Why am I rejected on high qualification basis?

Friday January 25 2019

Caroline Mboijana

Caroline Mboijana 

By Caroline Mboijana

I have two Master degrees and a diploma. I have failed to find a good job because every employer I approach tells me I am overqualified. I never ask for salaries higher than the market rate. What should I do? Kate

Dear Kate,
Getting a good job is more than your academic qualifications. Employers identify suitable candidates based on their job: person fit criteria, which is a combination of academic qualification and experience.
As you job hunt, it is important that you do not respond to a job advert based on the academic requirements alone, but that you consider the level of experience that an employer is looking for. Remember that every time you apply for a role, you must tailor your cv to meet all the requirements. Please do not develop a cv that fits the advert without evidence of the experience.
Recruiters and employers will perceive that as lacking in honesty and transparency. While you look for the right job, you reflect on your most recent applications /interviews and consider where your gaps are, based on the feedback that you received. You may well have an academic gap, however it is more likely that you lack the experience needed.
Make sure your academic qualifications are related or prove progression.
If you find the depth of your experience is lacking, consider volunteering or looking for an internship programme that allows you attain the relevant experience you require.
Ensure there is a relationship / link/ alignment of your experience with your academic qualification, recruiters/ employers will want to see how you have applied your academic knowledge with your experience.