Q: I’ve been unemployed since last May. I have posted for many jobs, interviewed for some, and I usually hear I’m over-qualified for what they are looking for. How can I best over come this to land my next career move?
A: Your question mirrors several that we have received for this column over the past year or so. These are frustrating times for job seekers. Many employers are trying “to make due with less.” In short, they are trying to hire fewer employees, pay them less and still remain competitive. It is a difficult balance.
Here is what I can share. If you have been called in for interviews, your resume is probably in good shape. My advice:
1. Networking is incredibly important. Invite a former colleague for a cup of coffee. Schedule a quick chat with a neighbor who is connected. Never say no to an introduction.
2. Get on LinkedIn and expand your contacts. Join groups on LinkedIn. Join groups that are related to your career and/or your education.
3. Don’t spend your entire day at your PC. Attend a Meetup event. Join a networking group.
4. Consider re-writing your resume. Some job seekers have several different versions. If you have been receiving feedback that you are overqualified, consider only showcasing the last 10 or so years of experience on your resume. Try to keep it to one page.
5. Consider temporary, contract and consulting roles. These roles can often lead to full-time roles.
6. Make sure that you have a one-minute pitch about who you are as a candidate. Include your professional history and your career interests. This pitch should be succinct, authentic, enthusiastic and polished.
7. Thank everyone. Any contact who meets with you, send them a thank-you note or thank-you email. Be gracious and appreciative.
8. During networking events, dress for the job you want, not the job you last had.
9. Take care of yourself. Make sure that you are living a healthy and balanced life. Your appearance matters now probably more than ever.
10. Even if you have not received a job offer, leave every recruiter and hiring manager with a positive impression. They may call you for another role in the future. A thank-you note (even if you did NOT receive an offer) differentiates you in a very positive way.
11. Be reasonable about expectations, especially around compensation. You may have to re-set your expectations to get your foot back in the door.
12. Be resilient. Dust yourself off after a setback. Think about what you could have done differently.
Keep swinging. A door will open.