Overqualified? Market Yourself Competitively

“I’m sorry, but you’re overqualified.” These words form the mouth of a hiring manager can be devastating. How do you overcome them? Many times it feels as though companies aren’t considering all the benefits of hiring a seasoned candidate. However there are two specific challenges to consider along with your strategy; who you might displace and if you’ll become bored. Here are some things to think about.

  • Disrupting someone else’s promotional track. When a lawyer in a firm is on the track toward partnership they may feel challenged by hiring someone with more potential experience than they possess. Be aware that this will be a concern when you are applying for a job.
  • Resentment of your job. Hiring managers are also very concerned that when they hire someone overqualified for any job that they will become resentful of their diminished duties and not perform as well. If you are really looking to recreate your professional self you need to let them know that this role is ideally suited to your life.
  • Small to mid-size focus. If you’re truly looking to change your career focus, try for positions with smaller and mid-sized law firms. This will give you more opportunity to show your skills and also offer you a potentially better work life balance.
  • Market your transition. The most important thing you want a hiring manager to know is that you are specifically looking to transition your career. Maybe it is that work life balance that you are seeking. Maybe you want to make a difference in a smaller organization. Whatever your reason you need to express it properly.
  • Promote your unique experience. What did you do in your last position that can be a benefit for a new firm? Be sure to show them what specific things you accomplished in your previous jobs. Hiring managers want to see statistics and hard data. How much money did you save? How many cases did you win? What kind of processes did you implement?
  • Work with a trusted recruiter. It is very important during your transition to work with someone you trust. You may be looking for a job while still employed and confidentiality will be incredibly important. In any case, a seasoned recruiter already the network available to present your resume to potential new firms.

Are you looking to work with experts in the legal staffing field? The recruiters at NRI can help you find your next job. 

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