Monday, June 28, 2010

Signaling you're not 'overqualified' in a recession

The Globe reports on Deflating credentials to land a job.
"As the tight job market forces the unemployed to apply for lower-level positions, more job seekers are “dumbing down’’ credentials, wiping graduate degrees and high-level experience off their resumes, recruiters say. Applicants say the idea is to get hiring managers to at least look at their resumes, instead of figuring someone with extra qualifications will demand a bigger salary or leave for a higher-level opportunity once the economy turns around."
“Somebody finds out you know that much more than they do, they get nervous,’’ Carroll said.
"That’s true, says Robert Akerlof, a post-doctoral associate at the MIT Sloan School of Management, who is working on a theory about how it can be difficult to maintain authority over overqualified workers if they think a job, or a boss, is beneath them.

"Dumbing down a resume is a way for job seekers to show that they are going to be respectful, said Akerlof, citing the “20 percent rule,’’ which states that bosses should be 20 percent smarter than their employees.

“I think it’s not so much that you’re lying about what your resume is, it’s that you’re trying to convey an appropriate attitude,’’ he said."


Tom said...
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Tom said...

The 20% rule is idiotic. I have found that the smarter the people I hire, the smarter they make me look for hiring them. The times in my management career that I have been most successful are when I have been able to hire people smarter than I am. When I am the dumbest person in my staff meeting is when my department is most effective.