“You’re Overqualified”

Dec 11, 2018 · 3 min read

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received feedback like this in recent months.

For many years I’ve worked within the social media space for a number of great companies (Mashable, WeWork). I also wrote a book (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Twitter Marketing) and contributed to a number of other publications (Oracle, Sprinklr). Along the way I was building a resume that I was proud of, but was in for a shock during a recent job search.

Since April, I’ve been told I’m “too experienced” for over 30 roles that I had applied for. These are roles I believe were a great fit based on both my experience and skill-sets. Also, I wanted the opportunity to work for these companies, so I let the hiring manager(s) or recruiter(s) know this and that I wanted to grow with [them], even if the salary was less than what I was initially asking for. For many of the roles, here’s the feedback I received:

You have too much experience and we felt you would be unhappy here.

We felt that if you were offered the role, you wouldn’t stay long and look for an opportunity elsewhere that offered a higher salary.

We appreciate all of the reports and strategies you worked on for us during this period, but we feel you’re overqualified to work in this role.

via Giphy

After receiving this feedback, I wonder why someone else had to make a decision on my behalf as to whether or not I’ll be happy working at their company due to a salary decrease or title change.

A few years ago, I applied for a role at an incubator in New York City. The two founders gave me a number of assignments (writing their community management, social media marketing strategies, and a handful of social media posts for their channels). After almost two months of them telling me that the job was mine, they told me that what I had submitted was no longer part of their overall marketing strategy and that they were going with another candidate. This other candidate was my friend, who went on to tell me that she had to work with the strategies that I delivered (The company forgot to remove my name from the bottom of all documents) and that they used me to produce work for them.

This happens often in the social media space, and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

The purpose of this post is to inform both hiring teams and recruiters that, yes, people do apply for jobs that they may be overqualified for, but it’s worth giving them a chance. You never know what this person (or these people) may bring to the table. Don’t assume that they’ll stay for a short while, and then look elsewhere for employment.

Brett Petersel

Written by

Former Marketing Professional; Social Media for Atari Teenage Riot; Alum: Mashable, The Next Web, Sling TV; Founder/Creator of AlleyWatch, The Community Manager

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