The recruiter told me I am OVERQUALIFIED – Truth or something Else?

You found a job posting that really intrigued you, customized your resume and cover letter to match up the keywords and hit the submit button.  The telephone screen went well and the two interviews too – or so you thought until you were told by the hiring manager that you were OVERQUALIFIED.

Have you ever been blindsided with those words after spending hours and hours applying and interviewing for what you thought could be your perfect match?

Are you “Over Qualified” or is there another reason you weren’t hired?

Newsflash:  you may never know the real reason you weren’t hired.  Very often, recruiters and employers tell candidates that they found another candidate who was a better fit.  Or you might be told that you were not hired because you are overqualified.

What to do?  If you are still in the interview and have an opportunity to respond, here are my suggestions:

  1. Hit the pause button before responding
  2. Muster up all your strength to avoid a defensive response
  3. Seek out clarification

This scenario is a perfect occasion to showcase your emotional intelligence.

Self awareness – identify your emotions and thoughts

Managing your emotions – avoid being defensive!

Reading the other person – his/her communication style, body language and other clues to demonstrate the degree of receptiveness to your questions

Influencing the other person – through authenticity, calmness and honesty, seek to clarify the reason for their conclusion and decision Continue reading

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Reset & Restart your Career this Summer

Summer and holidays are a time when most people sit back, relax and do their best not to think about work but, for many, it’s a time to contemplate a new career altogether.

These breaks in your regular routine provide an opportunity to take stock and reflect on your working life and consider taking a big leap to do something different.

As part of that decision, you will need to have a strategy.

For beginners, Avoid these 5 common pitfalls.

 

  1. Don’t jump into a new career before some serious reflection

You might be miserable or unfulfilled but make sure you don’t just make the change to escape your current situation.  Take the time to complete some self and career assessments as well as researching a “day in the life of” that profession you have interest in pursuing.  A good resource is www.Onetonline.org, especially when combined with connecting with someone already in the job so you can ask candid questions.

 

  1. Don’t chase what is popular; make sure you see yourself in it for awhile

Research the forecasted workforce needs of your newly discovered interest to make sure you don’t make the change to only discover the job soon becomes obsolete due to technology or lack of Continue reading

Career Transition to HR – Yes you can!

Before becoming a Career Coach, I was an HR “purist” and my entire corporate career (25+ years) was spent recruiting, interviewing, selecting, managing, developing and counseling employees.  Additionally, as an HR manager, I hired almost 40 people to work with me and many of them came from other occupations with no experience in HR.  

All of these professionals had two things in common: 

  1. A strong desire to work in the field of Human Resources
  2. Absolutely NO experience in Human Resources

But they all had common experiences and strengths:

  • Communications – verbal and written
  • Problem Solving
  • Analytical expertise
  • Conflict Management Skills
  • Influential Ability
  • Ability to “Work in the Gray” and See the Big Picture

Continue reading

Get Hired by “Showing”, not “Telling”

show-dont-tell
Shawn was a stubborn client.  Though successfully employed as a Sales Manager of a highly recognized Fortune 500 biomedical company, he was eager to be promoted to a Regional Sales Manager and expand his territory as well as his influence and compensation.  When we first talked about how I worked with career coach clients, I explained that I could help him stand out in the job search against his competition – potentially hundreds of other candidates who had similar backgrounds as he.  Shawn was quick to tell me about his many successes in gaining and retaining new businesses and how well liked and respected he was by customers, colleagues and his manager. But he struggled with the HOW and WHY of his career success on his resume.      tip-the-hiring-scale-with-an-achievement-based-resume-and-profile

A few job seekers can explain how they overcame obstacles, in the work setting, to contribute greatly to the company for which they work.  But most can’t really put their finger on why they think they are qualified for a promotion, internally or externally.

“SHOW employers your value – don’t just TELL them”

Continue reading

3 Job Search Hopes, Myths & Truths

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The Most Qualified Candidate is Hired

That is what you would expect, right?  Shouldn’t the candidate with the most relevant education and experience be hired?  In a perfect world – yes; however, many candidates do not convey their value in the job search process.  That’s exactly what I help people to do in my career coaching practice.

  • Do you know and communicate your strengths?
  • Does your resume and linked in profile convey your most significant achievements?
  • Are you able to provide examples to hiring managers of how you can transfer your past experience and knowledge to their organization?
  • How well do you respond to the behavioral interview questions?
  • Are you ready for the emotional intelligence-based interview questions?

job-search-myth

Even If Not Hired, You Will Be Told Why Not

If you have been in the job market during the past few years, you have not been contacted unless chosen for the interview and or position.  If you are not considered qualified, it is likely you will hear nothing from the organization.  Even if you go through the multi-stepped interview process, possibly take time off from a current job, incurred the cost of childcare in order to interview, and complete background questionnaires, you may not hear anything unless chosen for the job.  And it is even more likely that you will not hear anything from the recruiter or hiring manager about why you were not selected.  Continue reading

Brand your way to a Career Change

How to showcase your Brand when changing careers

Sandra had been in banking operations for a decade, was very successful and was given professional development opportunities through rotational assignments.  One of them was in the corporate recruiting department and, as she explained it, “Even though I liked working with bank customers on resolving issues and providing solutions, this was different.  I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday morning when I worked as a Recruiter.  I discovered my passion and now I want to change professions.”

