The over-qualified workers struggling to find a job - Deepstash
The over-qualified workers struggling to find a job

The over-qualified workers struggling to find a job

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The over-qualified workers struggling to find a job

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Too Much Experience, Too Many Skills

On the face of it, being over-qualified for a job might appear to be a good thing. A candidate with more experience would logically be placed at the top of the applicant pile. And for an employer, hiring a worker who surpasses the job requirements would seemingly be a coup.

However, that’s generally not how it works out; in fact, being over-qualified can sometimes be a reason for employers to rule candidates out. Perhaps counterintuitively, employers often reject candidates based on an excess of skills and experience, even in a market where talent is hard to come by.

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The Pyramid

As workers’ careers progress, they typically ascend into more senior roles, gradually making their way towards management or executive positions. However, the higher employees go, the fewer the alternative jobs. 

They move towards the peak of a pyramid. As they gain greater experience, there’s less breadth in terms of opportunities: trying something different would require scaling back down the pyramid.

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Job-Hopping Or Just At One Place For A long Time

A CV of an overly-experienced candidate is like one indicating job-hopping or no movement at all - it's cause for suspicion.

Recruiters can see workers applying for positions apparently 'below' their current career level as a red flag.

If someone is coming down a level or two, and they've likely already achieved what the role offers, then you have to ask questions about their motivation.

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The Downwards Move

  • Employers may also be more likely to be accommodating to younger over-qualified workers because their motives for a downwards move can be more easily justified.
  • A candidate who is too good for the role will be only an asset to the business in the short term unless there are excellent internal progression opportunities.
  • In the end, while patience and a determined job hunt can be rewarded, the reality is that some experienced candidates can find themselves stuck.

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