You're convinced your new job is a done deal. It's for a non-manager position that requires half the experience and skills in your portfolio (you have an MBA, management experience, speak fluent Spanish and just rocked the third-round interview). There's one kicker: with the dismal job market, you desperately need the work. Prospects are looking good until that unexpected email reads: "We've determined another candidate that is most qualified for the job." (For related reading, also take a look at 7 Ways Your Resume Dates You)

IN PICTURES: 6 Hot Careers With Lots Of Jobs

Career coach David Couper says this all-too-familiar scenario happens because an employer is worried that an overqualified applicant will become unhappy about money, title or reporting to someone with less experience, and leave the job after a short period of time. Turnover is a major burden for corporations, costing anywhere between 25-250% of annual salary per exiting employees, according to studies by the American Management Association.

But don't give up on applying for jobs beneath your pay grade or title just yet. Here's what career advice gurus say are the dos and don'ts of persuading employers that you are fit for the opening.

Revise Your Resume to Reflect Skills
Before submitting your application, you should revise your resume to emphasize your skills over credentials or job titles. List your skills and accomplishments first followed by your work history.

"A resume that highlight strengths and accomplishments instead of upper-level job titles will force the prospective employer to rethink assumptions about salary and fringe expectations," says Nancy DeCrescenzo, director of career services at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Downplay Your Qualifications
Couper says not to lie about your work experience, but that it's OK to de-emphasize certain qualifications by taking high-level job titles, graduate degrees or other irrelevant work experience off your resume. But don't fudge when it comes to stating numbers, salary or percents, says Richard Deems, co-author of the new book "Make Job Loss Work For You". "It's important the person honestly lists the results of his or her work," he says.

Don't Give References Before the First Interview
Although employers commonly request references in advance of first-round interviews, Couper says to avoid giving this information out right away. You want to be the first one to talk to your prospective employer (preferably face-to-face) about your work history and interest in the job, and you also need time to prepare your former employers or other references about your next career move.

Be Upfront About Being Overqualified
Once you've made it to the interview round, Couper recommends addressing the "big elephant in the room" and acknowledging that you know you have more experience than required. Couper suggests a phrase like, "I know I'm overqualified for this position, but there are some personal reasons why I want this job. I'm interested in doing the work." Another option is when the interviewer asks you the customary last question "Do you have any questions?" you can broach the topic with "Do you have any concerns about me?"

IN PICTURES: Top 6 Mindless Money Wasters

Be Prepared for the Tough Questions
An experienced pro going for a more amateur job may face questions like "Why do you want this job?" or "Will you be satisfied with a less impressive title or less pay?" Use these as opportunities to express that you've also thought about these issues and to circle back to why you are an ideal match for this position.

"We coach people to respond something like, 'I've thought that through and it's not a concern,'" says Deems. "'What I'm looking for is a place where I can use my skills and experience [in X field] to help the company be successful.'" (Learn about what not to do in an interview, read 7 Interview Don'ts.)

Don't Talk About Money
Unlike most conventional couches, Couper thinks you should withhold previous salary history and salary requirements as long as possible. A big digit salary (or at least one higher than the position pays) may communicate to the employer that you are not willing to work for less. If a salary requirement is a must, research the average national salary for this job and offer a salary range that encompasses it.

The Bottom Line
Despite what hurdles you encounter trying to get a job you're overqualified for, keep in mind the employer's perspective. Couper says they want to three things, including "Can you do the job? Will you fit in with the team? Will your hiring cause any problems for the company?" And the golden ticket is convincing the hiring organization of those answers. (For more resume tips, also check out Top 8 Ways To Get Your Resume Thrown Out.)

For the latest financial news, see Water Cooler Finance: Ghosts Of Economies Past.

Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisors

    Putting Your CFA Level I on Your Resume

    Learn techniques for emphasizing your CFA Level I status in the Skills and Certifications or Professional Development section of your resume.
  2. Personal Finance

    10 Reasons It Is Time to Look for a New Job

    Learn 10 good reasons for switching jobs, such as major life changes, ethical concerns, job description creep and upwards mobility.
  3. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Financial Analysts

    Learn more about the career of financial analyst, along with specific potential interview questions and answers for this type of position.
  4. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Business Analysts

    Identify some of the most common job interview questions asked of business analyst candidates, and learn the responses that will make you stand out.
  5. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Private Bankers

    Learn some specific questions often asked in interviews for private banker jobs, and what a job candidate needs to stress during an interview to land the job.
  6. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Investment Bankers

    Explore some of the most commonly asked questions in an interview for an investment banking position, along with suggestions for winning answers.
  7. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Compliance Officers

    Prepare to ace your compliance officer interview. Learn how to answer some commonly asked interview questions and what you need to know to come out ahead.
  8. FA

    CIPM: The Key To A Niche Career In Finance

    CIPM designates usually work as investment performance analysts.
  9. Professionals

    8 Things Employers Aren’t Allowed To Ask You

    Frequently, an eager job seeker overlooks certain interview questions that are improper, but there are situations where these questions are illegal.
  10. Economics

    Management Strategies From A Top CEO

    Jack Welch is a legend in the business world: during the two decades he was CEO of General Electric, the company’s value rose by 4000%.
  1. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I get started with a career in asset management?

    The asset management industry has a variety of different career paths. Depending on what asset management area you would ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. For which kind of jobs is having Magnum Cum Laude most important?

    Having a magna cum laude degree is most important for jobs in the fields of finance, management consulting and engineering. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Other than accounting, what does a corporate finance job involve?

    While a corporate finance job almost always involves accounting in some capacity, there are many additional job duties and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are some common questions an interviewer may ask during an interview for a position ...

    When interviewing for a job at an investment bank, a candidate is likely to answer questions about his career and education ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  2. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  3. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  4. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  5. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  6. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
Trading Center