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We’ve all heard the adage that it is sometimes necessary to take a step back to take several steps forward. The world has taken several steps back as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but progress has been made in areas such as remote work, video conferencing technology, and awareness about the issues that working parents face.


Since the outbreak of the pandemic, unemployment has been a major concern, as several businesses have been severely impacted and have yet to recover. As a result, to re-enter the workforce, people have to establish priorities.


In an ideal world, a career path would be free of obstacles. Employees would effortlessly transition from one position to the next, each with progressively higher titles, responsibilities, and pay.


Things don’t always go as planned and when layoffs happen and bills pile up, it’s far more vital to get back to work than it is to wait for the next great professional opportunity. As a result, some job seekers and recent graduates have been obliged to take a step back by applying for jobs for which they are overqualified.


Employers may be wary of hiring people whose knowledge, abilities, or experience surpass the requirements for their target role for a variety of reasons. However, there are some strategies that XA Talent recommends job seekers use to market themselves for such roles and improve their chances of landing one. Let’s take a look at a few examples of each later in this article.


The Struggle of the Employers

There are several reasons why businesses are hesitant to hire overqualified individuals.


The first is the demand for remuneration. Employees with greater qualifications attract higher compensation and even if they are ready to accept less for a lower-skilled position, they will expect a raise soon whether it’s within the company or with a new employer.


Another argument is that overqualified individuals may be more difficult to manage or take direction from than less experienced colleagues. Overqualification could lead to job discontent and monotony.


While unemployed people may be willing to take on a less demanding job to get back to work, how long will they be interested and engaged in something that isn’t challenging?


Finally, overqualified employees may use the employment as a stepping stone or temporary filler until a better opportunity arises.


Spicing Up the Resumes

We propose that applicants personalize their resumes for each job posting, shifting the focus to what candidates can do to guarantee that having more experience does not result in fewer interviews.


Most job seekers are aware of this, but it becomes even more critical when there is a mismatch between candidate experience and job criteria. Many times, the abilities or qualifications that make people overqualified are irrelevant to the job for which they are applying and can be left off a resume.


Rather than listing their most remarkable professional achievements, applicants should concentrate on areas of previous expertise that are closely related to the current role’s duties and obligations. They can then use the summary portion of the resume or bullet points under previous roles to emphasize the link between previous and future success.


The Significance of a Cover Letter

In recent years, there has been much discussion about whether or not employers and recruiters read cover letters. However, they can be essential when it comes to communicating important information- such as why a seemingly overqualified candidate is interested in a particular post.


We recommend that job seekers utilize a cover letter to express their interest in the position or organization and note specific aspects of the job that appeals to them. They also include reasons such as the company’s reputation, culture, work/life balance, or even geography.


Employers will be more willing to overlook overqualification in favor of employing loyal and dedicated staff if candidates have a genuine interest in the role and company and have taken the time to properly explore both.


Be Prepared For All Kinds of Questions

Applicants should prepare responses to questions about their overqualification in advance of their interviews. Employers may be less concerned about job-hopping if employees have a history of long-term employment with the same company.


Reiterating a candidate’s interest in the job and company mentioned in their cover letter might also be beneficial. Finally, presenting references from prior employers can assist hiring managers in convincing them that candidates are applying for the right reasons and would be a valuable asset to the firm regardless of overqualification.


Keep Your Wits About You

When applying for jobs where job seekers may be overqualified, candidates can profit from thinking strategically and persuading hiring managers to do the same. The job role scope may expand in the future, and applicants with more experience or qualifications may be able to quickly advance in the role while taking on new tasks.


This might benefit the organization in the long run, allowing for faster growth and profitability than if they hired a less-experienced person who would require more training or who would not have the same growth potential. In other words, hiring an employee with qualifications that go beyond the job description might be an investment in the company’s future.


The Bottom-line

Job seekers are seeing more vacancies than in previous years because of the high unemployment rate caused by COVID-19. Those who are eager to return to work may naturally broaden their job search to include positions for which they may be under-qualified or overqualified.


Employers now have a larger pool of candidates to choose from, and employing candidates who are overqualified for a position can be both advantageous and disadvantageous. As a result, experienced job searchers must learn to promote themselves to employers, portraying their overqualification as an asset rather than a liability.


Finding ways to shadow your overqualification is the key to securing any job. If you can’t, then be ready to field a barrage of questions regarding your overqualification by presenting it as a blessing for the employer.

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Aiyaz, VP of Recruitment and Staffing

Aiyaz Uddin

VP, Recruitment and Staffing

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Aiyaz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team by strategically positioning clients to attract, engage, and pipeline the most sought-after talent in information technology utilizing open-source intelligence, talent solutions, and machine learning tools for federal and local government contracting firms, and commercial employers. Aiyaz has a proven track record of success in matching the right talent with the right opportunities, leading to long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.


As a leader in the industry, he is constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to improve our services and deliver the best results for our clients and job seekers.

Aiyaz is a certified tech recruitment professional with an MBA in Finance & Marketing along with M.Sc. Psychology. Additionally, his drive to seek new and innovative approaches to talent acquisition led him to speak on LinkedIn Talent Solutions by LinkedIn and HackerEarth’s Tech Recruiting Conference Hire 101.