Reinvent your resume – Brand it!

Plan for your Career Change

Plan for your Career Change

  • We revamped her resume by de-emphasizing the financial operations verbiage and adding words and phrases based on her HR and recruiting experience.
  • We also focused on the transferable skills gained while in banking operations. Sandra hired new bank tellers, trained them and authored a new on boarding program for all new hires.  She was also part of a select team who were selected to interview job candidates  once HR had screened them.  We highlighted those examples, resulting in a resume which was clearly “branded” as HR vs. Banker.  Those changes in keywords proved to be critical when she applied for an HR Recruiter position a month later.

What if you are not Changing Careers – How to Brand

Your resume’s job is to create a story of what you have done, how you want to be seen and the value you bring to a potential organization.  A branded resume ensures that

Continue reading

There is a Career for every Personality

And it is possible to find yours.  Meet the Career Match Maker.

Cindy came to me, a burned out high school teacher of honors English students.  First a lawyer, then teacher for 12 years, Cindy was practically in tears describing her frustration at still not finding a career that was just right for her.  I reassured she was not alone and suggested the Myers Briggs Assessment as a starting point for me to help her with her Career Exploration.  Using other career assessments, she identified her key career strengths and interests as well as her preferences. That was almost a year ago.  Now, she is a communications specialist working for a large financial services company and is so happy because, as she says, “I am doing what I love to do, in an environment that is just right for me: learning new things, researching and I have just the right amount of people  contact – not much.”  I heard her giggle as she emphasized the last two words.

Then there is Rafael, who moved to the U.S. from Central America, where he worked as a financial analyst for his family business.  When we first talked, he told me he needed help with his resume and linked in profile in order to find a job doing what he loves most – talking to people all day to help them solve problems. Rafael is now a successful real estate account broker for an upscale boutique realtor.

Both Cindy and Rafael’s career changes were made possible, in part, by one of the most popular personality assessments in the world:  Myers Briggs or MBTI for short.

Even though the Myers Briggs assessment was not designed exclusively as a Career assessment, is it no surprise that if 1.5 million people take the Myers Briggs assessment each year, and many

Continue reading

Take the Mystery out of the Hidden Job Market

hidden-job-market-

Solve the Puzzle of the Hidden Job Market

I remember reading the Nancy Drew books, as a young girl, and was fascinated when I learned the “Secret of the Hidden Door” and other mysteries. If you are a job seeker, one of the biggest mysteries of our time is the Hidden Job Market.

It is estimated that 80% of job openings are not posted.  This is called the hidden job market.  As frustrating as it is, there are legitimate reasons why so many positions are not advertised on job boards or publicly . Your job is to understand why and know where you can find them.

Let’s Start with Why

There are many reasons why an organization may not advertise a position.  Here are some:

  • The position is not yet budgeted or approved
  • Due to pending mergers, reorganizations or acquisitions, an official announcement of an opening would be premature
  • The employer is replacing someone currently in the position and whose departure has not been finalized
  • A variety of reasons may require a confidential search       man-at-desk-overwhelmed-with-a-stack-paper-300x300

The most common reason, though, is  SHEER VOLUME.  Posting a position on a major job board  Continue reading

Career Change? What Does Your Inner Child Say?

There’s a lot of talk about finding your life’s passion.  Webinars and books abound but everyone has a different path to finding a career passion.

How about you?childhood career dreams

Should you pursue your passion?

Do you KNOW your passion?

Are you experiencing the joy of using your strengths daily in your work and knowing the exhilaration that comes from knowing you are doing what you are meant to do?

For those of you who don’t relate, I understand.  I didn’t truly discover what I was best at and what my passion was until 5 years ago, some twenty five years into a career that was successful by most peoples’ standards.

Nobody should wait that long.

And that’s why I do what I do as a career coach.

In discovering your best career options and what to do in your next career chapter, you need to answer these questions:

Continue reading

Stumped When Asked “What are your Strengths & Weaknesses”?

Identify your Strengths through Obstacles & Failures

There is a lot of talk about knowing your strengths, leveraging your strengths and sharing your strengths toward career success.  If you have been interviewing for a new job recently, you were probably asked to explain your strengths and weaknesses, usually one of the hardest questions for job seekers to answer.

Several best sellers have been published which promise a method for you to identify your

ID your Strengths gained by past challenges

ID your Strengths gained by past challenges

strengths by answering a quiz or series of questions about yourself.  These are all quite good but you might still come up empty when asked the question during an interview and you cannot come across with a text book answer; you have to be authentic.  You have to be you!  When coaching job seekers, I ask them a question that results in a quizzical look on their faces.

“Let’s talk about the last huge obstacle or challenge you faced at work.”  But, they usually respond, “I thought you wanted to know my strength.”  Continue reading