There’s no need to apologize for your wealth of experience. Tanisha A. Sykes, Senior Editor of Personal Finance & Careers for ESSENCE, shows you how to flip the script.
A reader recently asked if she should remove some of her work experience or Master’s degree and other certifications from her resume because of receiving a lot of rejection offers. My advice: Absolutely not. You’ve worked hard and studied even longer to get to this point in your career. Don’t shortchange yourself. Besides, lying on your resume, whether by falsifying information or omitting the facts, is still a lie. Here are some strategies to help you convince an employer that your skills are a perfect match for the job:
Identify the employer’s need. A hiring manager’s worse fear when it comes to overqualified candidates is that you’ll take the position and stay just long enough to leverage it to get the job you really want. Play up the skills that match what the employer is looking for. If they want someone who is strong in sales, for example, then highlight your sales performance, your client base and your closing experience. They want to know that you can not only do the job, but also be a good fit for the team.
Revamp your resume. Tailor a one-page resume for the position you are applying for. Emphasize the experience the hiring manager needs, while de-emphasizing the over-the-top qualifications that will make him or her shy away from you. Some information can be made sparser while other information can be bolstered. Sell the skills that pertain to the position instead of trying to kitchen sink everything.
Cast your qualifications in a positive light. Even if you’ve done a great job focusing on what the employer needs and why you’re the right person for the job, there may still be a shadow of doubt. Sell your qualifications as an asset, reminding the employer that the experience you bring will increase efficiencies, bring in new business and increase the company’s knowledge-base. And remind them, you are not applying for the CEO spot. Impress that you understand the role and that you are happy to take it on.
If you’ve done the steps above, you should get to the second round. Remember, employers are concerned that you may jump ship at the first new offer, you’ll be easily bored or the salary isn’t high enough. Those objections are valid, but make sure that you are not the one bringing them up. Instead, go back to identifying why you have the skill set and the temperament they are looking for without sounding desperate. Make it a win-win for both you and the company.