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Job Hunting. Applying for jobs you're over qualified for. Opinions please.

(16 Posts)
boogiewoogie Wed 04-Jun-14 10:13:12

Okay so I'm trying to look for PT work at the moment. I have conceded that I probably won't find one of the same calibre or pay as my last job given that I've had nearly 4 years off.

What are employers opinions of candidates who apply for jobs that are half their previous salary and which they are clearly on paper over qualified for? If you've ever shortlisted any, do you ask why they've applied for a junior post?

Thank you in advance.

splendide Wed 04-Jun-14 10:52:43

It's tricky. I had this recently when we needed a paralegal and to be honest we did not shortlist any of the qualified lawyers that applied (about 50 or so from memory). We just assumed they would leave as soon as they got something better paid/ more at their level.

I did feel a bit guilty as I've been on the other side. When I was newly qualified I was unemployed and applied to loads of admin type jobs that I didn't get.

KellyElly Wed 04-Jun-14 10:52:44

The last time I looked for an administrator we didn't really consider anyone in your position as wrongly/rightly there was an assumption that they would leave as soon as something that better matched their skills came along. However, they were ridiculously over qualified - a lawyer applying for a junior admin role was one that springs to mind.

boogiewoogie Wed 04-Jun-14 11:13:44

Hmm, I feared as much. I'm actually a former teacher and but I don't want to go back into teaching just yet and am happy to apply for TA or Admin posts. I guess this would work against me?

HayDayQueen Wed 04-Jun-14 11:15:57

Stress WHY you want the different position, and that it is for a good length of time.

For you I'm assuming because it fits in with your children?

Stress that. If they KNOW that you are likely to be there for a few years, then they will be glad of having someone so qualified.

boogiewoogie Wed 04-Jun-14 11:18:50

Yes, HayDay. The only reason is because the hours suit me but I can't see myself saying that in an interview without looking stupid.

Pandsbear Wed 04-Jun-14 11:19:39

Difficult. I have been applying for aaaages for p/t work at a much lower level than I am qualified for. But I actually want the less stress/ less effort for various reasons - not all to do with the actual employment but family & health issues. I simply don't think I would be able to slot back in at the work pace I was working (even if I wanted to!).

So actually I am a good candidate as I am not planning on using them as a stepping stone in the way I would have done at say, 24.

HayDayQueen Wed 04-Jun-14 11:28:23

Why not?

You say that while your children are at X stage, you wish to only have a commitment of X hours per day for this reason. This position is ideal as it is student focused, in a school environment, without the additional hours a teacher would need, or the time commitment for running the coursework required for children.

You would, however, be EXTREMELY KEEN to utilise your abilities to assist the teacher and school in any way you can.

boogiewoogie Wed 04-Jun-14 11:30:40

I do hope you find something soon, Pandsbear. I guess another reason for me not wanting to go back at the same level is because I don't want to bring work home. I hope that doesn't make me sound lazy but I've been there while the dcs were preschool age and felt that I wasn't winning in either place then gave up work to be with the dcs during the day.

HayDayQueen Wed 04-Jun-14 11:32:52

'Due to my children's extra curricula activities I don't wish to have the same out of school work commitment that I would need to as a teacher'.

This is where women (generalising here....) sell themselves short.

Stop looking at the negatives, and look at the positives, and SELL them to the school. Logically you are a bargain for them. They should snap you up, and you need to let them know that.

Make sure you do it in your application letter, too.

boogiewoogie Wed 04-Jun-14 11:32:56

Thank you HayDay. You are very good at turning my perceived negatives into a positive. smile

boogiewoogie Wed 04-Jun-14 11:33:34


MaidOfStars Wed 04-Jun-14 11:38:05

Without any other info offered, I would assume that an over-qualified person would up and leave ASAP. However, I have employed over-qualified people in positions, where they have convinced me that they actually DO want the position in and of itself, perhaps because it suits their family life (perfectly valid reason).

As HayDay says, present yourself as an absolute bargain for them.

HayDayQueen Wed 04-Jun-14 11:38:23

At DSs' school, one of the teachers has retired but does a bit of TA work for them. She loves it. It keeps her busy, but not so busy that she doesn't feel retired!!!

She is bloody wonderful, and the school are lucky to have her.

VeryPunny Wed 04-Jun-14 11:42:13

Can you tweak your CV downwards? Not lying but downplaying the seniority of your previous roles?

I'm very wary of recruiting people overqualified for the job as you frequently get people who think (and maybe do, given their experience) know better. It doesn't lead to a good working environment.

CrazyPuppy Wed 04-Jun-14 11:49:31

I think HayDay is quite right. You are a bargain, and probably more productive than someone at the "right" level of qualification due to your wealth of experience. Returners often provide great value for money (generalising) as they are conscious of having to leave work on the dot, perhaps earlier than others, and therefore tend to give 100% all the time they are at work to compensate. Perhaps you can "sell" yourself on the basis that you are prepared to drop in paygrade in exchange for greater flexibility, more conducive hours, or whatever. A perfectly legitimate life choice and a good offer for the employer.

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