Should I downplay my education?

Dear Deb:

I am frustrated after trying to get any job for eighteen months.  I know the economy is slow, but I need to begin working soon.  Sometimes the company will tell me in the interview that I am over qualified for having a degree.  I am considering not including my education on my resume so I can get work.  Thank you for your advice.

Marco, Killeen, TX

Dear Marco,

It is difficult to thoroughly analyze your job search based on your email.  However, I can ask you some questions for consideration that may bring some clarification.   If you are being told that you are over-qualified based on your degree, why aren’t you looking for positions that will utilize the knowledge you gained in your degree program?   Is there a reason you are not searching for positions in that field?  If not your field of study, what about positions that interest you and either require or prefer a degree in any field?  There are many positions in which a degree is preferred or “some college” is preferred that you may find interesting. 

Perhaps you are finding that the market is so challenging that you are starting to apply for transitional positions that require less education.  That is perfectly fine.  Continue to also search for positions consistent with your education and interests.

Perhaps you have lost confidence and are now searching for jobs for which you are over-qualified.  That is something to avoid.  Try joining career support groups or finding a job search buddy to keep your boost your morale and confidence.  A transitional job is fine during tough times, but shifting downward in your career can negatively affect you for the rest of your career. 

I would highly recommend that you connect with a career counselor.  If you cannot afford to hire one, check with local non-profits, churches, and unemployment offices for resources with sliding fee schedules.


If you have a question for Deb, please email [email protected]. The Ask Deb column appears every Friday on our blog at the Careers Done Write website.  

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Should I downplay my education?

Dear Deb:

I am frustrated after trying to get any job for eighteen months.  I know the economy is slow, but I need to begin working soon.  Sometimes the company will tell me in the interview that I am over qualified for having a degree.  I am considering not including my education on my resume so I can get work.  Thank you for your advice.

Marco, Killeen, TX

Dear Marco,

It is difficult to thoroughly analyze your job search based on your email.  However, I can ask you some questions for consideration that may bring some clarification.   If you are being told that you are over-qualified based on your degree, why aren’t you looking for positions that will utilize the knowledge you gained in your degree program?   Is there a reason you are not searching for positions in that field?  If not your field of study, what about positions that interest you and either require or prefer a degree in any field?  There are many positions in which a degree is preferred or “some college” is preferred that you may find interesting. 

Perhaps you are finding that the market is so challenging that you are starting to apply for transitional positions that require less education.  That is perfectly fine.  Continue to also search for positions consistent with your education and interests.

Perhaps you have lost confidence and are now searching for jobs for which you are over-qualified.  That is something to avoid.  Try joining career support groups or finding a job search buddy to keep your boost your morale and confidence.  A transitional job is fine during tough times, but shifting downward in your career can negatively affect you for the rest of your career. 

I would highly recommend that you connect with a career counselor.  If you cannot afford to hire one, check with local non-profits, churches, and unemployment offices for resources with sliding fee schedules.


If you have a question for Deb, please email [email protected]. The Ask Deb column appears every Friday on our blog at the Careers Done Write website.  

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