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How to Hide the Fact That You're Overqualified for a Job

If you've been unemployed for a while, you may be willing to take a lower-paying or less-prestigious job than your previous gig. Get potential employers to give you an interview wit these tips.


  • Step 1: Dumb down your resume Dumb down your resume. Drop advanced college degrees if they don't relate to the job you're applying for, and revise your former title from "manager" to "project team leader," for example.
  • TIP: Don't dumb down your resume to the point where you risk being labeled unethical or fraudulent.
  • Step 2: Eliminate earlier jobs from your resume Omit some earlier jobs from your resume. "Overqualified" can be code for "too old" or "too expensive."
  • TIP: No matter what, make sure that your references are from recent jobs, not from jobs that you had 20 years earlier.
  • Step 3: Write an effective cover letter Write a cover letter that expresses your desire for the specific job. Employers are afraid that overqualified employees will jump ship for a better opportunity.
  • Step 4: Let the interviewer know you'll take lower pay Let the interviewer know you'll take lower pay. Mention your longevity at prior jobs, emphasizing loyalty. Explain how well you've worked with younger bosses. A job you're overqualified for is better than no job at all.
  • FACT: In 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all American workers was $33,634.

You Will Need

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Interview

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