Quality over qualifications…

I’ve never been a big fan of job hunting.

The stress of having to write cover letter after cover letter, update your resume to include every single relevant credential and then edit the whole affair to ensure you have no potential mistakes that could leave your application in the trash bin gives me a headache.

But the other frustration I have with job hunting comes from being considered either not qualified enough for a position, or even more surprisingly, too qualified for it.

Now don’t get me wrong. In a way, its a bit flattering having someone tell me that I exceed the qualifications of the position they’re hiring for, especially considering my limited experience in PR. But, at the same time, if I applied for the job, doesn’t that mean I want it and, even more importantly, consider myself qualified for it?

Now I understand the position of the organization. They want to hire someone who will fit nicely into the role, not become easily bored with it, or use it as a stepping stone to move higher in the company leaving them with the task of finding another candidate a year down the road.

But, at the same time, I still feel that if I applied for the job, it’s because I felt I was qualified for it and wanted it.

Furthermore, chances are that I would likely stay in that position for at least a year or two so that I could learn more about the company and how it operates. Then when I finally did make the jump up in my career, all of that carefully cultivated experience and knowledge could be used for the company’s benefit (since I would probably stay with them out of loyalty for hiring me.)

In addition to this, isn’t the expectation of moving up in a company something that any job candidate would consider? After all, who goes into a job wanting to stay at the same position and pay rate for their entire career? Pretty much no one.

So what do you guys think? Is the perception that a potential job candidate is too qualified for a position a fair assessment to make? And if so, isn’t it worth retaining the skills and experience that person could bring the position and the company? If there are any HR people out there who may read this blog, what are your thoughts?


2 Responses

  1. Hey Joe,

    As a fellow job hunter, I wish I knew the answers to your questions too.

    Just feel lucky that you’ve had an internship – it seems to be very difficult to get a foot in the door without one. Good luck, and welcome back.


    PS: thanks for allowing comments – I wasn’t sure what that login thing was all about…I don’t have a WordPress account?

  2. Hi Kerri. Thanks for sticking with me and continuing to read this blog!

    I know how frustrating the job hunt is and I agree with you; an internship can definitely help in the hunt and in giving you relevant, current experience.

    My suggestion–if you have the time, support and resources available–is to check out some places local to you to see if they have internship opportunities available. You can make it part of your job hunt as well.

    When I was at Newmarket, one of the girls there was from Seneca. She told me that she had to go out herself and offer her services up as an intern because it wasn’t part of the program she took.

    She interned at Newmarket and then eventually was hired on when a position became available. And, the best part, her internship included a paycheck.

    So, while you’re doing your job hunt, check out companies you wouldn’t mind interning with; they may have an opportunity for you. Its a definite help in securing that first job (or in getting a few interviews, at least).

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