3 weeks ago
May 25, 2021

What to Do When You’re Overqualified for a Sales Job

Having sales experience is important, but sometimes having too much can be a detriment. Being overqualified for a job can work against you. Some companies are reluctant to hire overqualified…

Rhys Metler

Having sales experience is important, but sometimes having too much can be a detriment. Being overqualified for a job can work against you. Some companies are reluctant to hire overqualified salespeople for more junior roles.

However, given the current economic conditions because of the pandemic, there are many sales professionals who have been laid off and are seeking employment. Some salespeople may just be looking for any sales job they can get. Are you in this situation?

Here we’ll offer up some tips for how to get a job you’re overqualified for. But first, let’s outline some of the reasons why companies are reluctant to hire overqualified sales professionals.

Why Companies Second Guess Hiring Overqualified Sales Candidates

Here are some reasons sales companies hesitate to hire overqualified sales professionals:

  • They are worried you may get bored and be disruptive.
  • They have concerns about your ability to take direction from others.
  • You may be looking to get promoted too quickly after getting hired.
  • You could have a conflict with your sales manager.
  • They are concerned you may quit for the next job that comes along.

What to Do When You’re Overqualified for a Job

As an overqualified candidate, you will have to overcome the common perceptions about you and put a hiring manager’s mind at ease. Show them why you are a great candidate. Here is what to do when you’re overqualified for a sales job:

  • Address the subject: Address the elephant in the room right away. Make it clear you realize that you are overqualified for the job. Make it clear you are okay with the situation.
  • Be transparent: Be upfront about why you are applying for a lower-level role. Were you laid off from your previous role? Are you looking for something a little less stressful? Are you looking for better work-life balance? Tell them about it.

  • Adjust your resume accordingly: Update your resume to reflect the type of job you are seeking. In this case, you may want to consider removing mentions of things that may cause a hiring manager to question your fit for the job.
  • Focus on the value you offer: Sell the company what you can offer the company as an experienced professional. Talk about how you are willing to offer support in any way you can.
  • Address the salary question: Make it clear that you understand the salary expectations for the job may be below your experience level and that you are okay with this.

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Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.