Why Do Recruiters Say You Are Overqualified When It’s An Ageist Remark? | JobSearchRadio.com

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EP 447 In most instances, is it really discrimination or something else? I answer this questions with No BS.

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I thought today, I would answer someone's question that goes, "Why do recruiters say you are overqualified when it is an ageist remark?" Is it really an ageist remark? Let me break down the word "overqualified" because that's really the one that is at question. Does it translates into ageism or something else?

If you said to me this person is overqualified... I'm going to use one profession from a very general perspective. If you set accountant with 10 years of experience was overqualified and was competing for job as an accountant with 3 years of experience, I would scratch my head and say, "What? Are you kidding me?" Usually what happens is that the 10 year person has advanced past the staff level. As such, they are making more money and are doing a higher level role than what is being sought by the employer.

So it's not a question of ageism under those circumstances; what it is is a very clear statement, you have surpassed the requirements of the job , and are probably making more money than we are willing to pay. I used to run into this all the time when I was doing IT recruiting and someone would say, "But I can do that job!!"

"Yeah, but you are making hundred $50,000 per year in this position is paying $95,000 per year. "

"Can't they up the money?"

"No, they have a budget just like when you are going to a car dealer… You have got a budget and, as such, if you say to them, "Why are you showing this sports car to me when I'm only willing to pay $22,000 for a car? I can't afford that!" Is the same thing with an employer. It's not an issue of ageism. What it is is a situation where you have surpassed the requirements of the job.

The most common set of circumstances is a person who is currently a manager, a director who is willing to take the step back in order to find work at the staff level or a manager level (director to manager). They keep saying, "I can do that job! And I have done that job before!"

"But it has been a while since you have done in your income level has surpassed what they are willing to pay. So our experience tells us that when you are willing to take the $25,000 salary cut, but as soon as something better comes along, you are out the door." It's not ages; it's their experience talking the tells them, "You may think you can do the job, but you can't or you're just looking for too much money."


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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