How relevant is it to the job you want?

Is the role at all close to what you want to be doing? If it is in the same industry, or it offers a route to a position that you feel more suited for, it might still be a good idea to apply.

If you’re unsure, do some digging. LinkedIn can be a fantastic resource for finding out how other people’s career pathways have gone. Search for someone with the job title in your chosen industry, and look at the positions they had before this role.

What type of company is it?

Is it a major firm with a long history or is it a new company with lots of flexibility? Working for a new company or start-up can be a brilliant way to get your career to blossom into the role you want.

Young companies might not (yet) have the funds to fulfil the role you want, but if you show a passion and energy for helping them get to where they need to be, you could quickly find yourself in a much more senior job role than if you worked for a big corporation that has a strict hierarchy.

Are you already feeling negative about the job?

Sometimes it’s less about being overqualified than it is about you feeling overqualified. If you’re looking at a job application and you consider it to be “beneath you” then absolutely do not apply. That terrible feeling you have in your gut is only going to get worse over time.

If you worry that they’ll think you’re overqualified…

Learn how to tell your “story”. If you see your qualifications or “excess” experience as a problem, it’s possible that the company has seen it as a potential issue, too. Address the elephant in the room in an elegant way – by telling the story of how the trajectory of your career has brought you right to their door.

Companies might discount overqualified candidates because they feel that they’ll be gone the moment a better opportunity comes along, so make them feel wanted with a personally crafted story all about you finding them!

Consider flexible working options

Over the last two years, companies have become much more open to people working for them either flexibly or in entirely remote roles. If you’re an expert in a subject area and the role advertised is much more junior, you could contact the recruitment officer and ask if they might be interested in a candidate with more experience who can do that work for them part-time.

This reduces the burden of cost for the employer, and you’ll have time to take on another role elsewhere or put the rest of your time into career development so that you’re several steps ahead when the right job does come along.


Don’t let the thought of being overqualified deter you from applying to a job that you think you’d enjoy! Have you seen a job on our site but you’re not sure if you’re the right fit for it? Contact us and we’ll talk to you about your aims and ambitions. We might even find another role in our job pool that would be the perfect fit for you.