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The ‘Overqualified’ Trap Can Hit You at Any Time

The perception you’ve accomplished too much can be hard to overcome

A 39-year-old executive with a successful record as a senior vice president has been job-hunting since she was laid off a few months ago. She doesn’t care about matching her former title. She just wants a challenging job where she can learn and grow.

But she was shocked recently when a recruiter told her she was too senior for an opening that matched her skills and experience almost perfectly. “It’s hard when your big title or years of experience are seen as a dis-qualifier, rather than a qualifier,” says the executive, who asks that her name not be used. “It would be so easy to go down a rabbit hole wondering, ‘What am I doing wrong?’”

Few obstacles are more perplexing for job seekers than being told you’re overqualified. The problem can crop up anytime, even early in applicants’ careers, and often when they least expect it. Trying to overcome hirers’ misgivings can feel like shadowboxing with a ghost. New research lends insight into some of the quirky and often counter-intuitive reasons managers decide somebody is just too good for the job—reasons applicants can sometimes overcome with forethought and skillful communication.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Wall Street Journal.

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