There are times, like when you are trying to make a career change, when applying for a job you're overqualified for makes sense. The problem is that it can be a challenge to be taken seriously for an entry-level job when you have a master's degree. As strange as it seems, in those cases, your past successes can be the very thing that's holding you back.
In general, it's not a good idea to apply for jobs that you're overqualified for. For one, it's not likely that you'll be happy with the job long term and many employers will be hesitant to take a chance on you. However, if you're changing careers, you have to start at the bottom. So what can you do to minimize the problem and get the entry level job you want?
It's simple - Edit your resume.
Your resume doesn't have to be a linear history of your job history. Instead, it can be a functional resume, which only lists your relevant work experience. If you choose this type of format, you can feel free to leave out the things that will hurt your chances at getting the job. Here are a few other things you can do:
- Remove job titles - If your previous positions were significantly senior to the entry level position you're applying for, remove the job title from your resume. This way, instead of your resume stating that you were the VP of Sales, it will just say Sales.
- Remove your highest degree - There are some experts who suggest that you should remove the highest level degree you have from your resume. By doing so, you'll lower your chances of being ruled out before you have had a chance to interview.
- Don't lie - Never outright lie on your resume. Information is too easy to check and it will make you look bad. However, dumbing your resume down and leaving out information like your previous salary history might be a good option.
Have you ever applied for a job that you were overqualified for? What happened? Please share your thoughts in the comments.