Overqualified IT Talent: Career Choices to Suit Your Qualifications


Overqualified. It is a dreaded, but all too common label for many IT professionals in the South Florida job market. It can be devastating to interview for your dream job only to be told that your robust skills actually disqualify you from doing what you want. Hiring managers don’t disqualify highly experienced professionals just to ruin their day. Quite the contrary. IT people like to be challenged. The biggest fear that hiring managers wrestle with when looking at a potentially overqualified candidate is that the candidate will become quickly bored or dissatisfied with the position.

So what can you do? There are some steps that you can take to land the job you want, without landing your resume in the “overqualified” pile.

Address the Elephant In the Room

Sometimes the best course of action is to tackle your “overqualified” status head on. In your cover letter, clearly state the reason why you want the job. Perhaps you’ve been waiting your entire career to get your foot in the door with a specific company. Be honest and lay it all on the table. A clear statement that says, “I may seem overqualified, but these are the reasons why I’m the best candidate for this position,” can help the hiring manager overcome their initial fears that the job might be beneath you.

Rework Your Resume

If you are applying for a mid-level position but you’ve got the three-page resume of a senior-level employee, consider making some edits. That does not mean you should deliberately omit experience. Instead, tighten up your resume, putting focus on the skills required for the position. Consider rearranging your work experience, as well. It is a commonly accepted myth that your experience has to be listed in chronological order. Pull out your most relevant experience and place it at the top of your resume to catch the hiring manager’s attention right off the bat.

Highlight Your Loyalty

One way to quell an IT hiring manager’s fears that you’ll jump ship when a “better” opportunity comes along is to highlight your loyalty to past employers.  Choose your references strategically to help you make your point.  Pick supervisors who will be able to speak to times when you were willing to go above and beyond when the team needed you.

Partner With a South Florida IT Recruiter

Working with a recruiter is the most effective way to break through a hiring manager’s assumptions about your resume. You’ll sit down with your recruiter and talk about your career goals and the type of job you truly want. If you’re technically overqualified, you need not fear. When a recruiter presents you for a position, she will speak directly to the hiring manager herself, helping overcome objections before they even come up.

If you are an experienced IT professional in South Florida who has been labeled “overqualified,” consider working with a professional IT recruiter at CERS. Our team is ready to help you locate and land your ideal job, and negotiate the best possible salary. Our recruiters work with some of the most dynamic companies in Florida, and we help connect them with highly skilled IT talent like you. For information on IT jobs in Florida, contact us today.

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