Overqualified for the Job?

Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Overqualified for the Job?

In today’s market it’s common to hear “you’re overqualified” when applying, or even interviewing, for a job. What do you do when you need a job and are met with this response?

First things first, put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes to understand the objection so you can overcome it. Hiring managers #1 concern with hiring an overqualified applicant is fear. They’re afraid you’re going to take the job and leave when the economy turns around and you can find a better paying, more challenging position. They’re also afraid to hire someone that’s smarter than them and might make them look bad at their job.

Are you one of these candidates? If so, use these 3 Tips to Stay Competitive as an Overqualified Applicant:

Competitive Job Seeker Tip #1: Create a resume that gets results specifically targeted to lower level positions.
Focus on facts, figures and results that will impress, yet not scare off, a hiring manager for this level position. Keep only the most recent 10 years of experience and/or positions.

Competitive Job Seeker Tip #2: Networking your way into the position vs. applying on a job board, via email or online.
People hire people. With 80% of jobs found through networking and 27.3% of new hires coming from employee referrals, candidates with a personal connection, or referral, in the door have the best chance of landing the job regardless of their (over)qualifications.

Competitive Job Seeker Tip #3: Impress in the Interview.
In today’s market the candidate who interviews best, rather than the most qualified, is who gets the job. Prepare for the job by researching the company (e.g. Hoovers, Google, Twitter) and be ready when they ask why you are the best candidate for the job (#5 toughest interview question).

Using these 3 Competitive Job Seeker Tips for Overqualified Applicants will help you, and all job seekers, win the job search game and land a great position. Focus on applying your skills, doing your best and in time, if it’s a good company, when the company grows your career will grow and advance with it as well.

Go get ’em,

Job Search Networking 101

Posted: May 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Job Search Networking 101

As I was writing Chapter 4, Networking Naturally, of my new book, “Career Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win The Job Search Game” I realized that a blog post on this topic might be a good idea. There’s so much information to share with you that I hardly know where to begin – hence the reason for an entire chapter, webinar and seminar section, devoted to it.

I’m going to dedicate this blog post to the basics, or 101, of Job Search Networking. First, it’s important to define what it is: Job Search Networking is developing relationships or alliances. That’s it. It doesn’t sound too scary when it’s defined that way does it? You’re already doing it. You’ve likely developed alliances, or relationships, with colleagues and neighbors without even knowing you were networking. Now that you know WHAT networking is…let’s address where to do it!

As soon as I say that the next question I often get is, where do I network? Great question. The short answer to this is, wherever you go. Don’t be upset, it’s true. Here are some examples of places you’re likely networking without even knowing it – and that can turn into actual job leads:

  • Chatting with your stylist when you’re having your hair cut
  • Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you the lobby of your dentist/doctor/vet’s office
  • Over dinner with friends
  • Volunteer, or participate in, a local 5K Charity race
    (e.g. Y-Me race this Sunday in Chicago will have 40,000 participants)
  • Talk to fellow parents at your children’s school, or social, activities
  • Chat up a neighbor standing in life at the coffee shop
  • Mingle over a glass of wine before your book club starts
  • Bonding over beers on the golf course before you tee off

If any of these cause you anxiety or fear, think of the statistics that surround landing a job through networking.

80% of jobs are found through networking – ABC News
70% of jobs are found through networking – US Dept of Labor & Statistics
27.3% of all new hires are through employee referrals – recent industry study

In the 10+ years I’ve been a career coach, I have only had 2 clients land positions through job boards. Now, they have landed positions with wonderful companies and good salaries. Nonetheless, 2 out of 1,000+ clients is a pretty low ratio. It’s far more than 80% of my clients that find their jobs through networking.

So, HOW do you network?
The easiest way to say this is, naturally. Be yourself and be comfortable and confident. Otherwise, it shows. What you don’t do is say “I’m Frank and I’m looking for a job in sales with a leading media company.” Ick. Right? So, what do you say? You give them your UVP – Unique Value Proposition – to hook them in. When they say, “Tell me more” you follow it up with your Powerful 30 Second Pitch.

Your Unique Value Proposition is a 15 second, 1 liner that is less than 15 words. Here are some examples of UVPs:

  • “Award-winning graphic designer”
  • “CFO for Fortune 500 Companies specializing in mergers & acquisition deal structure”
  • “National Salesman of the Year, brought in $3MM in my first 6 mos.”

Sounds pretty good, right? This is the hook, it’s designed to grab someone and prompt them to ask “Really? Tell me more” or “We should talk.” Now, give them your Powerful 30 Second Pitch.

Your Powerful 30 Second Pitch is a combination of who you are/what you do, your accomplishments and what you will/can do for them. Here’s an example:

Powerful 30 Second Pitch:
I’m Kim (Anders), a Senior Marketing & Sales Executive in the Online Media Industry. Most recently as the SVP, Sales with 360 Media I led a global team of 25 and increased annual revenue by 125% resulting in $75MM sales. (Just prior to that I was with Focus Media as the VP, Sales & Marketing where I led a sales team of 10 and carried a $30MM quota. )I’ve really enjoyed the global expansion, team management and revenue growth in the past few years and am excited to leverage my diverse experience with another senior management team.


The key to having a Powerful 30 Second Pitch is saying it naturally. How do you make it sound natural when you’re, in essence, bragging about yourself? Practice, Practice and Practice.

For more expert advice on Networking Naturally and step by step tools to build your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and Powerful 30 Second Pitch visit the 9 Ways to Win The Job Search Game.


Turn Resume Critiques into Revision Gold says TheLadders.com

Posted: May 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Turn Resume Critiques into Revision Gold says TheLadders.com

This morning TheLadders.com published an article highlighted my advice for “spinning resume critiques into revision gold”. In the article Lisa Vaas interviewed me and captured our conversation into these 4 points:

  1. Not All Critics Are Created Equal.
    Friends and family offer resume advice which is nice – and often free – however, expert advice is worth the price. Career industry experts and resume professionals evaluate resumes on a regular, daily basis and it’s their job to know what makes a resume relevant. Professionally reviewed resumes get results – giving you what you need to win the job search game!

  2. Don’t be Defensive.
    Resumes and egos tend to go hand in hand. The easier you can accept feedback the better chance you’ll have at creating a Resume That Gets Results and Winning the Job Search Game.
  3. Let Go of The Past.
    I loved my first job – answering phones at our neighborhood pizza parlor while my brother delivered the pizzas, on his bike. I was 11 years old. It’s never been on my resume and it never will be. Why? Because it’s irrelevant.

    Positions that are 10-15 years old (or more like in this case) or ones that are irrelevant (e.g. waiter in college) should be left off your resume.

  4. Ask Questions.
    In my “9 Ways to Win The Job Search Seminar” participants walk away understanding the 2:1 principle. The foundation for this principle is that we have 2 ears but only 1 mouth which means we should listen twice as much as we speak. This applies in many ways to job search success and particularly to resume critiques. When it’s your turn to ask questions, be ready with smart, savvy ones that take full advantage of the expert’s insider secrets.

    I had a client recently that asked my advice on word-smithing nearly every bullet point for 2 of her positions. Smart lady.

    Another client, Janet, asked me how I would recommend she highlight her professional summary to draw more attention to her key accomplishments. Very savvy question – she used my language (key accomplishments) to draw me in and I ended up working with her to re-write her summary.

Lisa is a wonderful reporter and writer; I recommend reading her article on “Spinning Resume Critiques into Revision Gold”.