Over Qualified to Stack Shelves

Posted: 17/02/2013 in Latest Ideas and Opinions
Tags: , , , , , ,

In the UK we have placed an emphasis on education and experience for a number of years now. Which up until the past year or so, was a positive attempt to make us a serious country to do business with. That was until the recession took over the country. Now it seems that experience and qualifications are actually a bad quality to have whilst finding employment.

Now as with all my posts, I’m speaking quite generally. Of course if you have a law degree and a lawyer needs a trainee, they’re going to find it imperative to have this quality in a new employee. But what happens when the person with the law degree decides that they’d actually like to work in retail and applies for a job in a supermarket. Years ago this was the normal, students were studying whilst working in retailers, fast food and clothes shops all over the country.

But over the past year or so, I’ve heard more and more people complain that they’ve applied for jobs and been told that they have too much experience or too many qualifications. It has happened to me countless amounts of times. I am the sort of person that has an enormous amount of ambition but also a fierce sense of loyalty with companies that give me an opportunity to shine. I have saved companies up to £500k in costs and never left for any reason other then lack of career progression within the company I am in. Not that the opportunities weren’t within the company, they just weren’t sent in my direction, which is fine on the outside but not when you take into account what I gave the companies back.

So I’d personally enjoy the challenge of working my way up from the shop floor to the managers seat, through innovative solutions and hard work. Unfortunately companies look at my CV and believe I am purely looking for a stop gap, I don’t even get the opportunity to explain my loyalty, work ethic or what I can offer. In fact in 3 minutes actual time, I got turned down for a position at Pets at Home in Launceston. 3 minutes after they’d seen I have previous retail experience, 3 minutes after they’d seen my CV with evidence of turning a £16k deficit into a £3k profit per month, 3 minutes after they’d read I have experience of dealing with £3 million plus turnover budgets, 3 minutes after they’d seen I have a dog, 3 cats, guinea pigs, fish and children. They decided I was the wrong person for the job.

Now I’m not saying no other reason could have been viable, but the above is fact and it took 3 minutes to decide I wasn’t suitable. What could possibly have been the negative. Maybe I am used to projects, managing large teams or saving lots of money on a regular basis. But I have also worked hard for each company I have been at and saved a lot of money through working with management up to director level. This is not to say I am perfect and I wish it was bragging but if I can’t even earn an interview for a job I believe I could do to a high standard, then I’ve not got a lot to brag about.

Now it could be something simpler. It could be merely down to the fact that the amount of CV that the company wanted were set at 100 and I was number 101. It could be that the person reading the CV decided I maybe a threat to their own position, you’d be surprised how often you hear this in a managers office, it could even be that I had the wrong postcode but either way it gets a little frustrating for all concerned.

The solution isn’t a simple one. In the current state of job application process, which in my opinion is badly outdated and in need of an overhaul, It is hard to actually get into the interview seat and prove you want the position and are not over qualified. In any other world, surely being over qualified means being able to perform the position. I mean if you could get a perfectly trained member of staff for minimum wage, is it actually a risk to pick someone with experience or qualifications?

It’s something that won’t be changing for a good few years yet but something that I’d love to put out there to potential employers. When you see a CV and think, is this person right for the position? Or I wonder why they applied? Pick the phone up and ask. You might save £500k for minimum wage. It doesn’t take qualifications or experience to see that makes extremely good sense.

Thanks as always for reading and I would love to see your comments.

Lee

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Comments
  1. katecrimmins says:

    Hi! You posted a comment on my blog on employment so I came over to read your post. It is very frustrating to be rejected because of overqualification. It happens here too. I am not sure what CV means (I’m here in the US) but hiring managers fear that someone overqualified will leave after they spend time training them. I’m not saying that’s true but it does happen. Perhaps you can rework your resume to only reflect the skills and training you have that apply to that particular position. Just a suggestion and good luck.

    • Thanks for reading my post. CV and resume are exactly the same things. I appreciate the feedback and feel free to read my other posts, they may be of interest to you.

  2. Debbie C says:

    Hi Lee, I do remember having to “dumb down” my CV on a couple of occasions during various recessions of the 90’s and 00’s – just to get an interview and which led to a job offer. Not saying it’s at all right to have to do this, just something I did in order to get an interview with a large employer that I was keen to work with.

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