"Overqualified" this. Or, how to avoid being called this.

A dear friend recently moved from a major, urban area to a relatively rural town in Northern Michigan.

Suffice it to say the job market is VERY different between the two.

In the urban region, she held a director level position with a well-known nonprofit organization.

In the rural location? Not many of these types of positions even exist. At face, she doesn't mind. In fact, she's rather ready for a slower-paced position that doesn't require her to manage or direct.

But the problem? She's applying for associate level positions at smaller nonprofits...and they're telling her:

Sorry, lady. Overqualified.

She wanted to know if there's anything she can do to prevent this from happening. Because she really wants one of these associate level positions.

My quick advice for those facing similar roadblocks ...

  1. Dumb down your resume A LITTLE.  Take the job description and review what a potential employer wants/needs. Make sure your resume speaks to these things, but consider pulling a couple of the "screams management" types of accomplishments for the purpose of that opportunity. You may want to also tweak (not lie, I am not advocating LYING) your job titles slightly to de-emphasize management level roles. 
  2. Make it abundantly clear in your cover letter why you are seeking that type of position. Most employers fear that seemingly over-qualified candidates will stay there only until they find a "better" job, and then they'll make a run for it. It's a valid fear. It happens. But if that's not your plan, then dispel this assumption by clarifying to them your for specific, strategic reasons for pursuing that position. Spell it out for the hiring manager so he/she doesn't make an incorrect judgement. And duh, make it good.

Today's 2c.

photo source: redstamp.com