Help – I lost my job 6 months ago and ‘over-qualification’ has been a challenge!

The first problem here is that the job seeker needs to stop feeling over-qualified.  You need to be ready to accept and market yourself for that lower-level job with reasonable satisfaction. It would mean significant changes to your finance and way of life, but you must be willing to adapt.  Most employers require you to convince them that you’ll humble yourself and accept the job with gladness. The employers already know who is over-qualified and many times they want to by-pass you. So, you would be making it worse if you don’t make deliberate attempt to downplay your over-qualification during interviews or while having the pre-interview chats with prospective employers or bosses.

First, it is important to tweak or downplay the big titles and experience on your CV. If you were a General Manager before seeking a manager job in similar size company, change your previous designation to something lower than General Manager so you don’t scare the new employer away. If you were handling multi-billion-naira projects in previous position and new role will only deal with multi-million-naira projects, reduce the project figures on your CV. But if you were a General Manager at a smaller company and you are seeking a Manager position at a bigger company, you really don’t need to tweak the designation.

If you have friends at the new company you are pursuing, let them know ahead that you will gladly accept new roles lower than your previous roles. Show significant excitement about such roles and don’t give people any impression that you’re seeking a short-term job before pursuing new roles. Of course, you shouldn’t stop looking for other bigger jobs after getting the smaller position, but you must adequately pretend to give that impression that you are willing to stay on the lower role for long.

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