get it done faster, take on additional projects [and] wear multiple hats.”
You also should try to keep salary off the table for as long as you possibly can, McCreight added, “even in terms of what you currently make, until, as the candidate, you’re ready to deal with [it].”
The final thing to keep in mind is the human element of a job — otherwise known as fit. Landolf offered a personal anecdote to prove just how important the right match is.
“My son works for a dot-com in Manhattan,” he said. “He recently took the job. [The company] had the team of young guys — young, sharp guys — interview all the candidates for the job. My son told me they had interviewed about 15 people before they interviewed him for this position. [So] the team has a big role in making the hire. They don’t have the last say, but if they don’t approve, then the person
doesn’t go through the first gate.”
- Agatha Gilmore, email@example.com | 2 |