Under Aiyaz 's leadership, XA Talent has become a trusted partner for companies looking to grow their teams and job seekers looking for their next great opportunity. Aiyaz and our team are committed to delivering an exceptional experience for everyone we work with.


Get in touch with XA Talent today, and let us help you find your next great opportunity.

Peyton Brooks, VP of Workforce Development

Peyton Brooks

VP, Workforce Development

As a firm believer in continuous development and self-improvement, I attained a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Howard University and a Juris Doctor Degree from The George Washington University Law School.


My passion for service to the community drove me towards the workforce development industry, where I have been in active pursuit to change the trajectory of lives and shape communities ever since. With nearly a decade of experience doing so, I have helped thousands of individuals obtain access to more short-term, affordable, and convenient upskill and reskill opportunities across the nation.


Given my vast industry expertise, I provide management consulting services to workforce
development organizations helping them with customized solutions, specialized curricula, strategic partnerships, and employer engagement. My consulting leverages deep technical knowledge as well as strategic and tactical approaches to provide the best solutions with data-driven outcomes. 


My proven experience in building workforce development systems have led me to develop and evangelize best practices for workforce development programs that include the following outcome-based attributes:

– Livable wages and sustainable careers in high-demand industry sectors
– Job placement-focused programs with strong employer partnerships
– Data-driven understanding of regional skills gaps; and
– Comprehensive skills training that includes practical application work experience with career coaching.


My ability to thrive in the workforce development industry is attributed to my strong interpersonal skills, which have enhanced my capabilities to understand what people truly mean to communicate when attempting to express their business challenges. This trait has set me apart from the rest, as I can identify and resolve the root cause of challenges resulting in proper alignment of investment to desired business outcomes.


Therefore, as a leader of cooperative outcome-focused efforts, I would like to connect with
professionals who are interested in collaborating to improve communities and change the trajectory of lives through sustainable career attainment.

Abigail Jpones

Abigail Jones

Chief Marketing Officer

As a CMO passionate about innovative, results-driven marketing strategies, I help companies accelerate tech talent acquisition, enhance executive visibility, and build impactful brands. My entrepreneurial experience, including building startups in London, fuels my work as as a Chief Marketing Officer at XA Talent.

At 𝗫𝗔 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁, my role transcends traditional marketing, designing marketing strategies with talent in mind to strengthen talent pipelines and enhance company reputations. A successful organization begins with its people, and our approach ensures we attract individuals who can best contribute to and thrive within your organizational culture. These strategies are continuously refined in response to technological disruption, ensuring that securing brilliant minds enables your company to grow consistently and achieve its broader goals, furthering your mission to make a meaningful societal impact.

We specialize in tech talent acquisition and executive search while working closely with CEOs and senior leaders to manage their executive branding, which significantly impacts and enhances their employer brand. This collaboration enables them to hire on demand, build influential alliances, and foster advocacy for sustained business growth.

Additionally, I provide 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗠𝗢 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, helping companies develop strategic marketing plans, drive thought leadership to enhance brand visibility. As a speaker, I share insights on entrepreneurship and marketing, aiming to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders. My mission is to merge innovative marketing strategies with recruitment solutions to foster talent development and organizational growth.

When I’m not strategizing, you can find me attending marketing events and exploring new technologies and trends to bring fresh perspectives to the table.

Personally, I have lived in five countries – Malaysia, Australia, Dubai, the UK, and the US.

✈️an avid traveler
📑completed my MBA in London
👩🏽‍🍳love to experiment with new recipes at home
🤸🏽‍♀️absolutely love Pilates to strengthen my mind and body!

If you are interested in learning how to use your voice to build a strong workforce, connect with me and stay updated with my latest insights.

Evan Jones, Founder and CEO

Evan Jones

Founder and CEO

After 20 years of delivering IT management consulting and infrastructure operations & management services to the federal government (XA Systems, LLC and hiring thousands of employees over the years, Evan and his team have developed a system that scales a company's personnel recruitment with culture-driven candidates who contribute to the success of the business.


As a technology-based business focused on continual process improvement, the methods he and his team have developed have been improved over the years and are centered on employer branding and recruitment marketing that results in a pipeline of engaged candidates ready to be hired on demand. He believes every business can succeed and create an impact if they are willing to take uncomfortable action with the right tools and knowledge. He’s determined to stand in the gap and provide the tools and knowledge businesses need.


To date, he has played a role in the growth and development of more than 30 companies. He has worked behind the scenes of SMBs and massive 8 to 10-figure companies helping them overhaul their processes, reinvent their recruitment marketing strategies, and drive growth, both in net profit and an overall employer reach into job seeker communities.


With a passion for business transformation, Evan has developed his own technology, an enterprise SaaS solution, ServeOptics, that delivers service support performance metrics to IT leaders who need actionable insights to make informed business decisions. The more visibility of operations that exists with real-time performance metrics and automated reporting, the more efficient and effective companies can be in their service support operations, which enables a business to gain a significant competitive advantage in their industry.


Evan is interested in connecting with forward-thinking business professionals who want to collaborate on business opportunities or discuss how his recruitment system can enable a business to attract top-tier candidates, employ on-demand, and retain its best employees.