Friday, January 19, 2007


My goal, since the new year started, has been to apply for at least one job a day until I find a job. I've been pretty good about applying to something new on at least half of the days in 2007. As we're now on day 19, that means I've applied for at least eight and a half jobs. Some folks I have yet to hear from. Others have emailed me back and said they've already filled the position I expressed an interest in. One or two others have resulted in an interview.

Do you know what the most common remark is I get in my interviews?
"You have a really impressive resume with some great experience and great skills, but I think you're over qualified to work here and you'd be bored to death."

Hm. Okay. I'm hoping that's the case, but I'm starting to wonder if, in fact, this is becoming the polite way to tell me one or a combination of the following.

A. You're over qualified = You are SO not qualified for this job. What the hell were you thinking applying in the first place? Get outta here!

B. You're over qualified = You've had lots of experience in a variety of settings, but we can't find the underlying theme here. Did you come to D.C. to focus on one issue or cause or what?

C. You're over qualified = Wow! You're really good at bullshitting about your skills and abilities. Very impressive, but no go, lady.

D. You're over qualified = You're more than qualified and we're a bunch of idiots who will look stupid if we hire you because you'll be really good at what you do and that will make the rest of us look like the slackers we are.

E. You're over qualified = You'd probably do a decent job here, but D.C. is a small town and we've heard about you. We could really use your kind of skills, but we'd rather have someone who will fawn over us and kiss our ass. Supposedly, you speak up and make suggestions and sometimes even shake things up a bit. And we can't have that.

F. You're over qualified = You're more than qualified, in terms of the primary skill set we're looking for. But, can you write about the left front wheel of train locomotives, because that matters more to us than whether or not we get our product out the door on time, on budget, and within our style guides.

G. You're over qualified = You could do my job.

H. You're over qualified = You're definitely over qualified. Perhaps you should be aiming a little higher in terms of the kinds of jobs you're looking for.

It's one of those. Makes me wish I was content to be a flunky or a slacker or not quite as skilled as I am. Or maybe I need to realize I'm really not that good and I need to take it down a notch or two. Who knows.

With this resume, do you think I could get a job as a barista at Starbucks? Nah. I'm probably under qualified for that...


Andrew said...

Wow, with a resume like that, you're probably overqualified for any job.

Good luck with the job hunt. I'm sure you'll find something.

Holly said...

Wow, Janet, I wish I could hire you....

I hope you find something lucrative and rewarding for which you are NOT overqualified very, very soon.

JMK said...

Andrew: You're very sweet. Thank you.

Holly: I keep wondering if I should go back to academia, dust off my religious studies degree, and do something with it. It's hard to know what to do right now...

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Janet, hang in there. I prayed about it and got confirmation by the spirit that you will be blessed. Just kidding, I just know that you will find something, and that things will work out, because they just always do. Especially with a person as awesome as you. Great resume.

Mary Ellen said...

I think D + G could be the issue. As much as people want to hire good, competent folk, the new kid could end up making everyone else look semi-conscious.

Will ask my organizational behaviorist spouse if there are any other translations to "you're overqualified."