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Home > Blog: Resumes > Should You Dumb Down Your Overqualified Resume?

Should You Dumb Down Your Overqualified Resume?

If your work experience stretches back into the 1980s, you may have felt that dreaded "overqualified" tag hovering over you each time you read a job posting.

Maybe you wanted to send a resume, and you either did, knowing you had more than what they were looking for, or you didn't, thinking it would be a fruitless exercise.

But the bottom line is you need a job, and you’re willing to take a step backward in order to move forward. Or, you may actually prefer a job at a lower level than one you've held in the past. When you believe you're overqualified, it may mean you have to "dumb down" your resume and cut some stuff, no matter how proud you may be of what you've accomplished in your career.

But what would you be willing to cut? Here's a list of things hiring managers might find on resumes that come from overqualified applicants. 

Previous job title: Executive Vice President  Mid-level manger
Degree: Master's in Information Technology Network administrator
Accomplishment: Reorganized 50-person department Administrative assistant in 30-person office
Previous job title: Executive Administrator Manager of small clothing store
Prior role: 15 years as international currency trader Teller at a small local bank

These people may have the skills to do the work, but hiring managers might be concerned about their level of commitment: Would they do the job only until something better comes along for which they would not be overqualified?

It's a legitimate concern. But if you're overqualified for a job you're interested in, or if you just need a job because of financial reasons, would you "dumb down" your resume to land an interview? Or, if you've done it before, how did you do it, and why?

What Employers Really Mean by 'You're Overqualified'
Overqualified? Turn it into an Advantage
5 Steps to Assessing Your Skills for a Career Change

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