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Ask a Recruiter: How to Apply for a Job When You’re Overqualified?

Ask a Recruiter: How to Apply for a Job When You’re Overqualified?

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When you look for a job as a student, you don’t expect to get employed fast. You are ready to be denied because you have no job experience. But, you can’t expect this to happen when you’ve worked for several years in big companies and occupied managing positions.

Basically, when the former manager of the sales department applies for the salesman position, it pushes the recruiter away the moment he sees your resume. A recruiter’s decision can be unexpected, and a candidate must know how to behave to reach his career goals. But everything is possible if you take the proper steps during your job application and be aware of the recruiter’s behavior patterns.

Lower your Salary Expectations

Confident experts in their field usually have higher salary expectations. And junior and middle specialist positions have their limits, even from a perspective. So when the talent acquisition specialist asks you about salary expectations and motivation, you must show that you are eager to work with the level of income they’re offering.

Working at a lower rank doesn’t always mean your salary will be significantly lower. For many top specialists, the desire to change their work industry to the IT field makes them occupy junior or middle positions. So how to apply for a job in IT without having a big downfall in your income? If you make a resume & cover letter with professional information technology resume writing service, you have higher chances of getting hired by a successful tech company.

Acknowledge Your Reasons to Downshift

There is nothing to be ashamed of if you exceed the experience level required to perform at the job you’re applying to. But you must be ready that recruiters will ask for the reasons for your downshifting. It could be:

· emotional burnout;

· working overtime;

· chronic fatigue;

· change of career vector;

· hostile work environment.

As you see, these reasons are the same reasons that can make any person leave a job. So you need to communicate to the hiring manager that you couldn’t work under specific working conditions at your previous workplace and that the dream job you’re applying for is your lifeline.

How to apply for a job: Prove your adaptability

An experienced specialist with a complete set of skills and habits might not be flexible in a company with values and rules that are new to them. Sometimes it’s easier for the hiring manager to hire a fresh newbie that can adapt to any mode and order in the organization. But before deciding to hire you or not, during the job interview, recruiters will ask specific questions to test how flexible you are as a specialist.

Employers can ask how you would behave in different hypothetical work situations. For example, what would you do if one of your co-workers is sick and you need to back him off during the working day? If your reaction is optimistic, they will consider proceeding with you. But if you act like you’re wearing a crown and care only about your performance, not the company’s performance in general, you will hardly get a job offer.

Define your Carrer Ambitions

The career ambitions of a person who recently managed an entire department but now is an average employee can threaten the organization’s order. On the other hand, an overqualified worker may think he knows better how to organize the process and ignore his manager’s orders. This is why recruiters pay extra attention to the soft skills of such candidates during the interview.

Remember, during the interview with the recruiter, some questions don’t have the correct answers. Instead, they ask you something provocative to see how you react or behave. The same thing may happen during the interview of an overqualified specialist. Your answers may be super correct, but your intonation and body language will expose your real attitude.

Don’t make recruiters question your loyalty

Employers tend to refuse the applications of overqualified workers because they can use this position to fill the time while searching for the better option. It’s very harmful to the business when the new employee comes, undergoes the onboarding, takes some months to be well-informed about all company’s processes, and then suddenly leaves after 5-6 months for a better opportunity.

So, while applying for the position, you must try hard to convince the hiring manager of your loyalty. The best way to do it is to showcase your motivation to work in that company through the cover letter. In the cover letter, you can give reasons why you decided to downgrade in your career and why your choice can be a win-win both for you and your employer.


Downshifting in a career is not always a red flag for recruiters. If you prove your motivation in a cover letter and make a great impression during the job interview, you can get hired even being overqualified for the position.

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